KOZHIKODE: Pathanamthitta district has 984 female births to 1,000 male births, topping the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) status in the state for the year 2018-19. However, Kerala as a whole is short of five girl child births (959) compared to 2017-18 when it had 964 girls to 1,000 boys. The latest data as per the Health Management Info System (HMIS) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare indicates that the state is but ahead of the national SRB of 931.
Pathanamthitta had an SRB of 981 in 2014-15 which came down to 968 in 2015-16. However, it soared again to 989 in 2016-17, came down to 966 in 2017-18 and touched 984 in 2018-19. Wayanad came second with 977, while it was 990 in the previous year. Kollam was at the bottom, recording an SRB of 937, which is a sharp decline from the previous year’s 971. “Pathanamthitta is a front runner in immunisation programmes and other health projects. As people are educated and a majority is from financially well off background, there is no worry in implementing any health schemes here including Pre-conception and Pre-Natal diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) which prohibits sex selection,” said District Medical Officer Dr Sheeja A L. She also added that Pathanamthitta was a district where population registered a stunted growth and a good number of the population comprised senior citizens.
According to Wayanad DMO R Renuka, awareness about desisting from sex determination test and sessions on how a girl child is on par with a baby boy are being carried out without failure. “We lay special focus on tribal community and their health indicators are being closely monitored,” she said. As per the data, the state had an SRB of 959 in 2014-15, 953 in 2015-16 and 958 in 2016-17. The country registered an SRB of 918, 923 and 926 respectively in the same period and 929 in 2017-18. Speaking on the Central data, Director of Health Services Dr M L Saritha said that she was yet to see the statistics. But an officer at Arogyakeralam said the Centre’s data analysis was wrong.