Khader says government will monitor the programme to prevent misuse

Pregnant women in endosulfan-sprayed areas of Puttur, Bantwal, Beltangady and Sullia taluks will be offered ultrasound scanning (sonogram) from July 1 to check for foetal deformities, if any. The scanning, offered free of charge, by Endosulfan Victims Welfare Protection Foundation and Rotary Club, Puttur, will be done before 19 weeks’ of pregnancy.

The foundation’s president Ravindranath Shanbhag said the State and the Central governments had failed to provide such a facility despite the demand for the last two years.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader, who did not oppose the programme, said that the scanning might be required in endosulfan-affected areas. He, however, said the programme would be monitored by government agencies to prevent female foeticide. “I will consult my department officials to this effect,” he said.

Dr. Shanbhag said the facility will be available in five scanning centres in Puttur. He said the scanning would done provided the woman produce a recommendation from a registered medical practitioner. The woman will also have to produce ration card or a photo identity card to know the place she comes from.

Dr. Shanbhag said if there was any foetal deformity, it would be left to the couple to go for abortion. Law permits a woman to go for abortion within 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“We have taken all necessary precautions to prevent misuse of this facility,” Dr. Shanbhag said. With the announcement of the facility there were around 100 calls on Saturday, he said.

The scanning facility will be available at Janani Clinic (Dr. Madhura Bhat 9632927699), Divya Scan Centre (Dr. Govindaraj 08251234520), Chetana Hospital (Dr. Chandrashekar), Chirayu Scan Centre (Dr. Ashok 9449281238) and Puttur City Hospital (Dr. Santosh 08251237781).

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