State Level Workshop on Low Sex Ratio at Birth in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), organized a State Level Consultative Workshop on Addressing Low Sex Ratio at Birth in Odisha on 5th December 2023 at Hotel ITC Welcom, Bhubaneswar. The workshop was conducted in view of the decline of Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) in the state to find out strategies to improve the sex ratio at birth in our State. Some of the reasons commonly put forward to explain the low levels of Sex Ratio at Birth are preference for sons, sex selective abortions, and female foeticide.

The objective of the workshop was to discuss the causes and consequences of the low SRB in the state and to develop a comprehensive action plan to improve the situation. The workshop also aimed to sensitize the district health officials and build their capacities on strengthening the implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act, 1994, which prohibits sex selection and regulates the use of diagnostic techniques.

The workshop was attended by around 100 participants, including the Additional District Public Health Officers (Family Welfare)-cum-District Nodal Officers, PC & PNDT and Assistant Managers-LAIS of all districts, state level health officers and concerned consultants, legal and medical experts, social scientists, members of civil societies and other stakeholders.

The workshop was inaugurated by the Mission Director, NHM Odisha in presence of Dr. Bijaya Kumar Panigrahi, Director, Family Welfare, Odisha, Md. Nadeedm Noor, Head of Office, UNFPA, Odisha, Director, I &PR Dept., Director, Social Welfare, W&CD Department, Director, Health Services of the State. The workshop generated a fruitful dialogue and paved a way to develop an action plan to address the issue of low SRB in Odisha and to ensure the survival, protection, and empowerment of the girl child.

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