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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 136-138  

Awareness regarding pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques act among women in a rural community of Puducherry


1 Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Puducherry, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission12-Jun-2018
Date of Acceptance10-Aug-2018
Date of Web Publication25-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
R Anandaraj
Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kadirkamam, Puducherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_94_18

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  Abstract 


Context: Child sex ratio of the nation has been declining since few decades. Aims: The objectives of this study are to find out awareness about Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) act among ever-married women and to determine their sociodemographic factors influencing this awareness. Settings and Designs: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a rural primary health center of Puducherry. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at a rural primary health center in Puducherry among 200 ever-married women in reproductive age group. Information regarding their awareness about PC-PNDT Act was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi square-test was done for analyzing the categorical data. Results: Among the ever-married women, about 30 (15%) were not aware about the provisions of PC-PNDT Act, while 170 (85%) were aware about it. No significant association was found between sociodemographic variables and awareness about the Act. Conclusions: Majority of the ever-married women in the study setting were aware of the provisions of PC-PNDT Act.

Keywords: Child sex ratio, ever-married women, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, prenatal sex determination


How to cite this article:
Kavithai P, Anandaraj R, Puhalenthi K. Awareness regarding pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques act among women in a rural community of Puducherry. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2019;12:136-8

How to cite this URL:
Kavithai P, Anandaraj R, Puhalenthi K. Awareness regarding pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques act among women in a rural community of Puducherry. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 16];12:136-8. Available from: http://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2019/12/2/136/254786




  Introduction Top


Over the past few decades, a declining child sex ratio favorable to males has become a characteristic of India's population pattern. As per the Census, 2011, the child sex ratio has shown a decline from 927 females per thousand males in 2001 to 914 females per thousand males in 2011.[1] In the union territory of Puducherry, the corresponding child sex ratio in 2011 is only 965, although it has a sex ratio in the general population well beyond 1000.[1] Increasing knowledge about prenatal sex determination and mushrooming of sonographic centers have paved way for this disturbing trend.

In 1994, the Government of India passed the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act for prohibition of sex selection and prevention of misuse of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act for sex determination.[2] It was later amended and replaced in 2002 by the PC-PNDT (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PC-PNDT).[2] Contravening the provisions of the Act can lead to a fine of Rs. 10,000 and up to 3 years imprisonment for a first offence, with greater fines and longer terms of imprisonment for repeat offenders. Despite various amendments, awareness about the Act among women appears suboptimal. Hence, this current study was planned with the following objectives: (1) To find out awareness about PC-PNDT Act among ever-married women and (2) to determine the sociodemographic factors influencing the awareness about PC-PNDT Act among ever-married women.


  Subjects and Methods Top


A cross-sectional study was conducted in December 2017 among ever-married women aged between 15 and 45 years utilizing general outpatient department services of a primary health center in Puducherry. Informed consent was obtained from the women after explaining the purpose of the study. Those women who expressed their unwillingness to participate in the study were excluded from the study. As no similar studies have been documented earlier in the study area, an assumption of awareness about PC-PNDT Act among ever-married women to be 50% was taken. Considering the power of the study as 80%, with 95% confidence level and an absolute precision of 7%, sample size was calculated as 196, rounded off to 200.

The study participants were enrolled consecutively till the required sample size was achieved. Data were collected by the direct interview method by the researcher using a semi-structured questionnaire which was pretested. Information collected included sociodemographic profile of the study participants and their awareness regarding PC-PNDT Act. The data collected were entered and analyzed using the Microsoft Excel 2010. Categorical variables were summarized using percentages and proportions. Chi-square test was employed for analyzing categorical data. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


  Results Top


Out of 200 women, 105 were aged 25–34 years. Mean (standard deviation) age was 25.4 (±3.9) years. About 105 (52.5%) women had at least studied up to high school level. Majority (84.5%) of them were homemakers. Socioeconomic status was classified as per the Modified BG Prasad's classification. About 53 (26.5%) women belonged to Class III socioeconomic status, while 48 (24%) belonged to Class V [Table 1].
Table 1: Sociodemographic profile of the study participants (n=200)

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Among the study participants, 170 (85%) ever-married women were aware about the provisions of PC-PNDT Act, while about 30 (15%) were not aware about it [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Awareness about Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act among ever-married women (n = 200)

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Almost 60% of ever-married women aged between 25 and 34 years were not aware of PC-PNDT Act, while 96.5% of the literate women were aware of the Act. More than 90% of the unemployed women were not aware of the Act. Out of 31 working women, 28 were aware about the provisions of the Act. With respect to the socioeconomic status, those study participants of the lower classes were more prone for being unaware about the PC-PNDT Act. There was no significant association observed between the sociodemographic factors and awareness about PC-PNDT Act in the study population [Table 2].
Table 2: Association of sociodemographic factors with awareness regarding Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (n=200)

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  Discussion Top


In the present study, a major proportion of the participants (85%) were aware of the provisions of PC-PNDT Act. Studies conducted in other parts of the nation with similar objective revealed a varying level of awareness, as low as 43.7% to as high as 92.4%.[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

A study conducted in an antenatal clinic, Uttar Pradesh, observed a level of awareness similar to our study.[8] Sharma et al. in their study in Tamil Nadu observed that 75% of the pregnant women knew that intrauterine sex determination is punishable under the law.[7] Contrastingly, only 9.1% of the study participants observed by Shidhaye et al. knew about any legal punishment for determining the gender of the fetus.[10]

Our study observed that 96.5% of the literates were aware of the Act as compared to only 3.5% of the illiterates. A lower level of education was significantly associated with declining awareness about PC-PNDT Act in other studies.[3],[10],[11]

Although the awareness about PC-PNDT Act looks satisfactory in the current study, the fact that various regulations regarding the Act and its amendments might not have percolated into the community cannot be ruled out. Female literacy coupled with women empowerment will definitely pave a long way in increasing the awareness about PC-PNDT Act, thereby reversing the downward trend of sex ratio of the nation. Active involvement of media along with community participation will eliminate this social pathology of female feticide.

Acknowledgment

The authors thank DMS and DDPH of Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Puducherry, for granting permission for conducting the study. We also thank our study participants without whom this work would have not been possible.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner. Census of India Provisional Population Totals. New Delhi: 2011. Available from: http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/prov_results_paper1_india.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 11].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Handbook of PCPNDT Act and Rules with Amendments. New Delhi: 2006. Available from: http://www.iria.in/uploadNotices/Handbook_on_PNDT_Act.pdf. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Sarkar I, Dasgupta A. Gender preference and perception of PNDT: A community-based study among ever-married women in a rural area of West Bengal. IAIM 2015;2:183-91.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Kumar BS, Sreegiri S, Naidu SA. A study on gender preference and awareness on Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act among antenatal women in Visakhapatnam city. J Dent Med Sci 2015;14:106-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Metri SS, Venktesh GM, Thejeshwari HL. Awareness regarding gender preference and female foeticide among teachers in the Hassan district, South India. J Clin Diagn Res 2011;5:1430-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kumar N, Darshan BB, Unnikrishnan B, Kanchan T, Thapar R, Mithra P, et al. Awareness and attitudes regarding prenatal sex determination, Pre-Conception And Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDTA) among pregnant women in southern India. J Clin Diagn Res 2014;8:JC09-11.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Sharma D, Ahmed M, Ashok B. Knowledge and attitude of prenatal diagnostic techniques act among the antenatal women-a hospital based study. Int J Rec Sci Res 2015;6:7553-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Kansal R, Maroof KA, Bansal R, Parashar P. A hospital-based study on knowledge, attitude and practice of pregnant women on gender preference, prenatal sex determination and female feticide. Indian J Public Health 2010;54:209-12.  Back to cited text no. 8
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9.
Bedre R, Solanki H. A cross-sectional study on awareness of sex determination techniques and gender preference among married women in an Urban slum of Maharashtra. Nat J Community Med 2014;5:85-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Shidhaye PR, Giri PA, Nagaonkar SN, Shidhaye RR. Study of knowledge and attitude regarding prenatal diagnostic techniques act among the pregnant women at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Mumbai. J Educ Health Promot 2012;1:36.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Srivastav S, Kariwal P, Kapilasrami MC. A community-based study on awareness and perception on gender discrimination and sex preference among married women (in reproductive age group) in a rural population of district Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Nat J Com Med 2011;2:273-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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  Introduction
  Subjects and Methods
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