Healthcare providers oriented on POSCO Act

Dimapur, October 15: Family Planning Association of India, Nagaland Branch in collaboration with Human Rights Law Network, Nagaland Unit and Urban Primary Health Centre, Seikhazou has organized an orientation programme for health care providers on ‘Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, Termination of Pregnancy Act, and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act’ with Advocate Neiteo Koza, State Coordinator, HRLN as resource person.
Neiteo Koza gave an overview of the POCSO Act and pointed out the role of medical & health professionals. She mentioned that whenever a victim is brought to the hospital or health facilities he/she should be provided medical care and examined by a registered health practitioner only before the presence of her parent/guardian or any other person in whom the child has trust and confidence. She pointed that no medical practitioner, hospital or other medical facility centre rendering emergency care to the child shall demand any legal or magisterial or other documentation as a pre-requisite to rendering such care.
She mentioned that medical practitioner rendering emergency healthcare shall attend to the needs of the child providing treatment for cuts, bruises and other injuries, provide treatment for STDs, HIV, discussed emergency contraceptives when the victim has reached puberty, make necessary referral or consultation for mental or psychological health or other counseling should be made including collecting forensic evidence in the course of rendering emergency health care. She added that medical examination report should be prepared by the medical practitioner and submitted to the investigating officer.
With regard to the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, she highlighted that termination of pregnancy can be conducted by a registered medical practitioner only subject to conditions. That to terminate pregnancy, medical expert should give an opinion that the continuance of pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health and if there is a substantial risk that birth of the child if born, it would suffer from physical or mental abnormalities, subjected to further conditions.
She also pointed out that sex determination of foetus is a punishable offence and that no genetic centre or genetic lab or genetic clinic should conduct pre-natal diagnostic techniques for the purpose of determining the gender of the foetus.
Dr Bilva Yalie, MO, UPHC pointed out the need of strengthening adolescent reproductive sexual health care and the need to create more awareness on it.
Ville Rhetso, counselor FPAI emphasized on the role of healthcare providers and the need of equipping oneself for effective implementations of the POCSO, MTP, and PNDT Act in the state.
(Page News Service)