Girl child campaigners oppose low-cost, portable ultrasound machine

      British scientists have developed a very portable and cheap ultrasound machine that can be plugged into any computer. While the developers are happy that the machine would perk up prenatal care, girl child campaigners have raised concerns that the new technology could be misused for sex selection.

      Developed by Newcastle University scientists, the ultrasound machine, can be carried anywhere just like a computer mouse. It is expected to be priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. The existing hospital-based ultrasound machines cost between $32,100 and $160,600; plus these existing machines are regulated against sex determination.

      Sabu George, a girl child campaigner, said that the portability and cheap price of the new technology would make its use widespread, which would lead to more selective murder of unborn girl child.

      Speaking on the topic, George said, “Sex selection would become more rampant with ultra portability and low cost. We have seen this happening with advancement in ultrasound technology.”

      On the other hand, Jeff Neasham of Newcastle University argues that complications in pregnancy and childbirth rob nearly 250,000 women of their lives every year. He expressed hope that the new low-cost, portable ultrasound machine would help cut down the number of such deaths.