Health Department officials who conducted Statewide inspections in genetic clinics, genetic laboratories and genetic counselling centres on Tuesday, as part of the SAFE Kerala public health initiative, have temporarily closed down 14 institutions for gross violation of the provisions of the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of sex selection ) Act of 1994.

The inspections were carried out on a directive of Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, who is also the chairman of the PC & PNDT committee in the State, following widespread concerns about the decreasing child sex ratio in Kerala and to ensure that the Act is not violated in the State.

Eighty teams of health officials were engaged across the State for the inspections. Officials inspected 503 scanning centres, 18 genetic clinics and two genetic counselling centres in all.

Apart from the eight institutions in Thiruvananthapuram, five in Malabar and one in Ernakulam, which were closed temporarily, violation of the Act’s provisions were observed in 57 institutions also. It was found that many institutions did not have proper registration, while some others had doctors without registration conducting tests. Many institutions were also found to be not keeping the records properly.