Sunday, September 20

‘Preparations underway for start of post-natal care assistance next year’


Fatimah (seated, fourth left) in a light moment during the meeting. On her left is her assistant minister Rosey Yunus. — Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING: The Ministry of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development is currently doing the necessary preparations for the post-natal care assistance to be given to mothers in Sarawak next year.

Its minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said the assistance will be in the form of vouchers, to be disbursed to the mothers within three months.

“The assistance will be the in the form of RM150 vouchers every month for three months.

“This is to help the family to buy necessities for the baby and also to buy health products including ‘jamu’ (traditional health supplement) for the mother,” she told a press conference after chairing a meeting at her ministry’s office in Bangunan Baitulmakmur, here yesterday.

The post-natal care assistance was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg when tabling the 2020 State Budget.

The chief minister said a total of RM18 million will be provided in 2020 for this assistance, with recipients getting RM450 in aid effective Jan 1 next year onwards.

On a related matter, Fatimah said her ministry is also preparing with the continuation of Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) for Sarawakian newborns next year, as announced by the chief minister in the state budget.

She conceded that more needs to be done to ensure more Sarawakian newborns are registered for EFS, whereby each baby will receive a RM1,000-incentive which can only be utilised when the child reaches the age of 18.

“The registration rate as of October this year is 75.6 per cent out of the 28,152 babies
born in Sarawak. Why some parents did not register their babies for EFS, that is a good question.

“We hope there is a better outcome when the ministry’s services are digitalised once the i-KWKPK mobile app is up and running,” she said, referring to the mobile app her ministry
is currently developing with Socoe Sdn Bhd, which would enable the public to access
the ministry’s grants, incentives and assistance on a single platform.