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Ministry: Food Voucher For Pregnant Mothers Only Covers First, Second And Third Child

Ministry: Food Voucher For Pregnant Mothers Only Covers First, Second And Third Child
Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta (middle) and director for Social Welfare, Rupeni Fatiaki (right) on May 16, 2017. Photo: Parliament of Fiji
May 17
12:41 2017

 

 

The food voucher programme for rural mothers only covers the first, second and third pregnancy, the Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday at Parliament.

The issue was raised by SODELPA Member of Parliament, Ratu Sela Nanovo, who asked if the programme also catered for a woman’s fourth pregnancy for rural mothers.

In response, the ministry’s director for Social Welfare, Rupeni Fatiaki, said the programme only catered for the first, second and third pregnancy, in which they are given $50 food vouchers in each period of pregnancy.

Supporting that statement, the Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta, said Government was promoting self-reliance.

“Otherwise, Government would then have to cater for everything from the first to the 10th,” Dr Koroivueta said.

“We have to inculcate this belief system, mind set into the system to rid the free hand-out,” he said.

The aim of the programme, Dr Koroivueta said, was to promote early booking of mothers to prevent them from pregnancy complications.

He said it was a promotion for pregnant mothers in the rural areas to book as early as possible at any hospital close to them.

“If they book early, more assistance will be given to them from the time of booking right up to pregnancy.

“Also to make sure that money given is actually used for the nutrition of the mother,” he said.

Mr Fatiaki reiterated this saying the programme was an initiative by the Ministry of Health to help and encourage pregnant mothers in rural areas to reach the clinics on time.

Government MP Alexander O’Connor was requested to give his views in his capacity as Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services.

He said he was still trying to familiarise himself with the programme and currently visited medical hospitals to make assessments.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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