Martenity fees to go — Parly told


The Ministry of Labour and Social Services yesterday said about $1 million had been given to the Health Transition Fund to facilitate the waiver of maternity and child health fees.

This was said by the Director of Social Services in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Sydney Mhishi when he appeared before Parliament yesterday.

Senators had asked Mhishi to explain how the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) number five on improvement of maternal health was to be achieved by 2015 since many expectant mothers could not afford maternal fees.

“Mothers’ shelters can be constructed, but if prohibitive fees are not removed the mothers would still not come to use those shelters,” said Mhishi.

“About $1 million was put in the Health Transition Fund and the condition was that the money be used so that there is waiver of maternity and child health fees and resources are now to be put into the Ministry of Health to waiver those fees.’’

Mhishi said the policy to waiver the fees had been put in place but the logistics were still to be worked out.

He said MDG number one, to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger was difficult to achieve for most countries because it could not be tasked to one particular Ministry.

“It needs everyone to work on it and even donor partners find it easy to assist health and education because they produce quicker results than eradication of extreme poverty and hunger,’’ said Mhishi.