Scheme for welfare of mothers, newborns soon

Updated 14 Jul 2020

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SAPM Dr Sania Nishtar says Rs150bn given away under Ehsaas programme. — Radio Pakistan/File
SAPM Dr Sania Nishtar says Rs150bn given away under Ehsaas programme. — Radio Pakistan/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch a welfare initiative this month for improving health facilities for new-born babies and mothers.

The programme will be called Ehsaas Nash-o-Numa, according to the Prime Minister Office (PMO). Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar met Mr Khan on Monday for a briefing on the scheme.

“The prime minister will launch Ehsaas Nash-o-Numa programme within the next few weeks,” said an official handout issued by the PMO.

The programme aims to prevent stunting in children through the provision of specialised nutritious food to pregnant and lactating mothers and children under the age of 24 months, ensuring immunisation coverage and awareness creation with regard to hygiene, breastfeeding and sanitation.

Initially, the programme is commencing in nine districts where 31 Ehsaas Nash-o-Numa centres will be established at tehsil or district level health facilities. More details of the programme will be shared with the media in a couple of days.

Official says Rs150bn given away under Ehsaas programme

Prime Minister Khan has been calling for better nutrition for the newborn and minors as the country is already suffering from stunted growth in which children remain short-heighted and physically weak.

Meanwhile, the first meeting of “PTI Woman Empowerment Committee” was held on Monday with MNA Zille Huma in the chair.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Rukhsana Naveed, MNA Uzma Riyaz Jadoon, Nusrat Wahid, Nuzhat Pathan, Media Adviser on Health and Social Development Adeela Khan, MPA Zeenat Bibi and President Women Wing Malakand region Farzana Javed.

The meeting deliberated on the legislative, administrative and other measures needed to ensure protection of the women rights, provision of education, quality healthcare and ensuring them equal opportunities in all the sphere of life as per party’s manifesto. The meeting also discussed critical issues such as honour killing, gender-based discrimination, domestic violence, crimes against women and loopholes in the existing system which are exploited to the disadvantage of women.

The committee noted that the goal of sustained and inclusive socio-economic development would remain elusive till the women of the country were provided with equal opportunities and a conducive environment to play their due role in nation building process.

“Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is the only political party that provided the women of the country a platform to play proactive role in political sphere,” the head of the committee said while speaking on the occasion.

It was decided that a roadmap for legislative and administrative steps would be finalised on priority to ensure protection of rights of the women as per party’s manifesto. In this context, responsibilities were assigned to the members of the committee.

The SAPM also gave details about the Ehsaas cash programme, under which over Rs150 billion has so far been distributed among the poor and daily workers affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The prime minister directed Dr Sania to expand the scope of the cash programme to provide monetary assistance to those deserving people who have so far not been covered.

APP adds: The federal government had initiated the nationwide programme to disburse Rs12,000 each among those affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

According to an update received on Mon­day, Rs69.29bn has been disbursed among over 5,725,000 deserving families in Punjab so far, while around Rs45.36bn has been disbursed among 3,761,000 families in Sindh.

Over Rs26.18bn has been disbursed among 2,157,000 beneficiaries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while over Rs7.71bn has been disbursed among 634,000 persons in Balochistan.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Rs2.51bn has been distributed among 204,000 persons, while Rs1.10bn has been distributed among more than 90,000 people in Gilgit-Baltistan. An amount of Rs800 million has been disbursed among 66,000 beneficiaries in Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2020