Health Ministry kicks off fight against period poverty

PUTRAJAYA: In an initial effort to address period poverty, the Health Ministry will be providing free feminine hygiene products in ministry toilets before expanding the reach of the programme further.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the move would be a catalyst in highlighting the issue.

“I had addressed this issue on a smaller scale previously together with non-governmental organisations (NGOs). But now the time has come for a firmer policy.

“I decided to begin with my office and hope to expand it throughout the ministry as well as form cooperation with other agencies,” she said after the ministry’s monthly assembly here on Monday (Dec 12).

When asked if the issue would be addressed in a future budget, Dr Zaliha said the matter needed to be brought to a higher level and hopefully kicked off nationally.

On whether other gynaecological issues would be addressed, Dr Zaliha said that would require inter-agency involvement.

“This is why I decided to kick off with this first initiative by providing free sanitary pads and hopefully we can go into the details later on,” she said.

The Selangor state government had recently announced a RM200,000 allocation in its 2023 Budget to address period poverty.