"Considering the welfare of the rural adolescent, Chief Minister (J Jayalalithaa) has directed implementing a new scheme to provide free sanitary napkins to them at a cost of Rs 46 crore," Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr V S Vijay informed the state Assembly.
Making the announcements for his department for the year 2011-12, he said the scheme would be launched in all 32 districts of the state this year itself at a cost of Rs 46 crore.
He rued that girls in many rural areas still continued to use old clothes during their menstrual period which resulted in infection and other serious health complications.
Under the Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Financial Assistance Scheme, he announced hiking the assitance from Rs 6000 to Rs 12000 and said Rs596 crore would be allotted for this purpose. Presently, Rs 3000 is given to poor women during the seventh month of pregnancy and another Rs 3000 at the time of delivery.
Further, he announced allotting a sum of Rs five crore towards identifying persons with birth defects at each household and offer them medical treatment. Health workers will be utilised to identify such persons, he said.
Among others, Dr Vijay announced steps to increase number of MBBS seats in Chengalpattu Medical College and Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, forming seperate wing in the Public Works Department to maintain Health department buildings and starting ART (anti-retroviral treatment) Centres for HIV-AIDS treatment in select hospitals in the state.