PETALING JAYA: A call for help from a Malaysian mother over her hospital bill of RM126 after she gave birth during the MCO sparked a fundraising campaign to help pregnant women in crisis.
“A few civil society organisations are on the same food distribution thread, and someone said that they know a pregnant woman in need. She couldn’t afford to pay her hospital bill of just RM126, ” shared Yayasan Chow Kit co-founder Dato’ Dr Hartini Zainudin.
“My first thought was what about all the other mothers who have to go to the hospital during the MCO but have no transportation and cannot pay their bills? So we started a fund where the mothers pay what they can, and we pay the balance.”
Since the fund was launched on April 3, the organisers including YCK, Puak Payong, Refuge for the Refugees, The Hope Branch, Geutanyoe Foundation and Malaysian Social Research Institute have helped 51 mothers and newborn babies from B40 and migrant communities.
They are looking to raise more funds as they are receiving at least one new request a day.
“We want to ensure that pregnant mothers receive good professional healthcare and prevent baby selling, which happens when mothers go to unscrupulous clinics, ” said Hartini.
“These women are so vulnerable as they are pregnant, on their own, and cannot afford to pay their hospital bills. It’s even more of an emergency now because of Covid-19.”
The cost to help each mother comes up to about RM3,000, and will go towards helping to pay for the mother’s hospital bill and provide a baby box containing donated baby clothes, diapers, and body care products for the mother.
They are also assisting pregnant mothers by accompanying them to the hospital for check ups.
“Some of them are afraid to go to the hospital themselves, so we help make sure their babies are safe, have prenatal and postnatal care, and are keeping a record of their health, ” said Hartini.
She added that the team is planning to turn the baby boxes into a social enterprise effort, but their priority during the pandemic is to ensure that mothers are going into the right hospitals.
“It’s important that we make all babies feel welcome, and the best protection for a baby is to make sure that the mother is safe, healthy and stress-free.”
To support, donate to Yayasan Chow Kit at CIMB (Account number: 8001143146) or Persatuan Untuk Anak Kita at Maybank (Account number: 514271633539).
For more information about the fund, contact Dato’ Dr Hartini Zainudin at 012-790 7818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.