KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 256 cases of abandoned babies were recorded from 2020 to 2022 based on the statistics of the Royal Malaysia Police, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said in an effort to deal with the issue, the ministry implemented various advocacy and awareness initiatives to foster concern among the community about reproductive health through the National Population and Family Development Board.
"This effort is to help the general public, especially teenagers, to avoid falling into social problems such as pregnancy out of wedlock," she said.
"In this regard, the Board has launched the National Reproductive and Social Health Education policy and action plan which has been developed since 2009 and will be updated in 2022," added Nancy at a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara on Tuesday (June 27).
Nancy was replying to Senator Amir Md Ghazali's question; he wanted to know the number of abortion cases recorded throughout 2020 to 2022 according to state breakdown and the ministry's plan to overcome the issue of promiscuity leading to the birth of illegitimate children.
On this, she said the policy aims to raise the awareness of all parties related to reproductive health education and create a loving, responsible and 'resilient' society and practise a healthy lifestyle.
Nancy said under the action plan, the development of healthy and safe reproductive health skills is emphasised through formal education in school or informal education outside of school.
"Among the non-formal education efforts implemented is through the KafeTEEN Youth Centre and improving the competence of educators, including empowering parents and the disabled (OKU) in relation to reproductive health issues.
"Under the Programme, the Board has established 18 KafeTEEN Youth Centres, the purpose of which is to increase access to information and reproductive health services, psychosocial counseling services and education and skill development programmes for teenagers," she said.
She said that so far more than 840,000 teenagers have received benefits through the educational programme and reproductive health services provided at the KafeTEEN Youth Centre. - Bernama