Number of abandoned babies worrisome

Health News

Ntombekhay Zibi

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) said in a released statement that it is concerned about the rising number of babies that are abandoned after birth in public hospitals.This year alone, about 118 babies have been abandoned in various public hospitals.

Most of the reasons as to why the numbers are going up are said to include; teenage mothers being fearful of their parents, unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, lack of immediate basic supplies of clothes and toiletries for the mother and new born upon discharge, lack of emotional, financial and social support from the father, and undocumented migrant mothers. 

According to the statement, hospitals with high rate of child abandonment so far are Carletonville (19), Leratong (19), Far East Rand (13), Tembisa (10) and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (10). 

The department of health said to reduce the number of abandoned babies, hospital social workers conduct educational awareness programmes with expectant mothers on care options such as adoption, temporal care and foster care.

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