The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) has expressed concern over the number of babies abandoned after birth in public hospitals.
According to the department, this year alone a total of 118 babies have been abandoned in various public hospitals.
The department’s spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the babies spend between 1 and 4 weeks at the hospital.
“Some of the reasons cited for abandoning babies includes 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 Kekana the department is looking at ways to deal with the spike.
“Through networking with child protection organisations, hospital social workers are able to provide mothers at risk for abandonment, with basic material support for both mother and child.
“This provides the mother with some immediate means to care for herself and the baby until she can make an informed decision.”
Hospitals with high rate of child abandonment are:
- Carletonville – 19
- Leratong – 19
- Far East Rand – 13
- Thembisa – 10
- Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital – 10.
This article first appeared on Sedibeng Ster and was republished with permission.