Baby boy dumped on pavement in Chatsworth
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Durban - DURING Child Protection Week a baby boy left on the roadside in Chatsworth on Thursday has become yet another abandoned baby statistic.
The baby was found wrapped in a cloth and left on the pavement between a grass patch on Yolan Place and Havenside Drive.
A source told The Daily News a woman was seen walking a short distance behind her and leaving something on the pavement behind her. When bystanders realised it was a baby they tried to call the woman, but she fled on to a pathway towards uMlazi.
Havenside ward councillor Ganas Govender said child welfare and social development organisations in the area were available for counselling.
“The Covid-19 lockdown has
created a great deal of unemployment. She could have been having difficulties looking after the child. The child
was taken in by social workers,” Govender said.
According to a survey conducted by Door of Hope Children’s Mission in major metropolitan areas of South Africa, after eight weeks of Covid-19 lockdown 50 babies were received, 27 of which were abandoned. Representing 16 baby homes, the total number of babies in care was 506. Eight babies were found dead after abandonment.
The Baby Home Durban North spokesperson Jo Teunissen said the Peace Agency NPO was waiting for paperwork to be approved from the Department of Social development to open a Baby Home in uMlazi.
Teunissen said the lockdown had caused the delay because most of the staff were not at work.
“We hope to also install a baby drop-in safe in uMlazi. We cannot take babies directly from the parents. It has to come via the police or a social worker. Over 3 500 children are abandoned in South Africa every year and adoptions have virtually ground to a halt. Baby homes are bursting at the seams,” she said.
“Not only will the uMlazi Baby Home provide love and care to babies abandoned or orphaned in Durban, it is also going to be a training centre for caregivers, providing valuable skills and opportunities for decent work for people in the uMlazi community. This has been a big dream of ours for a while and we cannot wait for it to become a reality,” Teunissen said.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that at 7.15am, the newborn boy was found.
Gwala said the baby was taken to hospital for medical attention and was in a good condition. A case of child abandonment has been opened at Bayview SAPS.