New Glenwood 'baby safe' opened in hope of ending scourge of baby dumping
This is the first baby safe in Glenwood, and was unveiled last week.
Two other baby safes can be found at the Bluff, at NPO Isiaiah 54, and the Domino Foundation in Durban North.
Likhon iThemba founders Leanne Lorrance-Brown and Kim Brown said the Charity Hop Shop was the ideal place to install a baby safe.
“In our area, Glenwood/Umbilo, we’ve had five abandoned babies since the start of the year and only one was found alive,” Lorrance-Brown said.
They had wanted a baby safe for some time, but there were suggestions that it was controversial because baby safes could be seen as encouraging people to abandon their babies.
“It’s a safe option for babies. There was a lot of interest in the installation of this baby safe and we also received messages from mothers asking what their options were.”
Lorrance-Brown said the baby safe had cost R10500 without the electric connections, but a sponsor offered to pay the full amount. They were also supported by Uthingo Services and Westdyk Electrical, who assisted in making the safe and connecting the power supply.
Once a baby is placed in the baby safe and the safe is closed, it cannot be opened from the outside. The safe, which has a weight, triggers a sensor (it has a sim card) and it alerts by phone the people connected to the sim card that a baby is in the safe, and they then collect the baby.
“We’ll be identifying other areas for baby safes but we’ll do that once this one is up and running smoothly,” Lorrance-Brown said.
She said Berea, Inanda and oThongathi were options for baby safes.
Glynnis Dauth, founder of Isiaiah 54, said they needed more baby safes because the more safes they had, the more babies they could save and help desperate mothers.
“They (babies) wouldn’t be thrown in the bushes and drains,” Dauth said.
She said baby safes could also be installed near universities and hospitals because some students were afraid to lose their funding and did not have any other option.
In hospitals, Dauth said nurses were not fond of adoption and encouraged mothers to take their babies.
“We just need someone to come forward and say they can have a hole in their wall and we’ll monitor it,” she said.
Since January, police and emergency services have been called to various locations in KwaZulu-Natal where babies had been dumped, with only a few being found alive.
Rescue Care’s Advanced Life Support Paramedic Ceron Meadows said while they did not have the exact figures, they were called out to too many cases of abandoned babies.
Last Tuesday, a newborn baby girl was found after being abandoned in bushes at the Engen garage near uShaka Marine World.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a 21-year-old was arrested for child abandonment on Thursday and was expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court Monday.