Police and medics at the scene where a baby was rescued from a pit toilet in Mafakathini, Taylor’s Halt. Picture: Supplied
Police and medics at the scene where a baby was rescued from a pit toilet in Mafakathini, Taylor’s Halt. Picture: Supplied

Don’t dump your baby, get help, urges Department of Social Development

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Sep 14, 2020

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Durban - Pregnant women, who have no intention of keeping their newborns, have been urged to contact the Department of Social Development for assistance where social workers will help with options. This is according to KZN Department of Social Development spokesperson, Mhlabunzima Memela, who said it was shocking and horrible that there were still people who opted to dump newborn babies.

Memela was commenting on the back of the rescue of a newborn who was allegedly dumped in a pit toilet in Mafakathini in Taylor's Halt in Pietermaritzburg at the weekend.

Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said Search and Rescue and K9 unit members were called out early on Saturday morning.

"When they arrived, the baby had already been rescued from the pit latrine. Family members cleaned the faeces from the baby. Members clamped the umbilical cord, as the mother had cut it off with a pair of scissors during the birth," she said.

Mbele said the baby was examined, and fortunately there were no injuries. She said the mother and baby were taken to Northdale Hospital by the provincial Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

According to KZN SAPS's Brigadier Jay Naicker, Taylor's Halt SAPS have opened a case of concealment of birth. He said the case has been transferred to the Plessislaer SAPS FCS for further investigation.

Memela said mothers must at least get in touch with the department for assistance if they encountered challenges.

“As a department, there are a number of options that are legal and allowed by the government. People must understand that when there is an unwanted pregnancy, they are allowed to terminate,” he said.

Memela said they should go to reputable institutions and see doctors who were knowledgeable in dealing with such cases.

Memela said people should also consult their social worker. If the mother did not want to abort, they could ask for the department’s assistance to put the child up for adoption.

“Rather than dump a child in such a painful manner and leave them to die, at least get in touch with the department. Social workers will assist you and give you options.”

Memela said another option for new mothers if they found it challenging to raise their newborns, was to go to centres for children run by the department, explaining that they were finding it difficult to raise a child.

“We can raise a child in our facilities. Some people still dump their children even though we have options available.”

Memela urged people, especially the youth, to utilise the department’s facilities for assistance.

The Mercury

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