An abandoned baby was discovered from a toilet rubbish bin in Commercial Towers on Monday morning. Chris Botha of Netcare 911 said that paramedics were contacted when the newborn baby boy was discovered.
He explained that the baby had been wrapped in two black plastic bags before being dumped into a rubbish bin. The baby was suffocating in the bags and, due to oxygen deprivation, the advanced life support paramedic and his team had to work fervently to stabilise him. Botha reported that fortunately, after a few minutes, the baby responded to the treatment. Paramedics then transported the baby to a hospital in Durban, where social services took over the case. This is the second reported incident of an abandoned baby to be recovered in Durban over the past few weeks.
Recently, The Weekly Gazette reported on the body of an abandoned baby that was found abandoned in a bin on Esther Roberts Road in Davenport. The baby had been dumped in a bin packet on the side of the road and had already passed away before paramedics arrived at the scene. Jasu Jagjivan, the adoption manager of Child Welfare Durban and District (CWDD) said that the prevalence of baby abandonment in society was a reflection of stressful social circumstances. “Too often families carry a high burden of illness and bereavement as well as unemployment, lack of housing and poverty. These circumstances are further aggravated by other social problems, such as family conflict, family violence and substance abuse and so forth.”
Jagjivan said that, under the circumstances, family support systems become stretched to the limit, leaving young women particularly vulnerable should they experience an unplanned pregnancy. She explained that some of these women may lack knowledge about available resources which may offer support and others may simply lack the confidence or the financial resources to reach out for this assistance.
CWDD’s Specialised Adoption Department Social Workers and Intake Social Workers can assist with these cases. The babies are then cared for in crisis homes while their cases are being investigated. Should the baby’s family not be traced, then adoption may be considered and facilitated if this is considered to be in the particular baby’s best interests. “A birthmother, who is unable to keep and care for her baby herself, can at least then have the satisfaction of knowing that she has played an important role in ensuring the safety and good care of her baby.” Jagjivan said that CWDD appealed to women feeling alone and considering abandoning their baby to rather seek assistance and support services. For more information, contact CWDD on 031 312 9313.