A total of 360 babies have been abandoned in 10 South Africa’s state hospitals in the past three years in the province of Gauteng, health provincial minister Hope Papo revealed last week in a written reply to questions by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the country’s leading opposition party.
Papo said 136 babies were abandoned in 2011, 135 in 2012, and 89 up to August this year.
Is it the case of South African mothers going crazy and getting rid of the babies they kept in their wombs for nine months, and endured a lot to deliver?
Nobody knows, but some observers believe this is a trend of a ‘sick’ society needing a huge dose of condom and sexual abstinence discipline, contraceptives, and respect for human life.
The babies have been abandoned in the following hospitals:
Carletonville Hospital (worst affected): 55
Pholosong in Tsakane: 41
Tembisa and Far East Rand Hospitals: 35 each
Charlotte Maxeke (former Johannesburg Hospital): 24
Leratong : 24
Mamelodi : 19
Chris Hani Bara : 17
Dr Yusuf Dadoo : 16
Steve Biko : 14
Most of these babies are placed with Child Welfare within a few weeks, but some babies may stay in the hospital as long as four months if Child Welfare has no available beds, Papo said.
Gauteng Province is Africa’s fourth-biggest economy, and South Africa’s richest province (35% of GDP), but it is the place worst affected by HIV/Aids, promiscuity, homelessness, extreme poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, and students’ sexual greed.
“It’s a great tragedy that so many babies are abandoned. More education is needed so that distressed mothers are aware of options like voluntary foster care or adoption,” Jack Bloom, DA provincial leader in the Legislature said in a statement.
Unplanned pregnancies and poverty appear to be the main reasons for mothers leaving their babies in hospitals after birth, the statement added.