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118 newborn babies abandoned at Gauteng public hospitals in 2020 - Dept

The department said that the reasons for this ranged from teenage and unwanted pregnancies, lack of financial and emotional support systems, undocumented mothers, and no support from the fathers of the babies.

Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Health Department on Thursday saidthat it was concerned about the high number of abandoned babies at public hospitals after birth.

This year alone, the department recorded 118 infants abandoned at various hospitals.

The department said that the reasons for this ranged from teenage and unwanted pregnancies, lack of financial and emotional support systems, undocumented mothers, and no support from the fathers of the babies.

In a statement, the department’s spokesperson Kwara Kekana said that the department was looking at ways to reduce the numbers.

“Through networking with child protection organisations, hospital social workers are able to provide mothers at risk for abandonment, with basic material support for both mother and child,” Kekana said.

“This provides the mother with some immediate means to care for herself and the baby until she can make an informed decision. In instances where the mothers agree to care for the child, upon discharge, she is referred to a child protection organisation for further support and care options,” she added.

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