Over 100 babies abandoned at Gauteng hospitals



Gauteng Department of Health in a statement on Thursday said it was bothered about the rising numbers of newborn infants being abandoned at health facilities.

According to the department, the babies could be abandoned as a result of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, lack of financial and emotional support from the father, undocumented migrant mothers, and teenage mothers being fearful of their parents.

It takes a week to a month before a baby is being transferred from the medical facility to an accredited child protection organisation.

According to the statement, these hospitals have the highest rate of child abandonment in 2020:

Carletonville hospital –19

Leratong hospital in Krugersdorp –19

Far East Rand hospital in Springs –13

Tembisa hospital –10

Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg –10

However, the department said hospital social workers conducted educational awareness programmes with pregnant mothers on various care options which includes adoption, temporal care and foster care, in order to reduce the number of abandoned babies.

“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,” it 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.”

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