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26.10.2008 Regional News

Social workers Concerned About 'Baby Dumping' In Sekondi

By Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi -

Abandonment of new born babies in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis has attracted the concerns of social workers and child rights experts, recently.

Although, concrete statistics are not readily available, it has been observed that in times, young babies have been abandoned without their mothers being detected or apprehended.

It has also been observed that child abandonment was on the increase in the metropolis.

The spate of this abuse of the rights of the child worry social workers and they say it is an indictment and a shame to society.

In September, this year, a child was nearly burnt by a labourer at a public toilet at Effiakuma.

It is suspected that, the mother of the child had planned to dump the baby into the pit, but the gates to the toilet was locked and so she dumped the baby wrapped in a polythene bag into a rubbish container.

The next day, the labourer went to work ostensibly to burn the refuse, but after setting the container on fire, the baby moved and quickly, people rescued her from the container.

They sent her to a traditional birth attendant where her umbilical cord was cut and subsequently sent to the hospital for treatment.

This baby, named Auntie Grace, is now in the care of the Department of Social Welfare (DSW).

Another baby, was dumped into the pit at a public toilet at Manganese at Type C Quarters near GHAPOHA JUNIOR CLUB, a suburb of Takoradi was also rescued by some keep fit club members on Sunday morning.

The DSW observed that the incidence was notorious among the Kwesimintsim, European Town at Sekondi and the communities along the beaches including parking spaces in the metropolis.

“It's a shame, it's inhuman and it's affects a society” the Western Regional Director of Social Welfare, Mrs Joana W. Mensah told the Times.

“This must be condemned; even the mode of disposal of the babies is inhuman. That baby we found at Effiakuma was a beautiful, bouncy baby why do you dump her in this manner and kill her? She questioned.

According Mrs Mensah the baby is in stable conditions.

She said that, there was another incident in which the baby was wrapped and buried in the bowels of the earth. But fortunately it did not die.

She said that men who decide to dump their women and children due to irresponsibility and think that they can come back sometime, to claim the children after they are grown up should rethink.

“Parents who drive away pregnant daughters should also stop,” Mrs Mensah advised.

She said that, the best thing to do was to go to the court to issue an order for a DNA test to be conducted to determine the paternity of a child. “Don't dump them” she said.

She said by dumping the babies, their health is compromised.

 According to the Regional Director of DSW, the culprits of such shameful acts, might be teenagers who out of frustrations and anxieties dump their babies.

She also blamed the men.

Mrs Mensah said adolescents need education and counseling and explained that, at that stage, “they want to experiment with everything”.

“We need to tackle this problem and parents should be brought to book,” she said.

She appealed to the public to report all cases of child abandonment to the DSW and the police.