Baby saved from being buried alive

2011-09-09 11:27
Hanoi - Medical staff in central Vietnam saved a newborn baby from being ritually buried alive alongside his dead mother, a news report said on Friday.

The five-day-old boy was due to be buried in Quang Nam Province on Wednesday after his mother died in childbirth. The practice is customary among the region's Se Dang ethnic group.

The baby was rescued by local health clinic worker Ho Thi Hieu, who persuaded the villagers to let her take the baby to the district health centre for treatment, state-run newspaper Viet Nam News reported.

Hieu, from a Se Dang, has decided to adopt the baby, although this is against the group's practices, the report said.

The level of education is very low, said doctor Nguyen Thi Thu Ha of the district's healthcare centre, which has been an obstacle to authorities' efforts to discourage ritual infanticide.

"The baby is in a stable condition and is receiving care," he said.

Around 100 000 predominantly animist Se Dang live in the country, concentrated in central provinces. They are among Vietnam's poorest ethnic groups, mostly living by slash-and-burn farming.

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