OUR VIEWPOINT: It also takes a village to rescue a baby

2015-06-09 09:06
Sergeant Nolan Wallace comforts the ice-cold but crying baby girl as he carries her from the pit latrine.

Sergeant Nolan Wallace comforts the ice-cold but crying baby girl as he carries her from the pit latrine. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The story in today’s Witness about the rescue of a newborn baby girl that was tossed down a pit toilet has both uplifting and depressing elements.

What would drive a mother to do this, is the first of many questions readers may have when reading the story. It is easy to look on in judgment of the mother that threw the baby into the toilet, and while this can never be condoned, it was probably the action of a desperate woman who may have felt she had few other options.

A study by the National Adoption Coalition published online may help answer the questions formulated in response to this story. The 2014 study quotes Child Welfare SA’s estimate that more than 3 500 babies were abandoned in South Africa in 2010.

They say the contributing factors to child abandonment are restrictive legislation, poverty, mass urbanisation, high levels of violence — ostensibly gender based violence and rape, extreme gender inequality, high levels of HIV/Aids, and diminishing family support.

The study also highlights African ancestral beliefs which indicate that the ‘Western’ practise of adoption is seen as problematic.

The National Adoption Coalition also touches on the sugar daddy phenomenon as a cause of teenage pregnancy and says abortion remains a contentious issue with women choosing this option often being labelled as immoral rather than as a woman making an informed and responsible choice.

The study also says that 65% of abandoned babies are newborn and primary site of abandonment is toilets, drains, sewers and gutters. Rubbish sites are the second most used location to leave an unwanted child.

The old adage that it takes a village to raise a child is perhaps particularly apt in the context of child abandonment.

While it is easy to blame government for not placing enough emphasis on birth control, sex education and social welfare support, society must look to itself and ask what more could be done to support and assist desperate mothers.

The beacons of hope here are that the baby survived, thanks to her rescuer.

It is not the first time that Search and Rescue policeman Lieutenant Jack Haskins has lowered himself into the putrid recesses of a pit latrine to rescue an infant. Haskins has once again shown that his courage and dedication to helping the community he works in is both selfless and heroic

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.