There has been another miraculous escape for a new-born infant who was allegedly discarded by his mother in Durban on Thursday.
Alert nurses at the King Edward VIII Hospital discovered the six-day-old premature infant inside a potentially hazardous medical waste bin containing used needles, blood or human tissue.
The medical waste was going to be collected on Friday.
The baby, who was born at eight months, weighing 1,2kg, was being fed through an intravenous tube.
He was being kept in an incubator in the hospital’s nursery to receive antibiotics and so he could gain weight.
It is alleged that his 20-year-old mother, who is from KwaMashu, had been breastfeeding him in the nursery. As soon as nurses moved to other wards, she then wrapped the baby in linen saver, put him inside the pillow, tied it up, and threw him into a bin.
She allegedly placed pieces of paper on top to conceal the pillow and closed the bin.
MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said a nurse who discovered that the baby had gone missing, asked the mother about the whereabouts of her child. She pleaded ignorance.
"A pillow containing the child was eventually found in a medical waste bin..."
"The nurse then sounded the alarm bell and a frantic search for the baby began. Nurses looked for the baby under hospital beds, over the windows, and even pulled up the linen from other patients hospital beds.
"A pillow containing the child was eventually found in a medical waste bin. The tiny baby had signs of suffocation, but was still breathing. A doctor was immediately called to resuscitate the baby," said Dhlomo.
The mother claimed that her boyfriend had threatened her if she returned home with the baby.
“This is the second incident in one week in the same province. We are happy that both babies are alive. From the little history that we have, this 20-year-old mother – who has another child - had received a clear message from her boyfriend and from her father that she should not come back with the baby."
The baby’s mother was later arrested and is due to appear in court on Monday.
Dhlomo thanked the nursing staff of King Edward VIII Hospital and said he won't tolerate the dumping of newborn babies in the province.
"The time has come for society to stop being in denial that children do have sex, and therefore need to be encouraged to use birth control pills, injections, implants and condoms – which are all free of charge - if they cannot abstain.
"It is also high time that women who are pregnant approach healthcare professionals and social workers about putting their unwanted babies up for adoption, instead of dumping them in garbage bins and storm water drains," said Dhlomo.
On Monday, emergency services conducted a three hour mammoth rescue from a storm drain pipe in Newlands East, Durban saving the life of a newborn baby girl.
Skilled officers had to burrow into the ground and stabilise the area around the pipe saving the life of the little baby.
The baby was unofficially named Sibanisethu (Our Light) and authorities are looking for her mother.
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