NEWS

ABANDONED

  Two healthy baby girls have been abandoned after they were born in Suva. Their mothers simply walked away from the Morrison Maternity Unit, Colonial War Memorial Hospital. The Ministry
24 Aug 2016 10:33
ABANDONED
Two abandoned babies 2weeks-old Athalia (left) and 6 day-old baby Ahdara with Assistant Health Minister Veena Bhatnagar at Colonial War Memorial Hospital yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

 

Two healthy baby girls have been abandoned after they were born in Suva.

Their mothers simply walked away from the Morrison Maternity Unit, Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services as well as the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation have expressed their deep concern about the incidents.

It is believed that one of the babies was abandoned because she is a girl. The mother and partner preferred a boy. It is believed the other girl was abandoned because the mother could not afford to raise her.

The babies have been named Adhara, six days old and Athaliah, 17 days old, by midwives and nurses.

Adhara was born on August 18, weighing  three kilograms to a Fiji National University student aged 29. Athaliah was born to a 34-year-old unemployed woman, on August 7, weighing 3.2 kilograms. Both mothers are from Suva.

Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, Veena Bhatnagar, said the ministry would take responsibility and care for the girls while investigations continued.

“My heart goes out to these babies. They have been abandoned and they are innocent human beings,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

“At this moment, the health and well-being of any infant is critical to us and we will do all that is necessary to ensure these babies are well looked after.”

“While the reasons for abandonment remain unknown, we encourage mothers and pregnant women to discuss with the doctors, nurses and family members, should they face any difficulties with bringing up a baby,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

“Through counselling, expectant mothers who are not able to financially support their babies, can find couples who are willing to adopt those innocent babies.”

“We also encourage mothers-to-be, to gain more information on family planning to avoid unwanted pregnancies,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

She said these cases had been promptly referred to the Social Welfare Department as they were the lead agency for child protection under the law.

Mrs Bhatnagar also acknowledged the compassion and care given to the girls by the nurses.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, said  Social Welfare was looking into this case.

“Ensuring the welfare and wellbeing of the children is of paramount importance to the ministry and efforts are made to further assess this case,” Ms Akbar said.

“Ensuring the wellbeing of children is a key mandate of the ministry as obligated under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child Welfare Decree,” she stated.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

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