HIV, post-natal depression and unemployment are just some of the reasons why mums abandon babies. In Kuruman, Northern Cape, one baby narrowly escaped with her life after being left to die.
Olehile Mosala is a farmer in Dikhing Village about 55 kilometres outside Kuruman. He went into the veld to look for his cows but found something very different.
“I saw a black plastic bag and something inside was making movements,” he tells OurHealth. “I thought maybe it was an animal but surprisingly the head had been left out and I saw it was a baby.”
In shock, he admits his first instinct was to turn and run.
“At first I wanted to leave her – it was such a shock,” Mosala adds. “Then my instinct told me to pick the baby up. She was not crying but she looked weak, very hungry and sleepy.”
After calling a nearby farmer, Mosala and the man took the baby to Kuruman Hospital, where community health worker Masego Moncho took the baby under her care. She has named the baby “Resego,” after her younger sister who is ill.
Resego is gathering strength. Meanwhile, police began an investigation and located some of the baby’s relatives. Her mother has reportedly been traced to Johannesburg.
Families South Africa (FAMSA) social worker Douglas Tafireyi says mothers dumped babies for various reasons and unemployment is definitely a factor.
“Shame sometimes plays a major factor as there was still a stigma attached to pre-marital sex and children born out of wedlock in both traditional and religious circles,” she adds