‘ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS KEEPING HER WARM’: ONELAGO MAN RECALLS SAVING BABY

General

When Onelago village resident Andreas Nduutapo recently left his home to watch a soccer match at a nearby bar, little did he know his night would take an unexpected turn.

The 29-year-old was on his way back home around 23h00 when he decided to take a shortcut near a local cemetery and heard the piercing cry of a baby.

‘The first thing that came into my mind was saving the baby from the cold,’ he said.

Upon closer inspection, Nduutapo realised that someone had abandoned their baby in the cemetery.

Despite his fear of the unknown, Nduupato took her into his arms and walked to a nearby house to ask if anyone knew the baby, but no one could identify her.

He then went back to the bar where he watched soccer, desperately searching for someone who might know the baby or her family, but to no avail.

‘We then called the police’s toll-free number with the hope of being directed to the nearest police station for the baby to be rescued and receive medical attention,’ he said.

While waiting for the police to arrive
, all he could think of was keeping the baby warm.

Nduupato stressed that his goal was to save the baby as she was left in the cemetery without blankets or food, only the clothes she was wearing at the time – a blue babygrow, pink shirt, and blue beanie.

The Namibian Police Force’s Head of Community Policing for Oshana, Chief Inspector Thomas Aiyambo, revealed that the baby girl is believed to be eight months old, is the second case of baby dumping in the region this year.

The first incident involved a 21-year-old woman employed as a nanny who gave birth to a baby boy in March, wrapped the infant in a yellow dress and plastic bag and placed him in a dust bin.

In that case, the baby was found by employees of the Oshakati Town Council.

Aiyambo said the baby girl found last week is safe and sound and the police are working around the clock to locate her mother. If the mother is not found, the baby will be left in the care of her grandmother, who was recently traced.

These are but two babies out of many dum
ped in Namibia yearly.

Approached for comment, Chief Social Worker in the Oshana Region, Monika Erasmus indicated that most baby dumping cases are a result of social, economic and cultural factors.

‘In many cases, women dump their newborn babies because of rejection from the babies’ fathers, fear of responsibility due to financial limitations and beliefs that they are not supposed to bear children before marriage,’ she said.

She said that back in the days, being pregnant before marriage was seen as taboo and this belief persists.

She then advised mothers who are unable to take care of their newborn babies to take them to the Oshakati State Hospital, police stations, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, or to hand them over to family members who are in a better position to take care of the babies. She explained that officials have no right to refuse taking in the babies.

She further said women should be educated on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies to avoid more baby dumping cases.

‘Women
must be educated to prevent incidents of baby dumping. We must encourage our women to abstain from sex or protect themselves. Sex will always be there,’ she added.

She stressed that parents should also start having conversations with their children on sex education to ensure that awareness is raised in the home.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

‘ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS KEEPING HER WARM’: ONELAGO MAN RECALLS SAVING BABY

General

When Onelago village resident Andreas Nduutapo recently left his home to watch a soccer match at a nearby bar, little did he know his night would take an unexpected turn.

The 29-year-old was on his way back home around 23h00 when he decided to take a shortcut near a local cemetery and heard the piercing cry of a baby.

‘The first thing that came into my mind was saving the baby from the cold,’ he said.

Upon closer inspection, Nduutapo realised that someone had abandoned their baby in the cemetery.

Despite his fear of the unknown, Nduupato took her into his arms and walked to a nearby house to ask if anyone knew the baby, but no one could identify her.

He then went back to the bar where he watched soccer, desperately searching for someone who might know the baby or her family, but to no avail.

‘We then called the police’s toll-free number with the hope of being directed to the nearest police station for the baby to be rescued and receive medical attention,’ he said.

While waiting for the police to arrive
, all he could think of was keeping the baby warm.

Nduupato stressed that his goal was to save the baby as she was left in the cemetery without blankets or food, only the clothes she was wearing at the time – a blue babygrow, pink shirt, and blue beanie.

The Namibian Police Force’s Head of Community Policing for Oshana, Chief Inspector Thomas Aiyambo, revealed that the baby girl is believed to be eight months old, is the second case of baby dumping in the region this year.

The first incident involved a 21-year-old woman employed as a nanny who gave birth to a baby boy in March, wrapped the infant in a yellow dress and plastic bag and placed him in a dust bin.

In that case, the baby was found by employees of the Oshakati Town Council.

Aiyambo said the baby girl found last week is safe and sound and the police are working around the clock to locate her mother. If the mother is not found, the baby will be left in the care of her grandmother, who was recently traced.

These are but two babies out of many dum
ped in Namibia yearly.

Approached for comment, Chief Social Worker in the Oshana Region, Monika Erasmus indicated that most baby dumping cases are a result of social, economic and cultural factors.

‘In many cases, women dump their newborn babies because of rejection from the babies’ fathers, fear of responsibility due to financial limitations and beliefs that they are not supposed to bear children before marriage,’ she said.

She said that back in the days, being pregnant before marriage was seen as taboo and this belief persists.

She then advised mothers who are unable to take care of their newborn babies to take them to the Oshakati State Hospital, police stations, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, or to hand them over to family members who are in a better position to take care of the babies. She explained that officials have no right to refuse taking in the babies.

She further said women should be educated on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies to avoid more baby dumping cases.

‘Women
must be educated to prevent incidents of baby dumping. We must encourage our women to abstain from sex or protect themselves. Sex will always be there,’ she added.

She stressed that parents should also start having conversations with their children on sex education to ensure that awareness is raised in the home.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency