49 babies abandoned

Child protection: Dr Wan Azizah checking out a baby hatch at the OrphanCare Foundation headquarters. With her is OrphanCare project administrator Syarhah Mohamed Tahir. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: From January to April, 49 newborns were abandoned, a majority of them found dead.

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who revealed this, said only 17 of the newborn babies were found alive.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, reiterated the need to provide baby hatches so that newborns could be left safely and anonymously by their mothers.

“It is a good alternative to curb cases of baby dumping,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah added that the hatches were a short-term solution for the babies before they could be taken back to be cared for by their own family or another family.

“This is definitely better for the babies rather than them being dumped, and sadly in some cases, they could not be saved,” she said in her speech during her visit to the OrphanCare Foundation headquarters here yesterday.

With baby hatches such as those provided by OrphanCare, Dr Wan Azizah said pregnant women who faced difficulties could obtain the help needed to ensure their babies were safe.

She also supported the deinstitutionalisation of children that OrphanCare was advocating as every child needed a family.

“I see the placement of the babies (left at OrphanCare’s baby hatches) as being in line with the new concept in child protection, which is ‘care through family’,” she said.

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