Almost 100 infants saved due to baby hatches nationwide

BANGI: Almost 100 babies have been saved from being abandoned or dumped in unsafe places due to baby hatches nationwide and with a newly launched baby hatch at a hospital in Bangi, even more lives can be saved.

Non-governmental organisation OrphanCare Foundation, which has protected hundreds of babies from being abandoned and children institutionalised by placing them with loving families, officially launched its seventh baby hatch at the An-Nur Specialist Hospital Bangi here on Saturday (Dec 3).

Foundation chairman Tan Sri Faizah Mohd Tahir, who officiated the event at the hospital, said to date, 496 babies have been saved, of which 85 were saved via baby hatches.

She said the foundation has three other baby hatches in Petaling Jaya, Johor Baru, Sungai Petani and are currently collaborating with KPJ Hospital Ipoh, KPJ Hospital Perdana Kota Baru and KPJ Hospital Seremban.

"OrphanCare is the only organisation in South East Asia operating baby hatches and without its existence, more babies would have been abandoned or dumped in unsafe places.

"Our focus is to save lives and help mothers who go through unplanned pregnancies and are among rape victims or victims of circumstance," she said.

She said that most mothers who sought help from them were mostly young and single women with no support and option of saving their babies without being judged or stigmatised.

"Placing a baby in the baby hatch is not a crime and it is not abandonment," she said.

Faizah added that the babies saved would be adopted by qualified parents, which serves as a preventive measure to prevent the babies from being sent to institutions.

"The babies will be adopted by new parents within a week," she said.

She said that the adoptive parents will need to go through several inspections and training to ensure that they are prepared to raise the babies.

"We believe that children should not be placed in institutions or orphanages, as they need to be raised with love and care from parents," she said.

Chief executive officer of An-Nur Specialist Hospital Dr Shaharom Md Shariff said that the hospital highly supports the baby hatch initiative.

"We are hopeful that the community will change its stigma that the baby hatch encourages immoral activities and rather, sees it as a social responsibility to save the lives of innocent babies.

"We have prepared policies and procedures to ensure the proper management of the baby hatch.

"Once a baby is placed in the baby hatch, our emergency team, which is headed by the hospital's medical officers, will assist and conduct examinations before the baby is handed to OrphanCare for further action," he said.

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