Baby hatch opens in Bangi

Taking care: Faizah (right) placing a baby doll inside the baby hatch while visiting the An-Nur Specialist Hospital in Bangi. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

BANGI: Almost 500 babies have been saved from being abandoned or dumped in unsafe places, and with a newly launched baby hatch at a hospital in Bangi, more lives can be saved.

NGO OrphanCare Foundation, which has “rescued” hundreds of babies from abandonment or ending up in an institution by placing them with loving families, officially launched its seventh baby hatch at An-Nur Specialist Hospital Bangi yesterday.

The foundation’s chairman Tan Sri Faizah Mohd Tahir, said to date 496 babies have been saved, of which 85 came through the baby hatch.

She said the foundation has three other baby hatches in Petaling Jaya, Johor Baru and 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 the baby hatch and without it, babies would be 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 the foundation were mostly young and single women with no support or option of keeping 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 are adopted by new parents within a week.

She said that potential adoptive parents have to undergo a stringent approval process to ensure they are able and prepared to raise the babies.

“We believe that children should not be placed in institutions or orphanages, as they need to be raised in a loving, family environment,” she said.

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

“We are hopeful the community will not stigmatise baby hatches by alleging that it encourages immoral activities and rather, see 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 who is headed by the hospital’s medical officers will assist and conduct examinations before the baby is handed to OrphanCare,” he said.

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