It took rescue workers more than three hours to successfully remove a new-born baby from a stormwater drain in Durban on Monday morning.
Emergency workers, who included the local police, ambulance and fire services dug a trench to reach the infant who was stuck in an underground drain at the corner of Herring Circle and Barracuda Road in Newlands East.
According to reports, it is believed that the infant’s cries alerted passers-by to its location. Rescue services were alerted thereafter and rushed to the scene to undertake an immediate operation in saving the infants life.
The baby girl was miraculously stabilized at the scene and was loaded into a helicopter where she was taken away to receive immediate medical treatment.
Police are currently investigating the incident and the circumstances leading to how the baby ended up in the drain are still unknown.
This incident comes one week after another mother dumped her new-born baby in a dustbin in the Glenwood area, just meters away from Newlands East. Paramedics were called out after residents found the infant in a plastic bag. Rescue workers attempted to save the infants life, but unfortunately, the baby died soon after.
The mother was identified after a quick investigation in the area and was arrested on the spot. The suspect from Verulam was charged with attempted murder and ill-treatment of the child and is currently out on R1000 bail.
Responding to the Newlands East incident, KwaZulu Natal’s health Minister Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, in a statement, said, more aggressive promotion of family planning methods is needed in order to prevent the abandonment of babies and illegal termination of pregnancy.
“It’s really a miracle that this baby was saved. The doctors have given this baby a clean bill of health, and she will be transferred to another hospital.
“It’s a wake-up call that talks to our programmes of family planning, because the birth of this little one is as a result of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, resulting in the mother deciding to throw her baby into a stormwater drain.
“But again, if you’ve missed your opportunity for family planning and it was not successful, still do come into our hospitals. We’ll advise and put you in touch with social workers who can help with the adoption process if the pregnancy was unplanned.
“It doesn’t have to end this way. This little one was very fortunate to be alive and well. Some of the babies who get abandoned do not come out alive. So, this points out to the need to strengthen family planning in that community, and others as well,” he urged. (Deen Times)