27 newborns abandoned in Mbarara city since October 2022

Since October 2022, at least 27 newborns have so far been abandoned in Mbarara city, according to authorities.

The latest four newborns were found abandoned at Ruharo health centre and Mbarara Regional Referral hospital by their suspected mothers during the festive week.

Mbarara city senior probation officer Henry Mushabe says his office registered one case on Christmas eve and three other cases during the same week of Christmas. Mushabe decried the growing trend of abandoning newborns in Mbarara city, saying his office has already recorded 27 cases – an average of 2-4 abandoned babies per week since October, blaming it on either unplanned and teenage pregnancies or the hard economic situations.

The babies are usually found dumped in dustbins, shop verandahs and compounds of health facilities. Mushabe wants local leaders to be watchful over pregnant young girls in villages who they suspect are always impregnated by young boys who can’t take care of them and the newborns.

Halson Kagure, Mbarara hospital public relations officer says they are currently stranded with a two-week-old baby and a body of a four-month-old in the hospital mortuary who died on Thursday afternoon. The two babies were found in the hospital compound on different days before and after Christmas. 

Halson Kagure says one of the babies was dumped in the hospital compound by a mother identified as Immaculate Ahimbisibwe according to the antenatal card found in the wrappings of the baby. According to the card, Ahimbisibwe is a resident of Kyampotani in Kakooba, Mbarara city. She attended her antenatal visits at Kakooba health centre.

The baby girl is currently getting medical attention at the neonatal intensive care unit. Kagure adds that the second baby who looked to be between four and six months old, unfortunately on Friday evening passed on as he received treatment at the pediatric ward.

He adds that the baby who was wrapped in dirty clothing was picked by the hospital cleaner while collecting garbage around the hospital premises had developed infections and had challenges with her respiratory system. The baby spent days wrapped in dirty clothes before breathing her last.

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