The introduction of a baby hatch by KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital has helped reduce incidences of baby dumping in the city. The hatch, introduced in December 2010, has received six babies so far. Their parents could not be traced as they were left in the hatch without any identification. Two have been sent to the state welfare department while the remaining four are still undergoing treatment at the hospital due to health complications.
Deputy Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Senator Dato’ Heng Seai Kie visited the hospital recently to see the hatch for herself. Speaking to reporters after a tour of the facility, she thanked KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital for undertaking the responsibility as part of its corporate social responsibility. There are only two places in the whole country that offer such service. The other is Pertubuhan dan Pengurusan Anak-anak Yatim Kuala Lumpur (OrphanCARE).” The KL care centre, which was opened in April 2009, has saved 59 babies since its inception.
“It’s our fervent hope that government hospitals would follow suit and provide such a service. Baby dumping is a growing menace and unless remedial steps are taken, the future may not be too rosy,” she lamented. Her ministry is currently in discussion with the Health Ministry for a possible solution. A workshop to deliberate over the matter will be held in October.
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry maintains 55 welfare centres throughout the country. These centres provide shelter for abandoned children. There are 56 Nur Sejahtera clinics around the country which provide similar services. Unwed mothers and those with kids out of wedlock can seek counsel from these clinics. The Nur Sejathera hotline number is 15999.
Dato’ Heng was accompanied by the Perak Welfare Department Director, Dato’ Chong Phaik Kee and Dato’ Dr Cheah Abdullah, Director of KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital.