KOTA KINABALU July 22, 2012: Sabah plans to provide a service known as a ‘baby hatch’ in an effort to reduce baby-dumping incidents in the state.
Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital Head of Obstetric and Gynaecology Department, Dr Soon Ruey said the service would initially be available at the Women and Children’s Hospital as well as Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 before expanding the service to other districts in the state.
“Although the occurrence of baby-dumping incidents in Sabah is not high, we feel this service is important if we can save at least one or two lives.
“We don’t expect to receive a baby immediately after the service is made available. But it will be there in case a mother doesn’t want to keep her baby rather than abandoning it somewhere else,” he told reporters after the launch of a women’s awareness campaign organised by Sabah Wanita MCA, here yesterday.
The campaign was launched by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin.
According to Soon Ruey, the service is planned to be available at the end of this year and parents who wish to leave their baby at the baby hatch can do so anonymously by placing the baby in a small slot containing an incubator and pressing a button which would immediately alert hospital staff.
He said the hospital would care for the baby’s health and refer it to the Welfare Department for adoption.
Meanwhile, Rosnah announced that the Health Ministry has chosen Sabah to host a health awareness campaign in conjunction with the ‘Janji Ditepati’ programme.
She said the week-long campaign is scheduled to be held in September to provide awareness on healthy lifestyle practices.
The venue of the campaign is yet to be determined by the state government, she said.