The Lagos State Police Command says it has rescued a day-old female baby that was found in a sewage tank.
Disclosing the information via its Twitter handle @LagosPoliceNG, the Police said the abandoned baby was found at about 8:30am today.
“Officers of Gowon Estate Division, upon being alerted, promptly arrived at the scene. The baby was taken for immediate medical attention at a health center and is doing well,” the tweet stated.
Risks of infections
Meanwhile, an expert in children’s health has said the rescused baby may be at higher risk of infections due to aspiration of sewage matter into her airways.
While emphasising the need to ensure that the baby, a female, gets proper medical attention, the paediatrician said she might end up having breathing difficulties or be asphyxiated (die from air deprivation).
Consultant Paediatrician at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Professor John Okeniyi, said the baby should be promptly resuscitated to prevent some serious health complications.
He noted that the baby might die or suffer long-term impacts if proper measures are not taken to tackle whatever health conditions she might have been exposed to inside the sewage tank.
Prof. Okeniyi also advised that routine immunization should commence immediately with Vitamin K supplementation, and feeding with infant formula.
“Immediate health issues may include: hypothermia i.e being cold, bleeding from the umbilical cord with possible hypovolaemic or haemorrhagic shock and anaemia. The blood glucose or sugar level may be low (hypoglycaemia),” he added.
the baby might die or suffer long-term impacts if proper measures are not taken to tackle whatever health conditions she might have been exposed to inside the sewage tank
Possible reasons for abandonment
The health expert, however, said the baby might have been abandoned because of birth deformity or the financial incapability of the parent.
He said, “Subsequent issues may be revealed over time. Some of such babies may have been abandoned because of birth defects or deformities. Some might not have been desired initially and were dumped in an attempt to kill them, often by teenagers, young or school students, or could be a conception following rape. I have seen a baby dumped because of maternal HIV, among others.
“Another major reason for babies being dumped in pit latrines, wells and bushes, is to have the baby killed because of real or perceived economic challenges. So, the prevailing and biting inflation may indeed be contributing to the recent scourge.
“Often, those who after a few days of life, dump their babies well wrapped up in front of mosques, churches, palaces and hospitals, don’t intend to kill them but may be faced with an overwhelming social circumstance as was the case of Moses in the Bible. They are dumped in the hope of improving their survival. This happens in IDP camps too.
“Persons who have unintended pregnancies should know it’s not the end of the world. They can discuss their predicaments with counsellors and faith-based organisations for support or adoption, rather than attempting to kill their babies. There are multitudes of women and men desirous of such babies, and who will gladly help to take up their burden.
“I have always believed that pregnancy and neonatal services are social investments and should be largely funded by governments at all levels. If such can be done, the pressure to dump babies or even carry out abortions may lessen.”