The Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu has rescued a newborn baby who was abandoned by a teenage mother after delivery at Anderson Primary Health Center, in the creeks of Calabar South, Cross River State. The incident took place early hours of 20th March, 2018 immediately after delivery by the mother.
According to the staff on duty during the incident, Mrs Elizabeth Offiong, a Chief Community Health Officer said on her arrival at the health center by 7.35am she met a young teenage girl at the door post of the facility lamenting over lower abdominal pains.
” I thought it was an infection because most teenage girls here have STIs and will usually reject condom. but when she was examined, I found out the young girl was pregnant and was passing through labour. Not quite long, she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy in our ward says Madam Elizabeth.
Madam Elizabeth said after giving birth the teenage girl refused to undergo series of tests as she outrightly rejected the food bought for her. She refused all our offers to treat her and rather insisted that she doesn’t want the child.
Mrs Elizabeth also stated that the teenage girl who gave her name as Mary Bassey residing at No.5 Edem Nsa Street threatened to dump the baby in the gutter if the Government does not take ownership of the child. All effort to persuade her to receive treatment was unsuccessful as she quitely ran away and abandoned her newborn baby.
She noted that all trace to locate the residential address given by the teenage mother became unfruitful as such address and name did not exist in Bayside, Calabar South LGA.
Reacting to the incident, while on a visit to calabar south creeks, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu said she thank God that the teenager managed to even come to the health center to deliver the child rather than delivering at home and dumping her in a bin or toilet that probably would have led to the death of the child.
She noted that, her Agency and the State Government led by His Excellency, Senator ( Prof) Ben Ayade believes that every child deserves to live, and every child should be wanted and be planned for or if you don’t want to have children then take up family planning.
She said in Calabar South, the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency is facing challenges because there are a lot of teenage girls that are pregnant and most of them are HIV positive and it calls for great concerns.
According to her, we stepped up health SENSITISATION in this communities and health workers have been going for house to house mobilization trying to convince them to take up family planning but the have rejected Family Planning. The culture needs to change, our chiefs need to help us, churches and prayer houses need to join in this advocacy for family planning, this young girls between 11 and 17 need to protect themselves and abstain from sex where possible so they don’t have children which are not planned for or unwanted in the society with lack of motherly care.
Finally, she said the baby which has already been named Anderson (after the facility) will be known as “ANDERSON AYADE” because State Government will take over the support for the child till proper adoption is done.
Following an thorough examination Dr Betta Edu asserted that the 2 days old baby boy is healthy and has been feeding very well. She said the child will be undergoing another round of diagnosing in coming days. And instructed the health workers to commence Anti Retroviral Drugs to prevent transmission of any disease from mother to child since mothers status was not ascertained.
The DG, Dr Betta Edu and PHC Coordinator Cal.South later took the child to Department of Child Protection, Cross River State police Command Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar for documentation of the incident and also informed Ministry of Social welfare.