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RESCUED• Abandoned babies in the street

Posted by By HAMMED BODUNRIN, OSOGBO on 2006/03/01 | Views: 629 |

RESCUED• Abandoned babies in the street


It seems that one of the tasks the Osun State government has set for itself is to rescue any abandoned thing. As the government is salvaging abandoned projects, it’s also making lives of abandoned babies better.So far this year, no fewer than 21 abandoned babies are in government care.

It seems that one of the tasks the Osun State government has set for itself is to rescue any abandoned thing. As the government is salvaging abandoned projects, it’s also making lives of abandoned babies better.So far this year, no fewer than 21 abandoned babies are in government care.

Daily Sun investigation revealed that the babies were abandoned at different locations in the state and are of various sexes and ages. Some had health problems, while others were thrown away by their parents, perhaps, who didn't want them.

Unfortunately, the state, which is more than 14 years old, has no childcare centre. Therefore, abandoned babies are not taken to public hospitals "because there is nobody to stay with them", volunteered a source from the hospital.

In the state, motherless homes are owned by private people. The most prominent ones are, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, owned by the Catholic Church. Also, the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, Osun State branch, runs a motherless home where some of these children are kept.

Daily Sun investigation revealed, however,that those that could no longer be housed in private hospital, owing to their age, are moved to remand homes, which ordinarily should serve as a disciplinary abode for naughty kids. At the remand homes, such children are sent to school up to any level they could go or, sent to learn a trade. It was gathered that two of such children just graduated after vocational training, while the government has bought equipment for them.

Adoption process
It is always a long process before a child can be adopted. Daily Sun gathered that those interested in adopting kids apply and subsequently taken to a juvenile court where order would be given for "Temporary adoption" that would last three months. This, according to Daily Sun findings, is to allow the kid involved to acclimatize in her new home.

Within the period, the child and its new foster parents would know whether they are compatible and can live together. After this, they go back to the court to take another order of "Interim adoption" which last two years. The order on adoption comes after two years. Failure in any of the stages would result in sending the child back to the government.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Women Affairs which oversees the social welfare department that takes care of abandoned and rescued babies, Mrs. Olubukola Opakunle, said that "despite the fact that we take these children to private hospitals, government pay for their food, drugs and treatment". She said that having a child care unit will ease the problem, even on the part of government "and we are working towards that now".

Opakunle was full of appreciation to "designated" hospitals which have taken such responsibilities to take care of either abandoned and "rescued" babies. They include, Our Lady of Fatimoh, otherwise know as Jaleyemi Hospital, Osogbo, Enuogbope Hospital, Wesley Guild, Ilesa, which is an arm of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife. Odufunke Memorial Hospital, Ijeda, OAUTH, Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, among others.

She advised parents not to think their children are not useful simply because of one ailment or the other, which she noted made many of such parents abandoned their kids. She equally preached against social vices that lead to unwanted pregnancies.

Hope
According to her, government is looking into the issue of a child-care centre. "Like I said, government has been taking care of these people even outside government hospitals. So, it makes things easier when government owns a unit of it.

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