While baby hatches were created to give mothers an option to leave their babies behind in a safe place and to reduce the number of infant deaths, this could actually encourage more babies to be abandoned, according to Datuk Dr Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin.
The Perak state Women Development, Family and Social Welfare Committee chairman said that there is only one baby hatch in the state located at the KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital that was set up 10 years ago, Harian Metro.
She said that there might be a collaboration among the state government, non-governmental organisations and private hospitals to consider the need of setting up another baby hatch at a suitable location.
“It is not advisable to have too many baby hatches as we will be encouraging such a habit, which we don’t want to,” she said after she visited Tadika Kinderjoy to check on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, we may discuss with the related government agencies, NGOs and private hospitals to see if another baby hatch is required in the state.”
This comes after a 16-year-old mother threw her newborn baby boy from a top-floor window of a double-storey house onto the roof of a neighbour’s house in Bercham on 18 July. The baby was still alive when he was found and is currently being treated at the neonatal intensive care unit of the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital.
Dr Wan Norashikin said the baby is recuperating at the hospital while the young mother is still being treated at the hospital as well.
“The state Welfare Department will provide counselling sessions to the young mother, as we don’t only need to observe her health, but also her mental state of mind,” she said.
“She is still weak, underaged, and mentally not strong, so when the time is right we will provide counselling for her.”
Meanwhile, the case is being investigated by the police. Once the baby is ready to be discharged, he would be placed under the care of the department which has proper homes to look after such babies, said Dr Wan Norashikin.