Watch: Hope iThemba finds first newborn in baby safe

Bill Grundling from Hope iThemba Pregnancy Crisis Centre shares his excitement on the first baby found in the centre's baby safe.

The naked baby was found wrapped in a blanket.

“We are so proud of the mother for making use of our baby safe and for not dumping the baby somewhere where the baby would most certainly have died,” says Bill Grundling, Hope iThemba board member.

When a baby is put in the computerised safe, an alarm message alerts the centre staff members.

The baby was a little cold and taken to a nearby hospital where she was taken care of.

“The child is still in hospital, but is doing very well,” says Bill.

He was one of the staff members who reacted to the message immediately after it was received at 2.14pm.

“We react to each and every message alert as we are always hoping that a baby’s life might be saved,” he says.

Sometimes bricks and clothes are put in the safe, and staff members were rather surprised that this time it was indeed a baby.

The only way the baby can be retrieved is through a locked room on the inside of the building.

“If a baby is put inside the safe, the outside door locks as soon as it is closed and the baby is safe inside.

“As soon as the baby is put in, the weight of the child sets off an alarm message,” he says.

Although this was a first ‘real exercise’ for the staff of Hope iThemba, they do hope that there will be many more.

“This safe is to be used by women who are not able to care for their babies,” says Bill.

They encourage women not to go for abortions and to rather give their babies an opportunity to live and to be adopted.

The centre offers free pregnancy tests, unplanned pregnancy counselling and practical help.

Hope iThemba also offers counselling on post-abortion, miscarriage and childbirth.

“We are extremely proud of the mother of this child who showed courage to save her baby’s life,” says Bill.

Procedures were followed and after taking the child to a hospital, the staff of Hope iThemba went to the police station to report the incident.

Anna Robertson

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