Anger, Bewilderment As Second Newborn Dumped In Toilet
The St Ann police are searching for a woman who allegedly dumped her newborn in an outdoor toilet in Esson Castle district, near Alexandria, St Ann, and disappeared.
The baby, a girl, is now at the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital.
Following the discovery of a newborn baby in a pit latrine in Cox Piece, St Mary, last week, the discovery on Wednesday night triggered rage among women in the community, who urged young women to avoid getting pregnant if they could not care for a child.
In the meantime, Betty Ann Blaine, founder of the child-rights lobby Hear the Children’s Cry, said the two incidents, happening over an eight-day period, is symptomatic of the crisis of family life in Jamaica and shines a light on deep psychological problems that must be addressed.
Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Small, commander of the St Ann police, told The Gleaner that lawmen were called about eight o’clock on Wednesday night to a home in Esson Castle, where they saw a young woman.
“They spoke to her, and as a result, they went to a pit toilet located in the yard where they saw traces of blood. When they looked in the toilet, they saw the child,” Small said.
The St Ann’s Bay Fire Department was contacted to help retrieve the baby.
“During the process of the police trying to retrieve the baby, she (the mother) left the scene, so they are in the process of trying to locate her,” Small disclosed.
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency has been contacted to intervene.
A resident of Esson Castle told The Gleaner that the mother reported that she went to use the toilet and the baby fell out. After the police told her to get cleaned up, she ran away, the resident said.
Meanwhile, a resident who requested that her name not be disclosed said that she was disturbed by the near-tragedy.
“Again? What a cruel act! And contraceptive free? It free! Tek it! If yuh know yuh can’t tek care of a baby, and yuh waa fi have sex, tek contraceptive. Jesus, help us!” she exclaimed.
Last week, in St Mary, a newborn baby, now dubbed Moses, was retrieved from a pit latrine and taken to the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, where he remains.
The mother is also in hospital but does not have possession of the baby.
Blaine has described the cases as “very sad,” while questioning the mothers’ motives.
“Why would a mother give birth and then dump her baby? Women don’t do that, generally speaking. After carrying her baby for a full term, it is unusual for a mother to dump her baby … . Clearly, it’s either that the mother has psychological problems or she is being overwhelmed by having a child that she can’t maintain.”
She added: “These things are symptomatic of the crisis in family life in Jamaica, the conditions under which people live, lack of family support and community support because these things are not natural.”
Blaine said that enough attention was not being paid to mental illness in Jamaica and that mothers in the two cases should be offered psychological support.