By Elijah Ugani: Health Correspondent
The Cross River State Government has announced plans to take care of an abandoned child, Anderson Ayade after the mother deserted him at a Primary Health Care facility in Calabar, the Cross River Capital.
The Director General of the State’s Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu disclosed this on Tuesday when she visited the facility located at Anderson street where the Community Health Officer in charge, Mrs. Elizabeth Offiong said that upon her arrival at about 7:30 AM, she saw a young girl coming behind her unnoticed who complained of lower abdominal pains and thought it was infection, but was shocked at what happened next.
“As I entered the facility, I saw a teenage girl coming behind me and complained of lower abdominal pains.
“I thought it was infection because most teenage girls around here have STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and will usually reject the use of condom.
“But, when I examined her, I found out that she was pregnant and I took her to the labor ward, she used belt to suppress the pregnancy.
“I put on hand gloves and before I noticed, the baby’s head was already showing and I asked her to push and suddenly the baby came out safely, when I asked to lay on the bed, she refused and I asked her to carry her baby, she as well refused.
“She told me that if I don’t want the child I should give the child to the government and that if I force her to carry the child, she will throw the child in the gutter. (She said) that last year she put to birth and gave the baby to the government and that this one too should be given to the government. We then went to the market and bought some clothes for the baby,” said Mrs. Offiong.
According to her, the teenage mother had given her name as Mary Bassey, resident at 5, Edem Nsa street and despite persuasions to stay back for tests, diagnosis as well as other treatments if necessary, she sneaked out of the facility.
And, the information given by Ms. Bassey was false as they claimed such a street did not exist in Calabar South.
The child was then named after the facility; ‘Anderson’.
And, Dr. Edu said that the unknown mother was wise enough to birth at a recognized facility instead of delivering at home and dumping the kid in a bin or gutter.
She rechristened the child “Anderson Ayade” after the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade.
Naming the child, she averred that: “For this baby who have been named by all the staff here after the facility Anderson, I want to add my own, Ayade.
“This child is now known as Anderson Ayade. We hope that government takes over from here and support this child to have a meaningful live, we crave for the very best for this child, probably some day, the child might become a governor, I know Governors of other States who are adopted children.”
Continuing, she said: “Ayade believes that every child is wanted and that everyone should plan for a child and if you don’t want to have children and you don’t plan to have children, then you should be able to take up family planning which will prevent you from having those children.”
Also, she lamented the increasing rate of pregnant teenagers in Calabar South, most of whom are HIV positive and called for concerted efforts to tackle the situation even as the agency has begun implementation of some measures.
“In Calabar South, we have a really big problem in our hands because there are a lots of teenage girls that are pregnant and most of of them are HIV positive and it calls for concern.
“The staff have been going into the field for community service, house to house engagement with community and the girls outrightly refused any form of family planning, that behavior and culture needs to change.
“They need to take up family planning, they need to protect themselves, they need to abstain so that we don’t have children that are not planned, which will not have motherly care.
“We have children who are just lazying (sic) about, who may become a burden to the society,” she said.
The child was then taken to the Department of Child Protection Services in the Nigeria Police command in the state while the ministry of social welfare has since been alerted.
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