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Say no to baby dumping

Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of NaMedia is concerned about the future of woman and children in Namibia. She sees a sharply rising trend as reflected by her companies monitoring of media reports on baby dumping.

Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of NaMedia is concerned about the future of woman and children in Namibia. She sees a sharply rising trend as reflected by her companies monitoring of media reports on baby dumping.

There are a number of cases reported every year where newborn babies are dumped in rubbish bins, river beds or even thrown into an open pit. The Namibian media reports frequently on baby dumping, violence against children and infanticide but with only a few reports on support initiatives to these woman and children who are exposed consistently. Therefore the tools for impacting public awareness remain mostly underutilized, said Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of NaMedia and Young Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2013. “Platforms need to be created where these issues can be addressed and women need to step up for those that feel they have no voice. During the Second Rural Parliament, First lady Penehupifo Pohamba urged parents and women to be more supportive towards young girls to prevent the rise of baby dumping in Namibian society.” 

Beyleveld added that researchers agree that Namibian figures can not be confirmed as cases on these topics do not always reach the media and others are not reported to the police. Therefore this challenges the means of measuring baby dumping’s true extent and impact in Namibia, but NaMedia analysed all Namibian data coded for the past five years to contextualise some worrying issues as part of the general agenda. Namibian print media reporting most on teenage pregnancy, baby dumping, infanticide, abortion and child abuse during the past five years have been daily newspapers, The Republikein, New Era and The Namibian, said Beyleveld. Teenage pregnancy received most coverage with gradual increase in reports since 2009 and peaked in 2011 and a gradual decline since. “What we need to focus on is that these are real social issues in Namibia. I urge all organisations, social workers, or women dealing with these problems to put your trust in existing support organisations or to contact the Ministry or NaMedia to help you do so”, said a concerned Beyleveld.

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