Muhanga: Newborn baby rescued from pit latrine

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Fire and Rescue Brigade has rescued a newborn baby from a pit latrine in Muhanga District.

The five-day old baby girl was rescued Thursday at about 11am, about six hours after it was dumped in the pit latrine by the biological mother.

How it happened

On January 6, the mother (name withheld) checked in at Kabgayi Hospital maternity department to give birth. Later that morning, a baby girl was delivered by c-section.

Unfortunately, the baby was born with health complications, and was admitted to the hospital.

On the fateful morning of January 10, at about 6am, the mother was called by the medics to breastfeed in a separate room where the baby was receiving treatment.

According to investigations, when the medics left the room, the mother took the baby out and dumped her in a nearby pit latrine.

“After throwing the baby in the pit she came back crying and told her mother that the baby had been stolen from the medical room,” Chief Inspector of Police Bonaventure Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for Southern region, said.

“The suspect’s mother called doctors, who in turn called the Police. However, other women who were at the hospital continued pressing and accusing her of killing her own child,” he added.

“People at the hospital and neighbouring communities started searching for the baby around the hospital and that’s when someone heard the baby crying in a nearby pit, the fire and rescue brigade was called in, they worked with the residents and the baby was retrieved alive at about 11am,” the spokesperson said.

The baby is still getting medical attention at the same hospital.

The mother, according to Karekezi, was effectively taken into custody.

It is said that the mother undressed the baby and hang the clothes on the barbed wire fence to make it look like she was taken out of the hospital perimetres.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Jean Baptiste Seminega, the Commanding Officer of Fire and Rescue Brigade, the rescue mission took about 15 minutes.

“This is a despicable and heartless act; what kind of mother does that,” ACP Seminega wondered.

He, however, thanked the residents for helping save the toddler’s life.