WINDHOEK -APRIL 28 – The joy of rescuing four under aged children from the little room where they were locked up by their mother was short lived after the youngest baby died shortly after being admitted to Katutura hospital.
What seemed to be normal on programme on Kosmos (radio )with the City Police ( CP) changed dramatically after members of the Havana informal settlement called the CP’s control room reporting about four children being locked up in a shack while their mother allegedly went to a nearby drinking house.
The children, two boys and two girls, aged between five years and three months were all found under inhumane conditions lying on the floor with hardly no protection against the elements, while no food could be found inside the dwelling.
Upon arrival at the house the City Police had to beak down the door to gain entry where they found four children covered with only a few blankets on the cement floor. One of the children was naked while the siblings were half dressed.
The children were immediately attended to by a doctor and paramedic from OSH- MED that accompanied the COPPS and City Police team. Once the doctor evaluated the children’s medical condition, she decided to take the children to the hospital without any delay as the children seemed to be heavily sedated as they did not respond to the noises or activities in and around their one-room house In the Havana informal settlement.
Upon arrival at the emergency unit, the children were immediately taken in for observation and medical treatment.
Asking OSH-MED paramedic Fabian Martens who were with the COPPS team, an official said that if a member of the community suspects there is a chance of any child abuse, then they should speak out and inform the police or ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
City Police’s constable Felisiana Tyiwana who was with this reporter at the scene called on all members of the public to speak up and come forth if they suspect child negligence in their areas.
“It is just very sad that child neglecting is on the increase and this children are very vulnerable and cannot stand up for themselves,” she said.
Tyiwana called on teachers and nurses that normally work with children to report any suspicious or possible child abuse so the City Police can intervene and assist.
For this reason, she added, the City Police created a toll free number 061 302 302 to report such cases. She added if a person wants to stay anonymous, they can send an sms with all the relevant information to 4444 on which the information will be given to the relevant authorities.
The joint efforts from members of the Havana Informal Settlement, City Police, OSH-MED, the Ministry of Health and Social Service together with the Gender Equality and Child Welfare and the local radio station Kosmos cannot go unnoticed as they all worked together to rescue the children.
A post mortem will be carried out to to determine the cause of death.
At the time of publishing the mother was not yet charged, but will be during the course of the week. She remains in custody.