TEN babies were last year abandoned by their mothers at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and were later handed over to the social welfare department. And a 33-year-old man of Garden Township has been abandoned by his relatives at UTH where he was being treated for injuries suffered in a road traffic accident in November last year. UTH public relations officer Natalie Mashikolo said in an interview yesterday that some babies were dumped at the country’s main referral health institution while others were taken to the facility by Good Samaritans. “The babies were picked from pit latrines, roadsides, unfinished buildings, maize fields and shops.
A two-year-old child was dumped at Intercity Bus Terminus,” she said. Ms Mashikolo said the children are being taken care of at different orphanages in Lusaka. And Christopher Chiswaswa, who has been abandoned by relatives, was a victim of a hit-and-run road traffic accident which happened as he was washing a vehicle at a car wash. He suffered a leg injury which has resulted in him having his leg amputated. Mr Chiswaswa, who was discharged from hospital yesterday, was taken by a wellwisher, who will be looking after him.
He said after being bashed by a vehicle, his got so confused that he can no longer remember where to find the aunt he was staying with before the accident. Another well-wisher has donated a wheel-chair to facilitate Mr Chiswaswa’s movement. “None of my relatives visited me during the time I was in hospital despite efforts to get them,” he said.
And Ms Mashikolo said Mr Chiswaswa was operated on and his lower right leg was amputated. Ms Mashikolo said the hospital has five other patients who have been abandoned by their relatives, some as far back as last year. All the abandoned patients are male. “When we contact their relatives, some even respond and promise to come but they never come,” Ms Mashikolo said. She wondered why some families abandon sick relatives. Ms Mashikolo said another abandoned patient, Titus Banda, of Kanyama, died yesterday around 10:00 hours.
“He was assaulted by unknown people and he has been here [UTH] since last week, he has just died [yesterday]. Since there is no trace of his relatives, he will be added to the list of unclaimed bodies,” she said. And an 11-year-old boy of Chipata is admitted to UTH after falling from a mango tree and sustaining a broken spine.
Ms Mashikolo said Moses Banda, a grade two pupil at Kambilate Primary School, has been in hospital since November last year. Moses is responding well to treatment and a well-wisher has donated a wheelchair to him. His father, Nathan Banda, thanked the hospital for securing a wheelchair for his son. Meanwhile, UTH senior medical superintendent Alex Makupe said in collaboration with Japanese specialists, the hospital will conduct free cardiac operations next week. Dr Makupe said this is part of the hospital’s initiative to enhance capacity building and skills transfer among local medical personnel. “We have a team of Japanese specialists which will be coming to conduct heart operations with our doctors,” he said