Newborn baby saved from medical waste bin

A newborn survived being dumped in a medical waste bin at Durban's King Edward VIII hospital
A newborn survived being dumped in a medical waste bin at Durban's King Edward VIII hospital
Image: Supplied

Three days after a baby girl was rescued from a stormwater drain pipe in Durban, another newborn was found dumped in a hazardous medical waste bin at a state hospital.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal health department the six-day-old infant, was stuffed into a pillow case and thrown into a "potentially hazardous medical waste bin" at King Edward VIII Hospital on Thursday.

A 20-year-old woman, understood to be the child’s mother, has been arrested.

According a health department statement the baby, which was born premature at eight months, was being kept in an incubator.

"It is alleged that on the night of Thursday, February 14 2019, the baby’s 20 year-old mother, from KwaMashu, had been breast-feeding him in the nursery.

"While the nurse had gone into the neighbouring ward, the mother allegedly wrapped him up in linen saver, put him inside the pillow, tied it up, and threw him into bin.

"She allegedly placed pieces of paper on top to conceal the pillow and closed the bin."

The mother, when questioned by a nurse, pleaded ignorance.

An intense search ensued throughout the hospital and the baby was eventually located, barely alive in the medical waste bin, which usually contains anything from used needles to blood or human tissue.

The Sunday Times reported this week that some children’s rights activists believe baby safes and boxes are the key to keeping babies alive.

Baby safes are steel boxes, mainly installed at children’s homes, which mothers can anonymously place their newborns into.

In a bid to save abandoned newborns, Door of Hope, a Johannesburg home that cares for abandoned babies, installed "the very first modern baby safe in 1999".

"Just over the weekend two more babies were abandoned. It is becoming a huge problem in SA.

"Namibia had 25 babies that were abandoned last year and they have changed their safe haven laws. SA has over 10,000 babies abandoned every year and we have no safe haven laws," said Nadene Grabham, Door of Hope’s operations director.

Help is available for desperate mothers at the following places:


  • Door of Hope Children’s Mission, 48 Hillbrow Street, Berea, and 17 Doris Ave, Berea, 072-273-8182;
  • New Beginningz Sunnyside, Pretoria, 50 Vos Street and Cnr Mears and Jorrisen, 558 Bengal Street,Laudium, 082-522-7868;
  • Impact Africa Diepsloot, 835 Ravele Street, Ext 2, 082-593-0417;
  • Impact Africa Cosmo City, corner Arizona and Florida Road, and Impact Kids Centre, 082 593 0417;
  • Jessica’s Wall of Life, 1911 Vanderbyl Park, 082-347-2461;
  • Wall of Hope, 21 Alexander Street, Vereeniging;
  • Door of Care and Safety, 39 Pollack street;
  • Care Bear Baby Safe, 20 Joubert Street Elsburg, Germiston, 079-718-6206;
  • Liv El Roi Baby Home, Plot 87&90, Pelindaba Rd, Lanseria.


  • Open Arms, corner Bluff and Lighthouse Road, Durban, 084-488-1359 or 062-013-7955;
  • Fairhaven Baby House, 127 Adelaide Tambo Drive, Durban North;
  • St Paul Anglican church/ Choices Life Centre, corner Langalalabele and George Street, Pietermaritzburg;
  • Choices of Life, Amanzimtoti, 10 Nelson Road, 031-903-7359.

Western Cape:

  • Helderberg Baby Saver, Somerset West, Choice Building Schapenberg Road, 082-494-0983;
  • Hope 4 Babies Sun Valley, Southern Peninsula, corner of Bouler Lowe Drive and Ou Kaapse Weg,  King of Kings Baptist Centre, 072-116-5403;
  • Open Arms of Hope, Mbekweni, 10 Phokeng Street, 082-8624-457.

Eastern Cape:

  • Healthy moms and babies clinic, Jeffrey’s Bay, 27 St Francis Bay Street, 042-293-1952.


  • Frances Baby Safe, 57 Bhimy Damane Street, Middelburg, 082-375-4997.

Free State:

  • Angel Wings, 42 Matroosberg St, Vaalpark, Sasolburg, 083-314-6436;
  • Emunah Foundation, 81 Schilback Street, Parys, 083-696-7410.

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