The last time a study checked, 454 babies under five years old were killed in South Africa within 365 days.
More than half of the children who died were neonates – newborns on their first 28 days. Whereas almost three-quarters were infants.
The study found that 19 babies in every 100,000 live births were murdered within the first 28 days of life. And estimated
Most of the neonates were killed in the early neonatal period as only eight out of 241 neonates were more than six days old when they died.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt young mothers are the most common perpetrators of child homicide with abandonment being the cause of 84.9% of neonaticide. Also, 56% of the male babies murdered happened in urban areas, compared to 44% of homicides of girls.
The study which was recently published in PLOS Medicine used data extracted from mortuary files, autopsy reports, and police interviews to identify homicides of children under five years old.
This was after it random sampled 38 mortuaries where postmortem examinations were performed on all unnatural deaths across South Africa.
As such, the report highlighted that the rates reported “are likely to be underestimates because it is often difficult to distinguish infanticide from other causes of death during infancy.”
Nevertheless, it upheld that the “findings suggest that a child born in South Africa is at the highest risk of being killed during its first six days of life.” And thus, insinuated that SA mothers, murder their babies simply because they do not want a child. And that “reproductive, mental health, and social services are failing to identify and help vulnerable mothers in South Africa.”
While the motive for abandonment of newborns is not substantiated, it was related that the rates of infanticide and neonaticide in South Africa is much higher than the rates previously reported for the US, UK, and New Zealand.
Hence, the researches that conducted the study suggested that “multi-sectoral prevention strategies are needed to reduce child homicides in South Africa.” South Africa have to understand when, where, and why these deaths occur in order to develop interventions to prevent child homicide, the researchers added.
This analogy is likely invalid, but if 454 babies under five years old were killed in South Africa in 2009; and 2009, assumed a year with lower crime index than recent years, what’s the present rate of child homicide in the country?
The figure, whatever it is, is probably higher than the 454 babies killed and is screaming – “barbarous evil”.