In South Africa, the Limpopo health department says it is saddened and outraged by an incident in which a woman is alleged to have secretly given birth to a baby girl inside a public toilet at a mall before gruesomely killing her on Monday.

Department of health spokesperson Neil Shikwambana says it is alleged that the woman, who hid her pregnancy from her family, delivered the baby herself in the toilet at a mall in Malamulele and thereafter killed the newborn.

“A general worker at the mall called for help upon witnessing part of the incident and Emergency Medical Services tried to take the newborn to hospital, but unfortunately the baby demised before she could reach the hospital,” said Shikwambana.

MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba says her department will deploy mental health care practitioners to work with the SAPS in addressing this challenge.

“This is truly heart-wrenching. Equally the gruesome manner in which the newborn was allegedly killed is outrageous and as a department, we cannot rule out mental issues,” she said.

Ramathuba added, “I mean for a woman to hide her pregnancy until she delivers on a full term and thereafter kill the child cannot be normal behavior. Hence we will, through our mental health practitioners, support the SAPS in dealing with the matter. ”

The MEC further called on all men to be available to support their pregnant partners throughout the pregnancy period since this can go a long way in reducing the aggravation of some mental conditions.

“Also, the public is once again reminded of the options available should a woman fall pregnant but not want to keep the child. They can at the early stages of the pregnancy terminate the pregnancy or give away their children for adoption by those who want them instead of throwing them away or killing them,” said Ramathuba.

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