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Infanticide, homicide of an infant, is among the leading causes of infant death, with infants at particularly high risk during the first year of life. Many of these deaths can be attributed to an incident of extreme abuse. Maternal risk factors for infanticide include young age, low educational attainment, history of exposure to domestic violence, and late initiation of prenatal care. Women who commit neonaticide, or who kill an infant in the first 24 hours of life, may have concealed their pregnancy or exhibited denial of the pregnancy. Risk factors of infants that place them at higher risk of infanticide include low gestational age, low birthweight, low Apgar score, and male sex among others.
Infanticide laws often reduce the penalty for mothers who kill their children up to one year of age, based on the principle that a woman who commits infanticide does so because “the balance of her mind is disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth to the child”
A 21-year-old woman in the Jasikan municipality in the Volta Region of Ghana was found dumping her day-old baby in a pit toilet.
She was arrested alongside an elderly woman, believed to be her mother, who is said to have helped the mother of the baby to commit the act.
Residents told the DFS team, the incident which took place on Friday 27th May, 2022 was through their vigilance that they noticed the disappearance of the day-old baby and launched a search party after confronting the – mother of the baby and the elderly woman who helped in committing the act.
The two then led them to the pit where the baby was found dead.
The body of the baby has since been deposited at the Jasikan Hospital morgue as the women are currently in police custody.
An Eye witnessed told DFS News “I woke up early morning to dispose of my refuse so to prepare my children for school, on my way, I saw people gathered around a pit. I asked what was going on, someone then related to me that it was an abandoned baby. I then walked up to them, only to see a fine baby well dressed with curly hair. One-man summoned courage to check on the baby, he discovered its no longer breathing. He did everything possible, but his efforts and that of others were unfruitful.
According to her, this evil act could be as a result of the current economic hardship because to have a square meal a day is not easy let alone feeding a baby alongside. They lamented and call on Government to put measures in place to boost the economy for their sustainability.
Reporting for DFS News; Tagbor Bright Mensah