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Grisly murder at QMMH

…teenage mother kills new-born son by slitting throat with razor blade 

Pascalinah Kabi

PATIENTS and employees at the Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) got the shock of their lives when a teenage mother sliced her newborn baby’s throat with a razor blade and killed her in the process.

QMMH Public Relations Officer, Mothepane Thahane, confirmed the harrowing incident in a recent interview with the Sunday Express. Ms Thahane said the 19 year-old mother cut the throat of her newborn baby at the maternity ward on Thursday.

“The 19-year-old gave birth on 20 July and was still being nursed to good health when she used a razor blade to kill her own baby. We don’t know what made her do that and everyone is shocked and scared for their lives,” Ms Thahane said adding the woman was initially arrested after the hospital management reported the incident to the Thamae Police Station.

Ms Thahane said the suspect was however, hospitalised after police realised that a wound that she suffered during labour had become septic and needed urgent medical attention.

“We are attending to her wound and keeping her under close watch but we are negotiating with the police to see how best she can be nursed back to good health without compromising the safety of other patients, employees and visitors. She is a danger to herself and everyone else.”

Ms Thahane said the police had advised them against chaining the suspect to her hospital bed.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed that they arrested a 19-year-old woman from Ha Mohlaeto, Teyateyaneng after she killed her baby boy on Thursday. The child was only six days old.

“At the moment (Friday) I don’t know where the young mother is but I can confirm that she was arrested on Thursday after we received a report that she killed her six day-old baby boy by cutting open by his throat with a razor blade. We don’t know where she got the razor blade,” Supt Mopeli said.

While it is not clear what could have driven the young mother to kill her child, new mothers have been known to experience a condition known as the baby blues.

According to the https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/baby-blues website, baby blues can start anytime from three to 10 days after the birth of your baby and usually last for three days.

“Many women get the baby blues. You may feel teary, anxious and irritable and your mood can go up and down. Feeling teary can be worse if your labour was difficult, you are very tired or you have other worries, such as problems breastfeeding.

“Usually the baby blues will pass and the most effective treatment is support from your partner, family and friends,” the website further states.

The website further states that new mothers can also develop a more serious condition known as postnatal psychosis.

“Postnatal psychosis (also called postpartum or puerperal psychosis)…can develop in the first week, or up to 12 weeks, after childbirth.

“It involves having difficulties thinking clearly, extreme mood swings, seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations), feeling everyone is against you (paranoia) and powerful delusions. This is a medical emergency and a doctor should be contacted immediately.”

Lesotho is one of the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region with high rates of teenage pregnancies. The Ministry of Health’s Sexual and Reproductive Manager Motsoanku ‘Mefane has said that 15 percent of young women aged from 15 to 19 are already mothers while four percent were pregnant with their first child.

Ms ‘Mefane said women in the 15 to 19 age group have also reported experiencing problems in accessing health care for themselves.

“Four percent of women reported that getting permission to go for treatment was a problem; 9 percent reported not wanting to go alone; 26 percent reported walking a long distance to health facility a problem; 27 percent getting money for treatment a problem and 42 percent reported at least one problem accessing health care,” Ms ‘Mefane said in a report titled ‘Equality in Relation to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’.

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