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Woman loses seven-day-old baby to stranger at waiting bay; she left him for a second to pick luggage

After enduring the struggles of nurturing a child in her womb for nine months and later braving labour pains while giving birth, a woman is in pain once again after losing her newly-born baby to a stranger.

The woman, whose identity has been concealed, reportedly visited Frelimo District Hospital in Iringa Region, Tanzania, on Thursday afternoon to begin her post antenatal clinic.

The hospital’s chief physician, Pilia Zambi, says the mother was at the waiting bay with other patients when she was called by one of the nurses to pick some items.

“She was sitting on a bench with other patients. One woman asked the mother to take her luggage from the maternity ward, so she left her child to pick the luggage,” Zambi said.

When she returned from the ward, she did not find her seven-day-old baby, or the woman she had left him with. Panic-stricken, she began enquiring from other patients about the whereabouts of the woman.

Baby was nowhere to be seen

One of the patients at the bench said that she saw the woman in question heading towards the washrooms carrying the baby. It is said that the washrooms area had porous routes from where one would escape.

Dr Zambi said that upon searching for the woman and the baby unsuccessfully, they reported the matter to a nearby police station.

Puzzled, she admitted that the incident was a first, although acknowledging that she had heard claims of patients “being conned due to the hospital lacking a fence.”

“It is possible that the person who stole the baby is not the first time she has tried to do so, but today she has succeeded. I urge people not to trust anyone,” Dr Zambi said.

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