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Social Welfare rescues baby from depressed mother

BY: Arku Jasmine

Ms Apoh (left) admiring the little baby. Holding the baby is Janet Osei, and on the far right are Ms Jennifer Osei and Ms Shirley Ablakwa (2nd right), the good samaritansThe Department of Social Welfare has rescued an 18 month-old baby girl from her mother, who is believed to be depressed. The woman’s name was given only as Yawa and she is believed to be from the Volta Region but speaks fluent Twi and English.

It took five men, including police officers, to overpower Yawa, before she was sent to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital on Wednesday evening.

According to an eyewitness, Janet Osei, a fruit seller, last week, she realised that Yawa and her child were staying in the open at a spot at the Printex Junction on the Spintex Road in Accra.

She said although outwardly Yawa appeared to be sane, one could tell that she was not mentally balanced. She said when she enquired from Yawa why she was always at that spot, she replied that she lived at Tesano in Accra and that a taxi driver who was to send her and the child to Osu rather dumped them there.

According to Janet, Yawa said she was waiting for someone to pick them up.

Action by Ministry

The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection in charge of Social Welfare, Ms Rachael Florence Appoh, who also briefed the Daily Graphic, said two young ladies, Shirley Ablakwa and Jennifer Ofori, spotted the young woman at the Printex Junction on Wednesday morning and offered to help her but she declined.

The two reported her living condition to the deputy minister, who said she, together with the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Christian Babooroh, two police officers and an official from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) went to the scene, where they saw that Yawa and her child lived under insanitary conditions.

Violent reactionYawa being overpowered by the police

Their efforts to get her to move from the place was unsuccessful as she exhibited some signs of insanity. Police personnel assigned to move her had to call for re-inforcement from the Airport Police before they could get her into a vehicle.

Yawa, the deputy minister said, fought with the police officers and bit the hand, chest, and lower lip of one of them. The only person Yawa allowed to come close to her was Janet, the fruit seller, who has taken temporary custody of the child.

Ms Appoh said they had no other choice than to give the child to Janet because the Osu Children’s Home, where they had earlier taken the child to, declined to take her in because the authorities feared that Yawa, who accompanied them to the home, could return later and harm them.

Meanwhile, Ms Shirley Ablakwa, one of the good Samaritans, has offered to contribute to the daily upkeep of the child till her mother recovers.

By Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho/Daily Graphic/Ghana