Malawi Police in Lilongwe are keeping in custody a 20 year old woman for concealing birth, which eventually led to the death of her new born baby.
The suspect has only been identified as Linly Gabriel who gave birth to a baby girl in the early hours of January 3, 2017.
When she was pregnant she used to live with a friend at Nankhaka Riverside Park Lodge room 3 which is located at Senti area in Lilongwe.
When birth was due, the suspect gave birth to the child in the same room without professional medical assistance. However after delivery, the suspect immediately started feeling some stomach pains.
“This prompted her friend to escort the suspect to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) to seek medical attention. Unfortunately, the suspect hid the newborn child under a bed and left her there as they proceeded to the hospital,” said Kingsley Dandaula, Lilongwe police station spokesperson.
Upon arrival, the nurse on duty Hlalapi Kunkeyani, who is a specialized midwife, was baffled with the suspect’s complications. After consultation, the suspect provided contradictory statements but later confessed that she had just given birth and had hid the child in her room under the bed.
“The nurse reported the matter to area 33 police unit which is located around the hospitals premises. Police officers subsequently went to the said room where they found the newborn; dead,” said Dandaula.
As we went to press, the remains of the child had been taken to KCH for postmortem. The suspect is currently receiving medical attention and after recovery is expected to be charged with concealing birth which is contrary to section 232 of Malawi’s Penal Code.
Dandaula has since warned the general public that concealing birth is a crime under the laws of Malawi.
“Every citizen should know that concealing birth of a child is punishable under the penal code of Malawi. We urge women to seek medical attention prior or after giving birth as this could save lives of both the woman and that of the child,” he said.