National 'baby shower' helps needy mothers and babies

11 Dec 2013 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 11 DEC (NAMPA) - A story broadcast on national television in May this year about a baby born to a 17-year-old mother has led to the first-ever ‘national baby shower’ being held in Windhoek last Saturday.
After seeing the story of the baby born to a young woman from the Havana informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) TV channel, the director and co-founder of Oxygen Communications, Hilda Basson-Namundjebo sprung into action to arrange the event for less-fortunate expectant mothers across the country.
“The baby's mother had tuberculosis (TB), and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Katutura State Hospital shortly after giving birth,” Basson-Namundjebo told Nampa on Saturday.
The baby was then discharged from hospital and taken in by a distant relative as the mother was still in hospital and unable to take care of the newborn.
Basson-Namundjebo visited that family’s house soon afterwards, and realised under what difficult conditions the baby was being raised.
She said she was conflicted, thinking this was a woman who was not so well- off, and some second-hand clothing for the baby would thus suffice.
“However, I thought, why is it that when a person is poor, the children deserve second-hand clothing?” she lamented.
Basson-Namundjebo said this baby's story led to the ‘birth’ of the national baby shower, where members of the public were encouraged to bring presents for babies as they would for the baby shower of a friend or relative.
When this news agency left the venue on Saturday afternoon, tables which were set up for the event were packed with baby clothes, medicines, baby formula, bottles and other necessities.
All these items will be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) on Wednesday for further distribution to the regions.
The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s representative to Namibia, Dr Magda Robalo, also spoke at the baby shower in her private capacity, saying every society has people who have more than others.
“What we as a world need is to cultivate a spirit of solidarity,” she stated, thanking Basson-Namundjebo for her initiative to collect clothes and other necessities for babies from disadvantaged backgrounds.
She further noted that people do not have to be rich to help a baby.
“It should not only be this time of the year, people should reach out to others throughout the year.
We must not give because we are superior, we must give because we are one society, and need to be close to each other,” the WHO official told those gathered at the hotel where the event took place.