Throwing our babies out with the bathwater

30 June 2020 | Opinion

Revelations yesterday that some mothers infected with Covid-19 are isolated with their minor children are shocking and disheartening.

While some health experts, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) assert that this is permissible as long as “respiratory hygiene” is adhered to, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that facilities should “consider temporarily” separating infected mothers from their babies.

An infected mother in Walvis Bay said last week that she was stuck with her baby in a backyard flat of her boyfriend's house, while waiting on authorities to move her to a government facility.

She had not received any guidelines, including those on respiratory hygiene, meaning the risk of infecting her baby were high.

What needs to happen is to create a system where children and babies are separated from their infected mothers. It is hard to imagine, even by a medical layman, how a child that shares the same bed with her infected mother over a period of time would not contract the virus.

It seems government has run out of resources required to take care of this situation. True, Covid-19 has worsened our already delicate financial position, but so has poor planning on how government's stimulus package was dished out.

Poor planning was best displayed by the fact that people in Walvis Bay did not receive an additional emergency income grant when their lockdown was extended.

All this while experts say that Covid-19 has not peaked yet in Namibia.