Baby found dead in Mansoura garbage, investigators search for mother

A naked one-day-old infant was found dead among street garbage in Mansoura, Daqahlia governorate, on Friday, having apparently been abandonned.
The baby girl was found by two dustmen and was transferred to hospital by ambulance, but she was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to an official with Mansoura's health department, the baby was just one day old and had traces of animal bites on her body. He added she died shortly before being found by the dustmen, who are helping with investigations.
Prosecutors have ordered records of women who recently delivered babies at surrounding hospitals and medical centers.

A number of factors have been identified as leading to babies being abandoned in Egypt, including unwanted preganancies, difficulty in obtaining abortions (which are illegal) and poverty.

A report compiled by doctors in 2000 titled "Egypt Demographic and Health Survey" showed that 19 percent of Egyptian women said they had had an unwanted pregnancy. The shame of a child conceived outside of marriage is often enough to force women to abort a pregnancy, with 11 percent of women admitting to abortions.

Meanwhile, many poverty-stricken familes struggle to raise their children on small incomes.

Earlier this month, a one-year-old child was found under a bed in Mahalla General Hospital, Gharbiya governorate, with a note written by her poverty-stricken father, asking somebody to take care of her.
In his letter, the father explained that he could not look after the child due to serious economic circumstances, including several cases of debt.
The child was born with a hole in the heart and required substantial surgery, said the note, while the mother had died from cancer.
The father said he would not be able to raise the child without remarrying, but he could not afford to do so due to his financial difficulties and legal cases involving unpaid debts.

"What would you do if you were in my shoes? She will die if I keep her," he wrote.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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