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Czech baby hatches saved 161 children, 15 this year alone

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Prague, Dec 24 (CTK) – Baby hatches have helped save 161 babies in the Czech Republic since their introduction in 2005, including six girls and nine boys this year alone, according to the statistics of the Babybox for Abandoned Children (Statim) association, installing the hatches all over the country.

The latest baby from this hatch was a boy, who was called Michal, who was found in Decin, north Bohemia, on Tuesday.

There are a total of 72 baby hatches (babyboxes) in the Czech Republic now, the first of which was installed in the GynCentrum private clinic in Prague-Hloubetin in 2005. The first baby girl, Sona, was found there in February 2006.

The highest number of babies (22) were left in these hatches in 2011. A year later, 20 were found there.

Last year, medical workers saved 16 babies from hatches.

People most often leave babies in a hatch between 16:00 and 20:00 (43 babies). Other 34 were put there between 20:00 and midnight. The highest number of babies ended up in hatches in February and December, 20 and 19, respectively, and as far as the days are concerned, it was on Monday (31 babies), followed by Tuesday (29).

Babies have been found in some 40 out of the 72 hatches installed so far. They are situated near hospitals, town halls and emergency services and one is even near a senior home.

Baby hatches are air-conditioned, heated boxes with a constant temperature. As soon as a baby is placed there, an alarm is switched on automatically to inform the health care personnel that they must look after the baby.

The Health Ministry has registered baby hatches as health care means. They gained a special trademark in 2006.

The outdated hatches are being replaced with more modern equipment and new ones are being planned, too.

Last year, two new baby hatches were opened in the Czech Republic – in a hospital in Marianske Lazne, west Bohemia, and in a children’s home in Beroun, central Bohemia. Another two are planned to be put into operation at the beginning of next year.

While most Czechs consider baby hatches beneficial, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child has criticised them saying they go counter the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for example its articles on the children’s rights to their identity, nationality and knowledge of their parents.

Ludvik Hess, head of the Babybox for Abandoned Children association and the initiator of the Czech baby hatch project, defended the hatches. He said they helped save the children’s lives in harmony with the Convention’s main idea.

Number of abandoned babies, new baby hatches:

Year Number of Babies New Hatches
2005 – 2
2006 5 1
2007 5 3
2008 4 13
2009 14 11
2010 12 11
2011 22 6
2012 20 6
2013 18 6
2014 12 4
2015 18 5
2016 16 2
2017 15 2
Total 161 72
Source: Statistics of Babybox for Abandoned Children (Statim) association,

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