Death by Coke or a crushed skull: moms driven by poverty to kill ...

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Death by Coke or a crushed skull: moms driven by poverty to kill babies

Dumped in a river or bashed on the head at birth – there are many ways of dealing with unwanted babies in Kenya

Adrian Blomfield

On the streets of Nairobi, out of official earshot, nurses say there are different ways of killing unwanted babies. Some young mothers feed them Coca-Cola instead of breast milk to make their organs collapse. Ginger beer is said to work just as well. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of others, are left to die in pit-latrines, rivers and rubbish dumps.

Or there is always the option of getting someone else to do the deed. Immoral medics on the back streets of urban slums are often only too willing to end a late-term pregnancy by inducing a living infant and then finishing it off with a blow to the head.

Infanticide in Kenya may not be new, but a series of grim discoveries in recent months is laying bare the scale of a crisis caused by poverty, sky-high levels of unwanted pregnancies and Kenya’s muddled abortion laws...

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