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September 13, 2010

Baby born on plane dumped in trash

HEALTH - Earlier today a security officer on Manila's airport tarmac in the Philippines noticed something moving in a bag of trash when it was unloaded from a plane and when he unwrapped it found a baby boy wrapped in tissue paper and covered in blood. A young woman had apparently given birth to the child in the plane's washroom and dumped it in the garbage.

The baby was turning blue already and would have died soon had the security officer not noticed the garbage bag moving. The garbage was from a commercial Gulf Air plane from Bahrain which had arrived Sunday night.

The 3 kg (6.6 lb) baby boy was taken to the airport clinic where doctors and nurses washed him, gave him a checkup and warmed him under a lightbulb. Staff donated money to buy him clothing and mittens to keep him warm and milk. His vitals are okay and staff have named him George Francis (due to Gulf Air's code name GF).

The baby has been turned over to social welfare and authorities are now tracking down the mother. Blood stains on a seat near the washroom were found and they are checking the airplanes manifest to determine who had been sitting there.

The mystery baby is believe to belong to a Filipino migrant female worker who had been working in the Middle East as a maid. In Dubai, Gulf Air has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

Doctors who tended the baby said he looked Filipino / Arabic. Approx. 1 in 10 Filipinos works abroad, usually as maids and labourers in the Middle East in an effort to escape crushing poverty and unemployment in the Philippines.

“If she’s a migrant worker, this speaks of the ordeal our overseas workers go through,” says Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman. If the family can't be found the child will be put up for adoption and the government is committed to having the baby boy receive “the very best care” she says.

Even trash can babies need love.

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