In a nation grappling with the distressing rise in child kidnappings, the need for innovative solutions to protect our infants has never been more critical. South Africa finds itself in the throes of an alarming child abduction pandemic.

NEC XON is offering CertaScan technology as a solution to help safeguard infants in hospitals.

Bianca van Aswegen, national co-coordinator of Missing Child SA, has highlighted the hurdles presented by the legal system in protecting children from kidnappings. The current legal framework, in some instances, seems inadequate to shield our children from this horrific fate.

In this context, NEC XON is offering CertaScan technology to identify infants in hospitals.

According to Grahame Saunders, head of identity management at NEC XON, the solution harnesses modern scanning technology and a patented system to scan newborns’ feet. “Footprints are a unique and recognised way to identify each child. Moreover, these footprints can serve as a lifeline for forensic identification throughout a child’s life,” says Saunders.

The feet of over 1-million babies have been digitally scanned by CertaScan equipment in US hospitals for precise identification. CertaScan ensures that babies are not mis-identified (that is, switched) by the hospital, mitigating legal and reputational risks. Babies can easily be misidentified during hospital evacuations due to emergencies, for example. There have been three notable hospital evacuations in South Africa in the last two to three years: at Carlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg; at Panorama Hospital in Cape Town; and at Dora Nginza Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The CertaScan identification system is simple to implement and use within a hospital setting, ensuring a seamless integration into existing procedures. The Infant Safety System offered by CertaScan not only digitally captures and stores newborn footprints but also allows for the inclusion of security photos and the mother’s index fingerprint.

The CertaScan system comprises advanced scanning equipment, patented software, and comprehensive services, including installation, training, and maintenance. The solution features an affordable fee per scan, making it accessible to hospitals and parents alike. CertaScan’s Infant Safety System proves invaluable in critical situations, including abduction, switched babies, natural disasters, and abandonments.