Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2016 Contents T&T has recorded its first confirmed case
of a microcephaly birth due to the Zika virus,
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has
The infant girl, who was born on September
20, is reported to be "doing fine" and is at
home with her parents. She was discharged
one week ago from the San Fernando General
Hospital, where several tests and scans were
done to determine if the birth defect could
be as a result of the Zika virus.
The confirmation, which was made via a
blood sample referred to the Caribbean Public
Health Agency (Carpha) and the Pan American
Health Organisation (PAHO), was received last
Friday. Deyalsingh said he then informed both
the Prime Minister and the baby's parents.
Speaking at a press conference at the Min-
istry of Health, Port-of-Spain, yesterday,
Deyalsingh said the delay in making the public
announcement was due to a desire to preserve
the family's dignity and afford them the privacy
to "digest" the news.
The baby was born at the Gulf View Medical
Centre and was diagnosed with microcephaly.
The infant was later transferred to the San Fer-
nando General Hospital and admitted to the
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for treatment before
being discharged into the care of her parents.
Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby's
head is smaller than expected when compared
to babies of the same sex and age. According
to the Centres for Disease Control and Pre-
vention (CDC), these babies often have smaller
brains that might not have developed properly.
Last month, the ministry confirmed four other
cases in unborn babies with brain abnormalities
which are being reviewed to determine if they
were also linked to the Zika virus.
The news came some eight months after
the Zika virus was first diagnosed in T&T.
Deyalsingh yesterday reiterated that there
were proper protocols in place to assist preg-
nant patients who may deliver babies born
with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus.
Both Deyalsingh and specialist develop-
mental behavioural paediatrician, Dr Natalie
Dick, said it would vary depending on a case-
"We must tailor the treatment to suit the
case," he said, adding there was no-one-size-
fits-all treatment method.
Dick said babies born with microcephaly
due to Zika would require a thorough physical
examination, along with a brain scan, x-rays
and other special tests related to hearing and
sight, as those senses could also be impaired
He said the ministry would be ramping up
eradication exercises to eliminate breeding
sites for the aedes aegypti mosquito, which
transmitted the Zika virus and other diseases
such as dengue, chikungunya and Yellow Fever.
Deyalsingh said of the 289 public health
notices that have been handed out in the past
several months, 263 households had complied
with the warnings to clean up their premises.
Medical officials say thousands of people have
contracted the virus even though the official
tests list close to 500 cases. (Trinidad Guardian)
A group of four girls from the
Bishop s High School, collectively
known as the Black Hat Poetics, will
represent Tobago in the upcoming
2016 Courts Bocas Speak Out Sec-
ondary School Tour.
Oshun Trim, Cindy Andrews, Camryn
Bruno and Saweeny Graig recently per-
formed two pieces, one of which was an
individual performance by Trim titled
The Message' and the other a group piece
called Confirmation,' to earn the right to
represent the island. Their performances
beat out those of three other schools to
help them advance to the finals in
Speaking on behalf of the group, An-
drews said the Black Hat Poetics' was
formed about three years ago after they
realised they each had a keen interest in
poetry. Speaking about the significance of
the group's name, she said, "We wanted to
make sure that when we perform our
piece our message is heard. So the black
hat symbol is so that no one focuses our
face so we could really push the message
from our mouths and not focus on our
The individual peace performed by
Trim urged people to empathise before
casting judgment on others.
"It was about a seventeen-year-old boy
who had to testify against his brother who
had molested a child. So he was coming
out telling the world about his perspective
because there is a lot of controversy," Trim
"Nobody really understands why peo-
ple do certain things and when people see
things happen you shouldn't just take it as
face value, you should actually try to find
out what the story is because we as people
like to take every story and run with it
without knowing the background infor-
She said although the piece was written
some time ago, she revised it after hearing
about a recent incident of a similar nature
at a daycare in the island.
The second piece looked at internet
sensation, transgender Rankin Kia Boss.
"Confirmation was inspired by an in-
ternet sensation that became real popular
over the last month because of an incident
in Trinidad and we as the public were
given multiple sides of the story," Trim
said, saying the piece was portraying that
person and the psychological battles they
had to portray everyday in going forward
with this decision.
Black Hat Poetics are currently prepar-
ing for the finals of the Courts Bocas
Speak Out Intercol finale on November 11
at City Hall, San Fernando, followed by a
concert series here in Tobago.
However, the group said they also plan
to continue producing pieces which are
youth focused and "need to be heard" by
pushing all boundaries.
Oshun Trim, Cindy Andrews,
Camryn Bruno and Saweeny Graig.
tobagotoday.co.tt NOVEMBER 2-8, 2016
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