Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2017 Contents A12 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 9, 2017
fall ill after
Point Fortin residents
call on mayor
Activists from the People's National Movement (PNM)
and other members of the community of Point For-
tin, have started a petition calling on Mayor
Abdon Mason and his Council to improve
health care at the Area Hospital.
The activists claim the hospital has been
without a general surgeon for the past ten years,
since the last person assigned to that post, Dr
Roland Datadeen died.
They said they have approached their Mem-
ber of Parliament, National Security Minis-
ter Edmund Dillon, "but he has been slow to
The petition, signed by the Burgess of Point
Fortin, started circulating on Tuesday and hopes
to garner 1,000 signatures before presenting
it to the Mayor and
Council for discus-
sion and implemen-
The petition reads
in part, "We the un-
dersigned Burgess of
Point Fortin hereby
petition the Borough
Council on this mat-
ter which we deem as
critical to the health and wellness
of the people and the community.
While we applaud the powers that
be for the construction of a new
hospital, that is five years in
the making and we cannot wait, for the service being
provided by the hospital is lamentably frightening."
"First, there is a back-log of surgery with an
exceptionally long list. Patients have to travel
to the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH)
to get basic surgery done, as the last assigned
surgeon, Dr Datadeen, died five years ago and
retired five years before. This we view as being
of paramount importance and ask that Council
give favourable consideration and correction
to this injustice to the people who have always
supported your political organisation without
fail," it stated.
"Secondly, there is the vexing issue of a
paediatrician, severe damage to the roof of the
operating theatre and less than adequate facil-
ity in the maternity ward. We know of several
more shortcomings, but we will be grateful if
you would address the aforementioned," the
One of the signatories to the petition stated
that while gynaecologist Dr Sylvan Pierre has
been delivering babies, there was no paedi-
atrician to care for babies, especially those
with problems. Such babies have to be sent
to the SFGH, which at times compromises
Social media is being used to publicise the
petition and invite signatories.
"We have to take this route because nothing
is being done. There is a vacancy for a surgeon
but they are not filling it. If someone has an
appendix attack, that person could die before
they reach SFGH," the spokesman said.
Mayor Abdon Mason
Students of the Parvati Girls' Hindu
College in Debe had to be evacuated on
Tuesday when several of them experi-
enced breathing difficulties after the
building was sprayed for mosquitoes.
According to reports, the school's com-
pound was sprayed around 6 am by
the Ministry of Health's Insect Vec-
tor Control Division and by the time
classes began around 8 am, several
students had reported feeling ill.
The students were then evacuated
to the nearby Debe Market where
they remained until their parents
could pick them up.
One parent, speaking to the T&T
Guardian on the condition of ano-
nymity, said the parents were shocked their
children had been sent to the unsanitary
Around 9.30 the school was dis-
missed and students were being
The grandmother of one stu-
dent said she was alarmed the
school would be sprayed hours
before classes were supposed
"By doing that (spraying)
they have put the children at a
great risk, there are quite a few
children who suffer from asth-
ma and were getting sick with the
residual scent this morning," she said.
The woman knocked the school's ad-
ministration for not informing parents of
the spraying exercise.
"They (the school) were notified on Mon-
day that the school would be sprayed, so why
didn't they tell us something? They would
rather risk having the children fall ill then?"
However, one teacher, who asked not
to be named, said the administration
was not aware of the exercise.
"They were supposed to come over
the weekend to spray, nobody knew
they were coming today. There was
a little delay in sending home the
children this morning because
proper protocol needed to be
followed. The principal had to
call the school supervisor be-
fore school could be dismissed,"
The teacher said the teachers
were supervising the students
and making sure every parent
or guardian sign out their chil-
dren before leaving.
Contacted yesterday T&T
Unified Teachers Association
(TTUTA) president Lynsley
Doodhai said there are usually
clear guidelines on how schools
should be sprayed.
"You do not spray a school
the day before classes start,
schools are usually sprayed on a
Friday evening so the buildings
have time to air out," Doodhai
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