Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 7th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Friday, April 7, 2017
Murder by numbers
Upward trend in first quarter
JENSEN LA VENDE
Nine more people
have been killed for
the first quarter of 2017
when compared to the
same period last year.
With the current trend
the annual toll has been
projected to reach 511.
In 2016 there were 121
recorded murders as of
March 31, this year the
murder toll for the same
period was 130.
Last year ended with
462 murders. In January
last year 49 people were
murdered, this year that
figure went up to 56.
In February this year
32 people had been mur-
dered, compared to 37
last year. In March there
were 42 murders this year
compared to 35 last year.
Of the nine policing
divisions, the Northern
Division has recorded the
most murders in the first
quarter with 28 murders.
That division was
followed closely by the
Central Division with two
fewer murders in the first
The closest to the top
two, a trend continued
from last year, was the
Southern Division which
had for the first quarter
recorded 16 killings.
regarded as a major crime
hotspot is now fifth in the
nine divisions for mur-
That division had one
less murder than the
Western Division which
recorded 14 murders
in three months. For
all of 2016, there were
four murders in Tobago,
but this year they have
equalled that number in
the first three months.
The detection rate
for murders have been
low with people being
charged in ten cases for
the first three months.
To date the murder toll
stands at 138 compared to
129 in 98 days.
NGO calls for
24-hour blood bank
There are 24-hour gyms, gas stations,
fast-food outlets and groceries. Why not
a 24-hour blood donation centre?
That is the suggestion from a local NGO as a
way to attract voluntary donors and increase the
availability of blood for those in need.
Officials of SEWA TT say the current system
acts as a deterrent to persons wanting to donate
blood and often forcing relatives of patients in
need of transfusions to beg, coerce or illegally
Dr Vishi Beharry estimates that one pint of
blood on the black market could cost between
$400 to $1,600 and a life-saving infusion can
save as many as three lives, depending on what
component is requested.
Beharry, who was at SEWA TT's 25th blood
donation drive in seven years, said the largest
setback in T&T is the current system which does
not encourage persons to become donors.
"It really needs to be corrected. It is a deterrent
that sometimes leads to people paying for blood
and that is not right," he said
Beharry is lobbying for 100 per cent voluntary
"This does not mean that someone can come
and give blood to be put into an account and when
you need it, it will be there for you. It means it
will be for everybody who needs it. This is what
is hampering our system right now and we need
to remove that," he said.
He explained that stringent screening proce-
dures are carried out before a single pint of blood
is included in the Blood Bank's supply.
"There is an incubation period, especially with
HIV/AIDS, so I might test the blood today and it
might be negative but in a month it could show
otherwise," Beharry said
He agreed that blood should be re-tested be-
fore it is administered to a patient: "There is that
window/incubation period where it can convert
into an active virus."
Several weeks ago, Health Minister Terrence
Deyalsingh confirmed that three people, includ-
ing an eight-year-old boy, had been infected with
HIV after a tainted pint was administered.
Earlier this week, Deyalsingh said a directive
had been given for blood with possible conflict-
ing results destroyed immediately and not even
placed in stock to be re-tested.
He also promised to ensure the NBTS is func-
tioning like it did in the past under the steward-
ship of blood bank founder, Dr Waveney Charles,
who has agreed to return until the post is per-
SEWA TT chair Revan Teelucksingh said each
blood drive usually yields between 40 and 50
pints of blood, mostly from returning donors.
He said the recent HIV infection could have
occurred because the donation was not voluntary.
"The system we have does not encourage vol-
untary donation and this affects people's lives. I
am extremely disappointed the people in charge
can't get this right as we have demonstrated that
people of T&T are willing to give blood. The prob-
lem we have are the systems in place for persons
to give blood," he said
"No matter what we do, no test is 100 per cent
correct." Teelucksingh said one way to prevent
HIV-tainted blood from entering the system was
to take it out at screening.
"The screening process is very good but the
only problem is that people are sometimes forced
not to tell the truth at the time, as it may be a
case where if their relative doesn't get the blood,
they will die or be denied treatment," he said.
"If you speak truthfully about your lifestyle,
persons can be flagged coming into the system.
People lie because they have no choice some-
times," he said.
Links Archive April 6th 2017 April 8th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page