Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 16th 2017 Contents A22 letters on sunday
guardian.co.tt Sunday, April 16, 2017
ISSUES WITH BLOOD DONOR SYSTEM
Reading the story of one of the peo-
ple who was infected with the HIV
virus from a blood transfusion passing
away, made me angry. I am angry for a
number of reasons. Primarily among
them is that this person’s death, un-
like the daily murders, was avoidable.
Compounding the insult is when some
fly-by-night, neophyte wannabe poli-
tician comes telling the population that
the person did not die because of HIV. It
is evident that this political newcomer
lacks information about HIV and health
issues in general.
People who contract HIV don’t ‘die’
from AIDS; they die from related issues
as a result of their immune system’s in-
ability to resist simple things like pneu-
monia. So cause of death would not read
AIDS/HIV, but simply “pneumonia.”
Further complicating matters, in recent
times, cause of death in many instances
have been simply given as “unknown.”
This bothers me because several years
ago I took issue with the Blood Bank
when asked to donate blood for a friend.
Upon entry to the Blood Bank donors
were provided with a questionnaire. The
questionnaire seeks to ascertain one’s
life story: one’s sex life, including one’s
sexual orientation, if one has a criminal
record, number of tattoos, how many
body piercings one had accumulated to
The questionnaire was both intrusive
and ridiculous and I made it known to
the staff. They indicated they were “only
doing their job,” a common response by
people who are too lazy to even think.
It also implied that if one manages to
answer all the questions correctly, there
was no need for the blood to be test-
ed. This basic assumption is seriously
flawed. All blood must be tested to de-
termine at least “type,’ and one would
expect for other possible infections, in-
cluding hepatitis, sickle cell etc.
Clearly this is not the case with the
Blood Bank in T&T. This explains how,
not one, but several persons, have be-
come infected with transfusions. What
is even more frightening is that it is
quite possible that many others have
been infected and are unaware. Private
and public health institutions are not
immune from the fallout of this scan-
dalous behaviour. Someone should be
held accountable. But in a land where
the “blame game” is the only game peo-
ple become proficient at, expecting that
someone, anyone, will ever be held ac-
countable is simply an exercise in futility.
I made the point on several occasions,
both in discussions and in writing, that
one of the major problems facing this
nation is our poor work ethic. This poor
work ethic explains from why bpTT re-
fused to have their platform built here to
why we have challenges in every sphere,
in particular state institutions. It ex-
plains why BWIA/CAL, WASA, Petro-
trin, T&TEC, NHA/HDC, government
schools, and other state institutions are
forever operating in the dark.
Meanwhile, we have yet to see any bank
in this nation record a loss, despite recur-
ring claims of recession and depression.
The almost non-existent detection rate
on murders by the T&T Police Service
(TTPS) can also be explained by our sorry
work ethic. And while I agree with the
current PM that the government is not
responsible for solving crime, it is the
function of the police, the PM should
know that when the government wishes
to take credit for when “crime is down,”
then they will be blamed for when it goes
in the opposite direction.
I have also indicated on numerous
occasions that cleaning up this nation is
not a job for the faint-hearted. It is not a
job for anyone who sees it as just “doing
a job.” Cleaning up this nation requires
testicular fortitude of the highest mag-
nitude, since we did not wake up this
morning and became ‘lawless.” We have
been on that lawless path for quite some
time and no one saw it fit or necessary to
‘bell the cat.”
Now that the box is finally opened, it
is disingenuous to act surprised as we
watch our citizens die.
Rudy Chato Paul, Sr.
a big problem
We are living in strange times in T&T with high levels
of crime, etc. One of the components we as a nation can
boast of and not be surprised about is bad management.
We are living and seeing it daily. Two incidents that
comes to mind are the fire in Port of Spain on Monday
and the back up of that incident the following day.
On Monday nightm while watching the news a senior
fire officer was explaining the difficulties in getting wa-
ter to control the fire at ANSA building and saud that
a very high percentage of the fire hydrants in Port of
Spain are defective.
No surprise that defective fire hydrants fall under the
purview of the Fire Service who ought to do periodical
checks of these hydrants throughout the country and
report defective hydrants to the Ministry of National
Security who will have same replaced via the Ministry
of Public Utilities where the active agent is WASA to
remedy the situation.
Second case. There is a new body of pavement dwell-
ers introduced to the country the brainchild of Mr Jack
Warner under the PP Administration. They are called
traffic wardens, whose duty is to be out on the streets
doing traffic duties. Their function seems to be to stand
on the pavement and observe the traffic pile up. A good
example was on Tuesday April 11, where the fire at the
ANSA Building ignited again. The Fire Services blocked
traffic from going beyond Abercombry Street, along
Independence Square South. There was a pile up of
traffic going north along Chacon St and running back to
South Quay. Meanwhile there were six traffic warden
standing on Independence Square and along Abercombry
Street one holding a bottle of water.
Our country’s problem, as I have highlighted, is bad
management, mainly no supervisors.
The greater good
can be costly
If the labour movement has made the right decision
in respect to Angelin, then it is wrong of the Hon. Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley, to insinuate that its leadership
needs to come up in some way.
After the debacle of the Arcelor Mittal dispute, labour
is right to be cautious. We do not just want any kind
of international investors, especially in these modern
times of multiple layering of risks including destruction
in the environment and in social dignity.
Labour is a check-and-balance on both the excesses
of “enterprise” and the ordinary activities of business,
local and foreign. Labour needs to be careful of being
ensnared in types of collusion when it works against
them or the common good, whether or not it is a case
of capitalistic exploitation.
Even regular entrepreneurs can demand labour act
lock-joint with them in some corrupted fashion—whether
to their detriment or to the disadvantage in some way
of everyone else. Labour should feel encouraged to react.
And yet there is more to labour again.
Labour is people and labour ranks ahead of capital;
and decisions and policies must prioritize accordingly,
in some correct mix; and this is only natural. In other
words, optimization of profit ought to mean optimization
of returns to labour.
Labour comprises the ordinary, the strong, the prodigy,
the weak, the challenged and their communities, all of
whom must endure and thrive. We need to be reminded
of it all the time now and going forward and, so far, we
have not heard it in any way from the Prime Minister.
At least he should be willing to admit that, theoretically,
there can be situations where the (apparent) greater
good can end up being too costly.
Men depicting Roman soldiers hold back followers of Jesus Christ during the St Michael RC Church Stations of the Cross in Maracas
yesterday. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
GOOD FRIDAY RE-ENACTMENT
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