Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt July 12 - 2017
Children's Life Fund faces legal battle
Legal action is being taken to challenge
what is being described as the "unlawful,
irrational and unreasonable" decision of
the Children's Life Fund Authority (CLFA)
to refuse funding to two children suffering
with blood disorders - Shannen Luke and
Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge yester-
day filed an application for judicial review
of the "policy, interpretation and decisions"
of the CLFA, based on its rejection of the
application of funding for four-year-old Luke
and five-year-old Chandoo earlier this year.
Each child's surgery cost $1.2 million.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
and senator Gerald Ramdeen, with instruct-
ing attorney Sean Sobers, are the legal team
leading the action.
According to the application filed, the
decision to refuse funding to Luke and Chan-
doo is contrary to the provisions of the Chil-
dren's Life Fund Act.
The Children's Life Fund is a charitable
fund established by the government under
Persad-Bissessar in November 2010 by Act
of Parliament - Act No. 12 of 2010. The
CLFA was the body bestowed with the
responsibility to operate, manage and admin-
ister the Children's Life Fund.
According to the CLFA's website, the
authority "ensures that all eligible applicants
to the fund are carefully considered by a
team of highly qualified specialist doctors
and medical social workers to ensure that
the 'Best Care Plan' is determined and care-
fully executed. The CLFA's first priority is
the well-being of the child and his/her fam-
i l y ."In April, the families of Luke and Chandoo
sought to access that funding. Chandoo, who
was born on June 30, 2012, was diagnosed
with a blood disorder known as Beta Thal-
assemia Major when he was eight months
old. Luke, who was born on April 11, 2013,
was diagnosed with the same disorder when
she was nine months.
The only cure for the disorder is hema-
topoietic cell transfusion, which is not avail-
able in Trinidad and Tobago. Both children's
parents identified the Bambino Gesu Paedi-
atric Hospital in Rome, Italy, as a centre for
a haploidentical bone marrow transplant
surgery at approximately TT$1.2 million,
which does not include the related expens-
es associated with the surgery and after care.
On April 4, Luke's parents made an appli-
cation to the fund for help, while Chandoo's
parents did the same on April 6. Both appli-
cations were rejected.
According to the CLF, a clinical assessment
determined that the children's medical con-
dition was "not life threatening" as required
by Section 19 (e) of the Act, the judicial
review document stated. In addition to this,
the parents had already paid the hospital for
the surgeries in early May and the fund "does
not allow for reimbursement"
Sturge's application is arguing that the
CLF's decision, "if left unchallenged will
directly affect the ability of many persons
to access funding from the Children's Life
Fund and this may affect the ability of the
board to properly and lawfully discharge its
On April 24, a pre-action protocol letter
was sent to CLFA chairman Dr Aritza Fer-
nandes. Affidavits by Sturge, Dr Ramesh
Mathura and Chandoo's mother Alicia Chan-
doo were also filed at the San Fernando High
Court. (Trinidad Guardian)
Muslim leader at PM's Eid dinner:
Citizens must help resolve problems in society
Maulana Mushtaq Ahmad
Sulaimani says while it is easy for
citizens to blame the Government
for crime and other ills affecting
the society, many fail to recognise
that each citizen has a critical role
to play in resolving the problems.
He said that while delivering the
feature address at a special Eid ul-
Fitr function hosted by Prime Min-
ister Dr Keith Rowley at the Dip-
lomatic Centre, St Ann's on Sunday.
It was closed to the media.
Maulana Sulaimani said: "We are
very well aware of what is going
on in the country, anytime someone
is commiting crime or other wrong-
doing, we find it very easy and
convenient to point our fingers at
He said many in the country do
that "not knowing that we as par-
ents , we as elders, are duty-bound
to educate and teach our children
about character building."
Maulana Sulaimani said: "The
parents (in this country) are failing
in their duties to teach the young
ones what are their duties (respon-
sibilities). We as parents, we fail in
the society." He said this failure was
taking place "despite the clear guid-
ance (given) in the Holy Quran,"
citizens "should not surrender to
godlessness and reckless living ."
Maulana Sulaimani said: "We are
responsible for our wrong doing
(and) we must not point fingers at
anybody else. We must do our
homework. We must teach our chil-
dren (and) we must set an example."
Maulana Sulaimani said Rowley
had signalled to the entire popula-
tion "that our nation was facing
many challenges and and all of us
must assist in putting things right."
He said the Prime Minister was
also indicating that to make things
better in T&T "we must put aside
all petty differences and hold hands
with each other and get the job
He said T&T was still a free coun-
try where Muslims can serve Allah
in comfort and without fear.
He told Muslims that their teach-
ing indicate that in those circum-
stances "we must rise to the occa-
Maulana Sulaimani said Muslims
were grateful to Rowley for treating
them as equals, adding that PM Row-
ley has recognised them as having
valuable contributions to make
towards T&T's future development.
Maulana Sulaimani said the var-
ious religious doctrines were
respected in T&T and citizens
must have absolute faith in the
Creator. Among those who
attended the event was Point
Fortin ASJA pupil, Lexi Balchan,
who placed first in this year's
SEA exam. (Trinidad Guardian)
Attorney Gerald Ramdeen with members of the Luke family, Arthur, Michelle and daughter Shannes after a press conference in Ramdeen's Woodbrook office in April.
Links Archive July 11th 2017 July 13th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page