Several indigenous persons caring for their sick in the Pediatric Ward of the country’s premier Health Institution the Georgetown Public Hospital on Wednesday welcomed an impromptu visit by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe.
While there, Minister Lowe interacted with the Doctors, Nurses, Parents and Relatives of the sick children.
Many of the indigenous children are receiving treatment in the facility for high fever. However, two particular cases caught the attention of Minister Garrido-Lowe.
Wendy Sandy a resident of Caria-Caria up the Essequibo River, Region 3, is the mother of three children between the ages of 6 years and eight months who were admitted to the GPHC early this week with fever and vomiting.
Six year old Akeila, two year old Destiny and eight month old Divine Sandy all received treatment at the facility.
The children’s mother Wendy Sandy told Minister Garrido-Lowe that only last Thursday she and her three children returned to Caria-Caria from spending some time by a relative in Cornelia Ida (CI) on the West Coast of Demerara with the children in almost perfect health.
However, by Saturday her eldest daughter came down with a fever followed by the two younger siblings. She subsequently sought medical attention.
She noted that it seemed like a mystery since they were all in good health and before she realized what was happening she was looking at her eldest daughter Akeila battling for her life.
However, in a conversation with the Doctor who is administering treatment to the children, Minister Lowe was told that the eldest daughter who was admitted to the GPHC over the weekend in a more serious condition succumbed to her illness on Monday before a proper diagnosis could have been made to ascertain the cause of her illness.
According to the doctor an autopsy performed on the child’s body on Wednesday, revealed that she succumbed to Liver failure. Further tests are being performed on the samples from daughter’s remains.
The doctor did however reveal to the Minister that upon further investigation, the child came down with a fever two weeks prior to her receiving medical attention, which was compounded with a strong family background of Tuberculosis TB.
According to the Medical Practitioner, the children’s father (no name provided) fell ill and a month later began the TB treatment almost a year ago. It was confirmed that he was in contact with the children.
While the two younger siblings remain under observation the doctor said two year old Destiny was diagnosed with Bronchopneumonia and is receiving treatment although further tests are being conducted.
Tests according to the doctor cleared eight month old Divine of pneumonia but further examinations revealed that her Tonsils were inflamed and is subsequently receiving treatment.
The other case that caught the attention of Minister Garrido-Lowe was nine month old Rishard Henry son of Susan Lowe from Supenaam in Region 2.
Lowe explained to the Minister that a Health Professional working at the Good Hope Health Center administer the then two month old with his second set of vaccines ( HB+HEPB+DPT).
She said following him receiving the vaccine her son was never the same again.
Hours later her son began vomiting and the following day his anterior fontanelle (mole) was swollen and the area on his leg where he received the vaccine was green in appearance. Lowe said this became very disturbing and she was forced to return to the Health Facility with her son so she can receive answers.
There she said she was referred to the Suddie Public Hospital where doctors there could not diagnosis the reason for the discoloration.
She was subsequently advised to seek further medical assistance and was given an appointment to see a doctor at the GPHC sometime in September.
The mother of the nine month old said the appointment date was way too long so she decided to take matters into her own hands. It was then that she visited the medical facility (GPHC) where her son is now a patient.
Meanwhile, Minister Garrido-Lowe indicated that while Public Health Minister Dr. George Norton is competently dealing with issues concerning the health sector there is so much he can do in this regard.
Minister Garrido-Lowe pointed out that in dealing with such a critical sector, partnerships from various stakeholders play a pivotal role in alleviating a number of the difficulties experienced in this particular sector.
She pointed to the challenges posed for mothers who accompany their sick child/children 24 hours in the Pediatric Ward of the GPHC, where during the nigh these parents have to make themselves comfortable on a chair a situation the Minister said should be given special attention.
The Minister has thrown out a challenge to those who are sympathetic to the cause and make donation such as toys, pampers, portable beds among other needed items so that the lives of the sick children and their caregivers can be rewarding despite the circumstance.
In the meantime, the Welfare Department of the Ministry continues to provide support to persons from the hinterland who are patients of the facility and the Minister during her visit committed to providing much needed items to the Sandy sisters, seven year old Tarik Chatkha from Region 6, four old Eli Thomas, eight month old Quincy Sam and Rishad Henry.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs visited several patients at the Pediatric ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital.