Child protection agency probing neglect of burnt teenager

The Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) has responded to reports from residents of Good Hope, East Coast Demerara about a teenaged girl who was not being taken for treatment after being badly burnt two weeks ago.

Residents said the child could be heard crying out from the excruciating pain on a daily basis and they were fearful for her well-being.

Head of the CC&PA Ann Greene told Stabroek News late last night that officers have gone to respond to the case. She said they first needed to make contact with the police, who would have to accompany them to the child’s house.

A concerned neighbour told Stabroek News that she feared the burns would become infected. The woman explained that about two weeks ago the child was cooking rice but while attempting to strain it the pot fell, drenching her from her breasts down. The parents, the neighbour said, were drug-addicts and have refused to take the child to the hospital or accept help from neighbours.

She said that since becoming aware of what had transpired, efforts were made to contact the CC&PA but these were unsuccessful. It was later discovered that residents had been calling the wrong number.

When contacted Greene, took the particulars of the case and assured that the information would be passed to those manning the agency’s 227-0979 hotline number, so that action could have been taken.

The resident who spoke to Stabroek News said the situation is a distressing one as the child can be heard crying out in pain. She said that she has since learnt that milk is being poured on the burns, after which the child in placed in front of a fan.

After numerous attempts to contact senior police officers in the division, inclusive of the commander, the resident was finally able to make contact with the Sparendaam Police Station. She said the rank who answered the phone indicated to her that she had to call the Vigilance Police Station as the area fell within that station district. When she inquired why the police from Sparendaam could not respond, she was told that this was none of her concern before the call was abruptly terminated.

The resident expressed hope that the relevant authorities will act quickly before the child’s condition worsens.

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