Life is not fair to poor children

Dear Editor,

I believe that life is not fair. Children don’t get to choose where or to whom they will be born. Some are born in affluent societies to parents who love them and shower them with gifts, while others are born in very poor countries to parents who cannot afford to take them to see a private doctor. That is not fair.

Here is a list of some of the names of the ones that I remember but there are many more:

First, Jaden Mars had been admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital on December 4, 2013, after he had fallen while playing at his West Ruimveldt home and bitten his tongue. On December 11, he died in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. A subsequent post-mortem examination showed that the young boy had died as a result of a pulmonary embolism.

Second, in 2014,  Andy died. He was born poor and died poor. He did not go to school; he lived on the streets. He used alcohol and drugs to numb his pain. He had no one to love him. Andy is dead but who cares? It wasn’t the truck that killed Andy,  instead it was society and government officials who were indifferent to him that killed him. Long before the truck driver killed Andy, Andy was a dead boy walking.

Third, in 2015,  Joshua Moonsammy died in the Paediatric Ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after spending the last five years of his life as a resident there. According to a press release from the GPHC, Moonsammy had been abandoned by his mother after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I never met him when he was alive, but I attended his funeral. He was just six years old when he died.

Fourth, in 2016, two more children died after a fire swept through the Drop-in Centre on Hadfield Street.

Finally, 10-year-old Roseann Harris, who succumbed weeks after allegedly being kicked in the stomach by a classmate. Her mother could not afford to take her to a private doctor to get a second doctor’s opinion, which potentially might have saved her life.

Editor, every day and everywhere there are children saying to us: “Please help us.”

The children mentioned above all died because they were poor. Indifference to poor children is the cause of their deaths.

Yours faithfully,

Anthony Pantlitz

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