Mabaruma hospital needs drugs for snake, scorpion bites

Dear Editor,

The Mabaruma sub-regional hospital (Barima-Waini) is desperately in need of medicines to treat patients bitten by scorpions and snakes, since it is a hinterland hospital. On Saturday the 5th August 2017, little Keishon Campbell, four years old of the Mabaruma township, was bitten by a scorpion. The child’s parents quickly rushed him to the Mabaruma hospital but unfortunately the hospital has no remedies for persons bitten by scorpions or snakes. The hospital tried to administer saline to the child, but his condition worsened which led him to be air-dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he died the same day. Can the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) say why hinterland hospitals are not supplied with the drugs to treat patients bitten by scorpions and snakes some of which are poisonous?

A post mortem examination was to be conducted on the body of the child on Wednesday 9th August 2017. Now after the autopsy, what is next? Will the Vice President and Minster of Indigenous Peoples Affairs Sydney Allicock and his Junior Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe assist the child’s parents in returning to Mabaruma with the child’s remains to have a decent burial? In fact the only assistance given by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs (MOIPA) to the close relatives of poor hinterland patients when they die in Georgetown is a mere $30,000. After giving this small amount of money to the relatives they are left on their own to do a ‘poor’ burial for their loved ones who die at the Georgetown Public Hospital. What is this burial? It is just digging a hole at the cemetery in Georgetown and putting the body in a roughly made coffin for burial. The grave will be unmarked. The question is, will an innocent four-year-old, Amerindian child from the Mabaruma Township be given a ‘poor’ burial in Georgetown by the MOIPA instead of assisting in taking the child’s body back to Mabaruma for a decent burial? I am currently monitoring the situation.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Persaud  

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