The Ministry of Social Protection yesterday denied allegations that residents of the Hugo Chavez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration are being mistreated.
A report in yesterday’s edition of the Guyana Times asserted that residents were stripped and sprayed with cleaning detergent as punishment for having missed a bath. The Ministry however contends that the incident has been misrepresented.
In a statement yesterday it was stated that “residents of the centre were having a bath and a non-harmful deodorizing solution was used as is normative to neutralize body odors in the promotion of a safe and healthy environment.” The statement stressed that at no time was any violent or excessive force used against residents.
The daily running of the centre is managed by former APNU+AFC regional councillor Carol Joseph.
Stabroek News reached out to Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Jasmin Harris with a request for the name of the solution and an indication of whether any residents displayed adverse reactions to the solution but up to press time there was no response. Harris was also asked to provide information as to the process through which Joseph, who was the centre of a controversy regarding her personal use of prescription drugs. was appointed administrator but was unable to do so.
According to the statement the centre regards health care with the utmost seriousness. Its medical department is led by Dr Alana James who is a resident doctor. While Dr James is currently on a special 6 weeks Mental Health training another unnamed doctor is attached to the centre and visits every Monday and Friday.
The statement added that all residents of the institution are treated humanely and all of their needs including dietary needs are catered for with residents of the self-sufficient centre receiving three meals a day.
The ministry reaffirmed its commitment through the centre to the successful reintegration of all residents of the institution.