Not so Mr Minister
By NEWSDAY STAFF Tuesday, February 19 2013
click on pic to zoom in
Dr Fuad Khan...
THE FATHER of two-year-old Faith Henry, who was fatally stung by a scorpion at her Chatham Village home last Friday, yesterday reacted angrily to statements by Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, who had said that persons do not usually die from scorpion stings, but rather from allergic reactions to the poison.
An irate Noel Charles, 38, who yesterday was busy making preparations to bury his daughter, asked whether the Minister did not live in the Caribbean region. “He cannot be from the Caribbean! You cannot tell me that you can get a scorpion sting and live without getting treatment,” Charles said.
Asked whether the family had been contacted by Ministry personnel, he said that no one had visited the family or offered any counselling or other assistance to the family. “No one has called or even visited to see how my wife and I or other relatives are coping. We have lost our little girl and it is really hard to deal with,” Charles said. Faith’s funeral is scheduled to take place tomorrow at Marack Street, Cap-de-ville at 1 pm.
The Medical Professionals Association of TT (MPATT) issued a release saying that while countries where scorpion stings are frequent have species specific anti-venom available, “there is no approved or species specific anti-venom for TT, where scorpion stings are relatively rare. The standard of care is supportive and resuscitative, depending on the severity of the acute complications.”
MPATT cited international data which showed 1:100 stings may be fatal especially in the very young and the elderly. It supported the investigation into the Henry case and expected the report produced to be thorough, accurate and informative and include timelines, details of resuscitation procedures and process of monitoring vital signs be provided. MPATT extended condolences to Henry’s family and hoped the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) under whose purview the medical facilities in the Henry case fall, exercised due diligence and support in providing further counselling for the family. Efforts to reach Khan for a comment yesterday proved futile. Faith is not the only child to have been killed by a scorpion sting within recent times. On Thursday January 26, 2012, three-year-old Israel Brown died at the San Fernando General Hospital, a day after he was stung by a black scorpion.
Brown who attended the Hope Pre-School in St Margaret’s was stung on his right toe while playing with his sister Angelina, one, at the family’s Hill Top Drive, Macaulay Trace, St Margaret’s home. The scorpion was not found. Brown was rushed to hospital, but the antidote to counteract the poison was not available and the following day, young Israel was dead.
Meanwhile, Jason Francis, the father of a new-born baby who died hours after being born at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) earlier this month, yesterday said he has written a report on the events leading up to the death of his daughter, Jada, and gave it to his attorney.
He said Khan had telephoned him on the day of his daughter’s funeral to express condolences and request the report saying an investigation into the death of his daughter had been initiated by the South-West Region Heath Authority, (SWRHA).
Francis said his attorney had since requested the medical file of his wife Abbi Taylor Francis, from the SFGH, but had not received it saying they were being told that it was “going to this department and that department”.
“We don’t want it to lose so we cooperating fully with the investigation,” he said. He also disputed claims that his wife had a caesarean section to deliver the baby saying his daughter would have been alive had the procedure been performed during childbirth. “If she had the c-section, the child would have been alive today,” Francis said.