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Minister hurt by child violence

Monday, May 9 2016

HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday expressed his horror at recent reports of violence — sexual, emotional and physical — against the nation’s children and is hoping the Children’s Authority can get a handle on dealing with the urgent national issue.

He was commenting on the recent death of two-year-old Jacob Antonio Bastaldo of Lendore Village, Chaguanas.

The child’s body was riddled with marks of violence and a forensic autopsy has been ordered to scientifically ascertain the cause of the toddler’s death.

According to police reports, the child’s mother, 18-year-old Precious Virginia Bastaldo, saw Jacob lying on a bed, but he was unresponsive on the weekend.

She raised an alarm and took the child to the Chaguanas Health Facility.

The police report stated that upon arrival at the health facility, doctors pronounced Jacob dead This death comes against the background of both the Children’s Authority and head of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Davanand Sinanan last week confirming numerous instances of children being abused in one way or the other by persons in positions of trust. Examples of such abuses were given.

Asked to comment on the death of little Jacob, as he toured the Port-of-Spain General Hospital in order to bring personal greetings to Mother’s Day mothers, Minister Deyalsingh said, “I am totally against that type of violence, it is really sad. These children have done nothing to deserve that type of thing and I’m really hoping that the Children’s Authority can really get a handle on this.”

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