Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Child given HIV contaminated blood dies, attorney slams government

A child who was given contaminated blood while at Mt Hope Hospital, died of HIV-related illnesses, said attorney Gerald Ramdeen.

Ramdeen said in a media briefing on Thursday that it was also requested that the matter be sealed.

Ramdeen said the eight-year-old girl was warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex paediatric ward in December 2016 for treatment when she received a contaminated blood transfusion and became HIV positive.

Proceedings were filed for damages to cover medical treatment, however, the child died in 2018 before the matter was concluded.

Ramdeen asked why no one had been held culpable for this.

“Who is responsible for this? Nobody has been held accountable.”

“Can you imagine a mother…who had to endure that child being infected with HIV at the hands of the health care system in Trinidad and Tobago, has to sit in a courtroom and wipe her tears while her lawyers are fighting...after the child has passed away, because the child didn’t get funding from the Children’s Life Fund or the Government to access medical care that could have saved her life?”

“If Terrence Deyalsingh had any shame or responsibility as a Minister he would have tendered his resignation, because…the life of a child was taken as a result of the actions of the staff at the North Central Regional Health Authority.”

“This happened and nobody knew what was going on, and they wanted to seal the file so that if you applied under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), you wouldn’t get it,” he said.

"This child who was infected with HIV by the staff at Mt Hope, who was fighting for her life to get medical treatment, died. And you want to seal the file so that nobody will know what is going on.

“They concerned about how it go look on the Minister and Mt Hope. This is what the Minister of Health and the public health care system offers.”

“Well while they sealing, I'm unsealing, because this is wrong,” Ramdeen said.

The matter has now been referred to the Court of Appeal.

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