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Oct 22, 2016

Having a Baby in the Dark; Ministry of Health Explains Generator Failure

With all these national issues on the front burner, there is another of interest. A baby was delivered at the Western Regional Hospital in darkness on Wednesday night. While the name of the mother is not going to be revealed, we can say that the baby and the mother are in good health. Just before the mother was to deliver the newborn, a blackout affected the west and south of the country following a traffic accident that damaged a transformer. While authorities believe that a backup generator would have kicked in, it didn’t happen. Today, both the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and the Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero explained what happened at the Western Regional Hospital.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We were informed the moment the blackout happened. Basically because the generator that was there did not kick in once there is a black out. So we were informed and all senior management officials were informed. The engineer that was responsible for it was informed because we were not sure what was happening with our generator. That incident was reported to us in full by the end of yesterday was as well.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“We understand a woman was in labour. Are you able to speak to us about the hospital team managed to pull it together? There was no electricity while this woman went into labour?”

 

Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Actually, when the patient; there was a patient in labour, she was already in labour that she went in labour when the lights went out. There was a patient that was just in the recovery phase as well and there was a patient who was having an abortion as well in the emergency room. All those three patients were being taken care of. The patient that was in labour already delivered 20-21 minutes later after the lights had gone out. I mean you have to improvise, if you don’t have a generator that is functional, so there is truth to the fact that there were flashlights used to help the situation but the delivery was uneventful; this wasn’t a complicated patient then.”

 

Reporter

“What are some of the mechanisms that would be put in place to prevent this from happening again? Because the Minister was saying that there are two generators that they have but when the blackout came there was some kind of electrical problem that blew a fuse or something he was saying. But what can you say in terms of not letting this repeats itself?”

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Well, it is hard to say when this is gonna happen. Yesterday the generator was working again. It was checked and it was functional around 5. I guess you will never really know. The fuse blew exactly at the moment it was supposed to kick in. I am not saying it is something you can prevent. I guess it is like when you have a car and your battery suddenly dies; you wake up tomorrow morning and it just doesn’t start. That is the same thing that can happen here. So, the maintenance schedule is there. I am not so sure there was anything else that could have been done. Regular maintenance schedule remains.”

 

Pablo Marin

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

“Day before yesterday, we had a situation in the Western Region. The generator didn’t work. One week ago it was working and then what they put on the media. I don’t know who it was, but say you know what the Western Region doesn’t have any generator. But, yet, why didn’t they mention the doctors and nurses did a good job- they delivered a child. These are the things I notice the media tends to do. They don’t put the good things we are doing.  We have two generators. Remember when the hurricane came? Earl. There was a blackout. The hospital maintains itself with the generator that we had. One week ago they tried the generator and it did work. It seems as if when the outage went off and they tried to put it, the fuse was burnt and by time everything happened and they were about to fix it, then the light came back.”

 

Reporter

“So, then how can you remedy that situation?”

 

Pablo Marin

“No, it is already fixed. Yes. The generator is already working.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, so definitely it wasn’t a case where hospital doesn’t have a backup generator, because we’ve seen those rumors floating around?”

 

Pablo Marin

“Again. Again. I will invite you all to go right now. Because we cannot put a generator immediately. So, I invite you all to go right now and you will see that the generator is there.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, but what kind of mechanism will be put in place so that this doesn’t happen again?”

 

Pablo Marin

“Again. Again. The same thing I am telling you about the media. I explained to you, the thing was working.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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