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May 29, 2009

Health Minister responds to queries about infant’s death

Story PictureIn tonight’s newscast, we revisit last week’s tragic death of an infant who was delivered by his own mother at the Punta Gorda Hospital and died days later at the K.H.M.H in Belize City. The string of unfortunate events, as told by the child’s mother, nineteen year old Cenaida Reymundo, gripped the nation. They began on May twelfth at the PG Hospital where Cenaida’s plea for help went unanswered. Health authorities announced that an investigation would be conducted to verify whether neglect was the cause of death of Cenaida’s newborn baby boy. On Thursday, News Five spoke with Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, who blamed the past and said it will take time for the system to improve.

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health
“We have just entered this government year and a half. All the facilities were really neglected. What I’m trying to do, I am trying to upgrade the system all about Belize. I think you heard me from the start in that by the end of this year I will have the ultrasound machines in all the districts. X-ray machines I can say right now by next month the last one will be in Cayo and all X-ray machines will be all over Belize. This is something that will take time. We are lack of maybe human resources all about. P.G. is one because of the distance. We are trying to see if we can really do a little stipend or something to people that will go over that side. I am very sorry about what happened with the baby last two weeks. I wasn’t in the country, but yes I’m having a thorough investigation on what is going on.”

Duane Moody
“Yes, because it was a series of events: first she had to deliver her own baby then when they took her to Dangriga, the Southern Regional Hospital, no ventilator was there for her or her baby and then when being transported to Belize City the ambulance broke down. It was like a lot of things happening back to back.”

Pablo Marin
“Yes it is a series of things but then—yes, maybe—I don’t know who you want to blame, but it something that will happen. We are very sorry about that. But yet you will see by years that come, you will see improvement in all the hospitals. I can say by a mere fact what I’m doing, the first thing that I did when I came back in, I did medical supplies being tendered throughout the country.”

The newborn’s life was threatened by an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. From Punta Gorda the baby was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga because he needed use of a ventilator. But because there was none available, the decision was taken to transfer the baby to the K.H.M.H. Three minutes into the journey, the ambulance broke down and the baby was returned to Dangriga and then flown to the Belize City where still there was no ventilator. The baby died on May nineteenth.

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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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