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Jun 6, 2013

COLA’s protest against K.H.M.H. in wake of 13 baby deaths

On Tuesday, the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action held a press conference to demand answers from the K.H.M.H. and the government on the thirteen newborn deaths in the neonatal intensive care unit in the month of May. And this morning COLA, some of the grieving parents and concerned Belizeans marched on the K.H.M.H. to ensure that their message is heard. It was a small demonstration with less than one hundred persons, but there was no mistaking the passion and the determination of those few who walked in unity to show that they have had enough. Mike Rudon was in front of the K.H.M.H. this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Led by this small coffin symbolizing what has been lost by the parents mourning their dead, the small group of protesters carried placards with messages for the management of the K.H.M.H. and for the government. But if the signs weren’t absolutely clear, their voices were. President of COLA, Giovanni Brackett, was in the forefront, flanked by angry Belizeans and grieving parents, all marching to send a message to ears which so far seem to be deliberately turned away.

 

Giovanni Brackett

Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“The important thing is that the message that the parents sent from Tuesday’s press conference; the message that was sent when thirteen babies died within twenty days; the message sent when mothers lost their wombs up north; when the parent lost her child in Punta Gorda. Those alone in singular events should have sent a message to government. The fact that we don’t have an adequate response from the government at this time, tells me that we have to question the heart of the government. I think that today’s event is just to demonstrate that COLA went on the record to say that we are completely dissatisfied and that we are calling for an independent investigation of what went on at the K.H.M.H. excluding the management; we can’t have them investigating themselves.”

 

Stephen Panton, Son Died in the K.H.M.H.

“They have wah lotta things weh the hospital do ina the past and weh dehn still di do now. And if we noh want nothing like this happen in the future, we need to take a stand now and we have to make them know that we noh wah allow them to sweep anything underneath the carpet no more. And basically that dah it to make dehn clean up dehn act and deal with the people di right way so we noh have to go through this.”

 

Marisa Cruz

Marisa Cruz, Daughter Died in the K.H.M.H.

“I just want everybody to get out here and support because we are not the only people who have lost kids. We have other families who have lost as well, but nothing has been done. People do not come out and show their support. People sometimes just stay home and take everything; don’t let people walk over you.”

 

Yolanda Rodriguez, Protester

Yolanda Rodriguez

“This is heartbreaking; it really is. When I saw the mothers on TV, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that in this day and age, we are having this problem in a hospital that is the hospital of the whole country. How can it take thirteen babies before you can realize that there is something wrong in this hospital; there is a bacteria? I don’t understand it. I think we have the worst Minister of Health we have ever had in this country. I think the Prime Minister needs to realize that that man needs to go, he needs to be replaced. I have heard him yet come out and give condolences to these mothers who have lost their children. Come on where is the compassion in these people.”

 

Yolanda Rodriguez is a community activist who has been out of the public spotlight for some time now, but she, and others, were called out by the plight of the parents who have lost their children at the K.H.M.H.

 

Yolanda Rodriguez

“I’m back because I have seen that the injustices continue, the abuse continues; the people of Belize are very oppressed. We need to stand up, we need to not be afraid. And I am calling on the Belizean people today you can make the difference, you are the ones that put the politicians there, you are the ones that put the government there, you are the ones that are the boss. You cannot sit back. We are losing our country. the time to stand up is now.”

 

Patrick Jason Andrews

Patrick Jason Andrews, Protester

“I had no other choice but to be out here to let the Prime Minister know that these thirteen babies that die deserve answers and we are calling for a proper investigation—not by the same people who are managing the hospital; that is nonsense. But again the Prime Minister seems to have closed off his ears from the public and that is a dangerous place for us to be as a society, as a nation.”

 

These protesters and parents feel that the government has ignored the cries of the people, even as the government’s propaganda radio station has criticized the parents, claiming that they are blowing the situation out of proportion.

 

Stephen Panton

Stephen Panton

“Blowing it out of proportion; this dah noh out of proportion. To me nothing noh out of proportion. What out of proportions is basically the operations weh di take place at the K.H.M.H. and dehn just ened to clean up dehn act and dehn need to own up to what dehn di do and make we move on from deh.”

 

Marisa Cruz

“To me it is not blowing out of proportion anything because I’m a mother—well I was a mother—and if they had lost a child, they would have been doing the same thing that we are doing. So we are not blowing anything out of proportion. They should put themselves in our place and feel our pain.”

 

Giovanni Brackett

“When you get calls eleven o’clock in the night from the U.S., when you get calls from a cripple man in P.G. who says I wish I could have been down there, when you get calls from government workers to say mien we neva knew so much thing was wrong or we neva get the sense that it was so serious. Then you understand that this message has gone far. It’s not so much the numbers that is here, it is the numbers that you don’t see and the discontent that you don’t see that will come back to haunt you.”

 

Yolanda Rodriguez will be meeting with the parents today to explore ways in which they can fundraise to pursue legal options. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

Since its press conference exactly one week ago, the hospital has not had any further update on the neonatal deaths.

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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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12 Responses for “COLA’s protest against K.H.M.H. in wake of 13 baby deaths”

  1. Rod says:

    Every parent needs to sue this pm and gov, personally for the deaths of their babies because they are responsible for the deaths and this pm has the deaths of over 2000 people on his hands what makes anyone think he cares about 12 more it means nothing to him judas barrow cares only about lining his pockets and his ministers pockets . Wake the hell up belizeans this pm and his gov. Need to be locked up for thief and murder and Nigel needs to be locked up for stupid along with them.

  2. Simple Simon says:

    My condolence goes out to the mothers and fathers that put their thrust in KHMH under PM Barrow and his INCOMPETENT ministers. PM Barrow DON’T CARE ABOUT BELIZE-ANS when his WIFE or CORRUPT CABINET MINISTERS need medical attention they fly to Miami or Houston while POOR BELIZE AN economically alienated by his DON’T GIVE A DAMN APPROACH are forced to go to KHMH to HAVE THEIR NEW BORN KILLED. How does this man sleep at nite KNOWING THIS IS HAPPENING and DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT??? but his TYPICAL MODOS OPORADI Do Nothing. All he wants to do is OPPRESS THE PEOPLE with the POLICE AND COURTS.

  3. Storm says:

    This protest is a beginning. There are doctors and administrators who performed poorly, and they have the blood o babies on their hands. I hope more groups join COLA in pursuing justice until it is achieved.

  4. Belizean Pride says:

    it’s not only a shame for the pm but this is going internationally to show how gov. takes things like these for granted and is left to slide underneath the rug along with hundreds of atrocities done to the country and it’s people.
    the ugliest part is that almost every time they interview the pm he doesn’t know nothing. and he doesn’t wants to comment, how in the hell can that be, it’s like a father not knowing how things are going inside his family about his wife and kids, damn!!! what a pm we have fu real.

  5. belizean says:

    coropt G.O.B

  6. belizean says:

    This is how this G.O.B operates, they don’t solve the problems of the Country. When eleccion time is around all they do is buy people out with money etc, It is time for the people to wake up and ensure that the problems are solved by the G.O.B. In other countries these issues are investigated and treated as a criminal issue and the persons involved pay for what has been damage. It is time for Belizeans ensure that people in Power pay for these acts. It very inhuman!!! to allow these things to happen.

  7. Phillipa says:

    I am proud of the parents and COLA for doing this now lets sue them the doctors ,khmh and the pm by doing that all other medical personnel will start to take they job more serious.

  8. Nigel says:

    Rod the racist has proved the “Infinite monkey theorem” to be true. The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter (or in this case a keyboard) for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text”. However incoherent you can still use your opposable thumbs to make words and babble we can make out as sentences.Hurray for the sub-primate rod, you have almost evolved enough to be considered a bonafide primate and rod the last time I checked a person cannot be incarcerated for calling a sub-primate dumb.

  9. Andy says:

    What is the right answer? Investigation, request an outside entity do an independent inspection and interview of all staff and doctors. At this point, we need to know, who was involved, what happened to cause this, where did this bacteria come from, when did it really start, and why is this just now being caught. There may be a trend going back years, so to the parents, we are with you and want answers.

    Thanks

  10. disown mi country says:

    I’ve been saying for quite some time, OVERTHROW THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT of BELIZE. Citizens,you need to act and stop talking. Also, expose them to the rest of the world. The exposure will be bad publicity and affects them financially.It is true that some jobs will be affected,but it’s s sacrifice that you have to make. Anyway,the ministers and their cronies reap the bulk of the benefits from foreign investors.

  11. disown mi country says:

    I’ve been saying for quite some time, OVERTHROW THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT of BELIZE. Citizens,you need to act and stop talking. Also, expose them to the rest of the world. The exposure will be bad publicity and affects them financially.It is true that some jobs will be affected,but it’s s sacrifice that you have to make. Anyway,the ministers and their cronies reap the bulk of the benefits from foreign investors.

  12. disown mi country says:

    I’ve been saying for quite some time, OVERTHROW THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT of BELIZE. Citizens,you need to act and stop talking. Also, expose them to the rest of the world. The exposure will be bad publicity and affects them financially.It is true that some jobs will be affected,but it’s s sacrifice that you have to make. Anyway,the ministers and their cronies reap the bulk of the benefits from foreign investors.

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