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Jul 15, 2010

Small child loses her life to dengue

melissa cruz

An eighteen year old man was stabbed and killed in Ladyville this afternoon. The young man, Anthony Matura, had just gotten off a bus and was heading home when he was attacked.  We’ll have more on this story coming up, but first a five year old St. Ignatius school girl is believed to be the first casualty this year of the break-bone fever. The child, originally from Progresso Village, was admitted at the K.H.M.H. on Saturday and died on Wednesday. The family is still reeling from her death and are preparing for her burial. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The parents of five-year-old Melissa Cruz were both grief-stricken this morning as the body of their daughter was being carried out of the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to a nearby vehicle.  The child’s mother, Ana Nelly Cruz, was in an absolute state of shock as the small wooden casket was being placed in the pan of the pickup truck.  The infant, as unconfirmed report has it, is the first fatality of dengue hemorrhagic fever in the country this year.  Ivan Cruz says his family made the seventy mile journey from Progresso Village to Belize City last weekend to seek medical attention for Melissa when she fell ill on Saturday.

Ivan Cruz, Father of Melissa Cruz

ivan cruz

“On Sunday we get to bring her here because the baby was experiencing a slight pain and slight fever noh.  My wife bring her and she tek my daughter to the Publics clinic and the guy, the doctor weh work at this place told my wife about the baby have something weh he don’t really want to mess with, deal with, understand.  So this guy called this other doctor, I’m not sure if this da the correct name, Dr. Grinage, something like that noh and this guy; I appreciate the help weh he do in a way because ih help my wife to bring my daughter here to the KHMH and dehn say, well he introduce my wife to the doctors and the baby and the first thing weh dehn do they just try oh touch Melissa and say oh Melissa have appendix.”

After performing surgery on the little girl doctors at the KHMH later determined that she did not have appendicitis.  What she was found to be suffering from was an acute form of dengue fever.  The Cruz family contends that despite her diagnosis Melissa was transferred to the pediatric ward instead of the Intensive Care Unit.

Voice of: Melissa Cruz’s Aunt

“She was taken to the pediatric rooms.  From there the baby was left there from one; from twelve when the surgery was done until about six when we came.  We came at four but at six the baby had no drips, no nothing on her.  I think the baby died of dehydration actually because, I mean, the baby just come out from surgery.  I understand they couldn’t find the blood, the veins; however, I think that they should have done something and move faster because, I mean, the baby is losing blood.  She has hemorrhagic fever, dengue they should have moved faster but they didn‘t do that.”

That recklessness, says her father, is what ultimately led to her death.  Cruz is calling for a formal inquiry into the matter, one separate from what he is planning to conduct.

Ivan Cruz,

“I’m not happy with this but I will take this with time and try to investigate some more and get through with this because we can’t left the death of my daughter just like this noh.  It’s a person, a daughter,somebody I miss.”

Loreen Ciego, Principal, St. Ignatius School

loreen ciego


“Melissa reminds me very much of her aunt that I have taught while I was a teacher at St. Ignatius, very quiet, very intelligent child, very sweet, very loving; definitely did not deserve to go this way.  Definitely.  We’ll miss her a lot there at St. Ignatius School.”

At last check officials from the Ministry of Health had confirmed that there were close to three hundred and fifty clinical cases of dengue fever with an additional forty plus cases diagnosed as dengue hemorrhagic fever but that the occurrence cannot be considered an epidemic.

Dr. Jose Marenco, Dir. Environmental Health Programs

“There’s no such thing as an outbreak throughout the country of Belize.  We do have increased number of cases in Cayo District and Belize District.  So this is basically the situation.  The other districts are pretty much on what is expected for this time of year.”

That was a week ago.  The ministry, since then, has not issued an official update on the status of the outbreak neither has it confirmed other deaths related to the virus.  Following a post mortem examination earlier today which concluded that Melissa Cruz died of dengue shock syndrome the family returned to Progresso Village where they will prepare for her burial. Reporting for News Five I am Isani Cayetano.


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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39 Responses for “Small child loses her life to dengue”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    The same staff that asked a dying patient to stop hollering & annoying the other patients as he lay bleeding & in pain from the bullets inside his body?(Mr. Faber). Who families are afraid to approach because “dey no wah nobody hag dey up”. That same staff whom we all assumed were incompetent kept Rodwell alive long enough to get to a better equipped hospital so we know they have the ability to do their jobs. This child had surgery she didn’t need & if what her relatives say is true, she got substandard care. How much did the bottle of drip cost that they failed to give her?

  2. maddyvandijk says:

    Dengue hemorrhagic fever is severe, and so often fatal.
    The only thing that the doctor needed to do before he performed an appendix operation on the child was to do a simple blood test since he abviously was not sure about the dengue symptons that was no doubt visible on the child.

    What still angers me is that even with so many cases and experience over the years with dengue in belize, doctors are still capable of making mistakes with dengue and appendix, this is madness.

    Dengue can ne prevented, people need to start cleaning up their yards, tidy things up for your own sake.

    R.I.P Melissa.

  3. Commando says:

    So sad,.. my sincerest condolences to the Cruz family.

  4. ssb says:

    After hearing this story lastnite on the news I was so angry of the incompetence of KHMH which really shoulldn’t have suprised me because we have all heard tons of stories abouth them. I dont blame the hospital its the unprofessional staff that works there. You go in for watever reason and you are left to wait so long before anyone really takes the time and investigate what is the problem. This father should really seek legal actions I know in Belize it may be a waste of time because we never get justice but this man’s child is dead and that could have been prevented if they knew and cared about what they were doing.

    I would just like to put this out there and not everything that happens in Belize is about politics but the so call Prime Minister and Minister of Health have to step up to the plate. When they wanted to get into office they promised everything but the moon and stars now that they are in and filling their pockets with the Belizean ppl money they could care less. Money has to be invested in the health system its a damn shame how you go to the hospital and the dont have the equipment or the know how to diagnose someone. You go there and they are sending you to other facilites to get tests done and go for ultrasounds for goodness sake your a hospital that should be what you do!! I hold the GOB responsible for the carelessness of that hospital it time to get off your a** mr barrow and do something other than spend our money its ridiculous this child didnt have to die.

  5. Proud Belizean says:

    So sad….my sympathies to the Cruz family. How unprofessional these ppl at KHMH are. For that same reason, eventhough it costs libit more, i go to Loma Luz or Belize Healthcare Partners.

  6. macal rivera says:

    prevention is better than cure!!! It is discusting when you see those people from malaria dept just riding around town, sometines in bar taking wan lee beer,what thses guys should be doing in going around spraying those areas infested with mosquitoes, they should be walking around educating those that don’t know better, common malaria dept start to do your work you are being paid to do.

    Codolences to the family, Melissa is in a better place.

  7. LocalOW says:

    It is really a sad case when we hear about this. I agree that our doctors require proper training to diagnose properly and indeed a simple blood test would have proven the case. But if you note that Dr. Grinage did take the necessary steps to place the child in better care. Kudos to Doc. However, it is so tragic, that we tend to chose the inferior medical facility such as Publix Health to answer our life and death situations. We can’t turn back the hands of time and bring back little Melissa, but indeed proper medical treatment and providing our doctors with the best in Medical equipment, would facilitate in producing right results. Belize have good doctors, but no tools/equipment to work with. We can’t ask the Minister of heath to assist because he might a year or so to realize what happened, therefore with the 18 million allocated in the medical budget, we ask the self-proclaimed PM to do something. Little Melissa is so precious and its really heartbreaking. you’ll be an angel in the sky. R.I.P.

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    That’s the reason why Belize need to have other forensic pathologist because if this kid died as a result of malpractice at the hospital no one will ever know because their isn’t anyone to contest what Mario Estrada findings.And we all know that he is going to go with the staff at the hospital version.

  9. Elgin Martinez says:

    That’s the reason why Belize need to have other forensic pathologist because if this kid died as a result of malpractice at the hospital no one will ever know because their isn’t anyone to contest Mario Estrada findings.And we all know that he is going to go with the staff at the hospital version.

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    DOn’t the nurses in hospital make checks on patients?Furthermore this was a kid who had just got out of surgery so i would assume that more attention would be given to here.You people need to get your a sued.Enough of the bull.

  11. Elgin Martinez says:

    Sorry about the typing error but i am dead serious come on Belize we need to start hold all these people that are been payed by the taxpayers accountable.Only in Belize can they do all this bull and walk.

  12. belizeanpride says:

    it’s very concerning about the doctors making a big mistake of confusing dengue and appendix. it’s frightening, so that means that other patients might have already died due to lack of good judgement on the symptoms and sickness they have when they reach the hospital. something must be done to avoid this type of mishap or negligence that these doctors are doing.

    My respects to the Cruz family and R.I.P little belizean sister.

  13. James says:

    Sad to hear such a doctor cannot tell what to do for a patients who is sick. That is a doctor by the name not by a profession or calling but rather money to his name at the hospital.
    That doctor should be out of the job

  14. gde says:

    I am sick of this, for god i feel like cursing..but just let me say that this is not just a hospital issue, its our reality…the reality of our incompetent authorities throughout the country. For God we have Good competent people out there in belize and spread all over the word. I know great belizean doctors that work out in USA hospital, Guatemala ( manager of the pedriatic area), Costa Rica, Taiwan and Cuba. You ask them if they going back to belize….they answer ” Its realy sad not to be back home an help my people, but politics manages everything in belize..we will not be able to exercise there”. This does not happen only with doctors, we have plenty of profesionals out there making a living, which they would prefer to be done at belize. My fellow belizeans its time…time for a real change…%$!(/& the PUP and UDP…$%&·%& colors..if we keep thinking in political parties and colors we will participate in the mediocre future we are creating. Then we cry bout prime minister….ministers and everything..we blame other, please start blaming yourself….when we get to do that…then we proudly say “I pissed of this time..next chance i’ll make the change”. I am proud belizean wanting to go back home…for god i have tears…..want to go home and excercise.

  15. Commando says:

    belizeanpride,.. I’m ur admirer baby,.. send me ur email address.

    :-O

  16. A Doctor says:

    It sad to hear such misfortunes repeat itself at KHMH, and perhaps under-reported from private sectors.
    To view from family and public’s perspective: Why can’t we just get up-standard, minimum medical care at KHMH or the likes? Well, my folks, sadly to inform, that place is still lack of major resources and no one seem to care. Even if they do care, it’s a momentary thing such as in Cruz’s case. KHMH has not equipped with Dengue test in its STAT laboratory. For those who’s not familiar with, KHMH has a small STAT lab runs most lab tests for ER and wards on needed/urgent basis. Remainder exams would be process in batch during office hours in Central Lab adjacent to KHMH, hence tests such as Dengue, Hepatitis (not complete) and others would be done there. Why doesn’t STAT lab equip with Dengue test (even more, test such as CPK-MB/Troponin for heart attack are not even there or not calibrate!)? Well, beats me too. The testing kit can be ordered from place like eBay for 9 dollars, but it would cost you 40 to do it in private, and maybe more for ministry to buy for someone to make some profit in between (no one has been punished YET for the audit!!).
    Regardless of diagnosis, treatment for Dengue Hemorrhagic Shock, as in for baby Cruz, it would require quite a bit of platelet transfusion. To give you an idea, it takes 5-10 units (donors) to generate 1 bag of platelet for 1 transfusion. Belizean public is not particular hype about blood donation, and even worse, there are only two staff working at blood bank for KHMH/Belize City. Blood banking is not up-to-date, and it doesn’t seem to bother the ministry.
    As for the doctor/staff at KHMH? Well, thanks to large amount of patients flown in, most of them actually have good grasp of medicine in general, but no adequate/substandard support by various specialties, lab, medication supply, lack of efficiency. Plus, no further training is available on site or in the country.
    On top, ER in KHMH doesn’t cost anything, literally, therefore everyone go there for anything and everything. Giving you an idea, the average waiting time of ER in New York is 288 mins, and rest of the US about 120-160 mins, if you have minor things. So when you visit the place, you may get frustrated, but staff may be facing 10-20 people of your same frustration. How would a public officer at immigration, income tax, city council and the likes behave if they have 20 people banging on their windows at once?
    I apologize for speaking a little lop-sided for the doctor/nurse, but they are a group of soldiers send to war with only handguns and walki-talki, and some with only a machete and an old handbook of combat skills with lost pages. When they tried to fight with the administration and gov, they didn’t get luv from public (apparently they are not train to do a good public relation with the public), hence, nothing has changed. KHMH is an old, grandpa like machine with too much burdens, and those who wants to change it ended up changing themselves. New blood soon becomes stagnant pool of junk once entering such system. It doesn’t seem correct, at least to me, to place political affiliates in top positions over those who wants to really do something. If I would make good recommendations to improve and get turned down 3 times, I think anyone and everyone would want to give up.

    Just think, where’s the dialysis? A lot of young blood killing each others on street, perhaps we should imagine the possibility of organ transplant so kidney patients wouldn’t have to die? Well folks, it’s science fiction, for those who would think, talk, and rather do nothing. Belize is blessed with good international supports, but somehow some people just don’t see it that way.

    Condolescence to Cruz’s family, and to others who were injured due to our lack of resources and political apathy.

  17. K says:

    So sad Belizeans and it’s unfortunate it’s worth nothing to sue for malpractice. I am scared to think that Belizean health care probably doesn’t even meet Third World standards if something as denque can be confused with appendicitis. I dread to think that my simple gallstones might actually be mistaken for more severe liver disease or maybe I was missdiagnosed and it’s the other way around. D@mned if these doctors know what they are doing anymore. But you know the strangest thing I only mention company health insurance and Viola! full service and with a smile…something you don’t see everyday.

    RIP little Melissa, God has you in his arms now.

  18. Elgin Martinez says:

    This hospital has the right name because once you get admitted their don’t expect anything else but a memorial.

  19. deedee says:

    Again, another life loss due to incompetence…so sad.

  20. Empress says:

    You got that right Kill her murder him hospital is so sick RIP baby girl

  21. macal rivera says:

    elgin stop be soooo negatives, goods report do come out from the hospital, memba the young man from village that got shot on his head,he recover good good good, I agree this was a serious mistake,
    but we need to ecourage our neighbours to keep our yard clean, clean cause when our yard is neglected with pan, bottle old tires, that is what breed the dengue mosquitoes.
    Maybe they have to check into the QUACK that could’nt diagnose properly.
    Elgin we still have good doctor, good policemen, good teachers, ect,ect,ect.
    Usually out of one tray of egg, sometimes dah only one egg rotten!!!

  22. Peace says:

    It is sad, but these things only happens in Belize, just like crime , look how many people get acquitted from murder is same with health . People get kill when seeking health care and no one care. Yes you will now hear on the news investigation this that and at the other and at end no one is to blame, just like when KHMH was involved in miss used of their funds no one was to blame …

    these things only happens in Belize…

  23. common sense says:

    I HAD nothing but praise for KHMH – the improvement over 10 years has been great, but still so far to go. This is horrific, even operated for an appendix?

    Allah provide strength to the family, Allah provide patience to the family….time will tell. Sue dem hard brother….although monetary compensation will not return her nor improve the medical system.

    Time for a revolution for Belize – bloody or peaceful, something needs to be done, we are slipping down so fast into the abyss of sheer septic discharge (have to use these words as it will be edited and censured if I use the words I want to use).

  24. Too Tired says:

    I was once in KHMH for a miscarriage & I needed a bedpan to relieve myself as I was just out of surgery. The nurse came & place the bedpan under me & because of the drugs from the surgery I fell back into a sleep. I awoke an hour & a half later to a sharp pain in my back, I then realized the bedpan was left under me & no one came to help me. I tried getting up to remove it & collapsed & that’s when the nurse came in a scolding way to let me know I was giving her more work & it was a Friday. She wanted an easy day & I wasn’t doing that for her.

    These cases at the KHMH are all normal & regular occurences. The hopital itself is in an unsanitary state. The staff speak to patients as if they are a disturbance. The doctors are usually in their own conversations & really do not seem intrested or demonstrate any humanity. It is really sad that this little baby girl went this way. We really don’t want to make every scenario out to be political but where is the CHANGE that we were promised. Rodwell was treated as an A list patient, this child was from Progresso & of humble beginnings. Health is not just in the way we keep ourselves or our yard but take a GOOD LOOK at how our market down town is. It’s STINK, DIRTY, RAT INFESTED, ROACH INFESTED & MOST OF ALL UBSANITARY. Our streets are filled with garbage, dirty drains & dirty street dogs. Infront of our police station is STINK, SMELLS LIKE URINE & at night loitered with HOMELESS. Where is OUR GOB? As the father said in church, “The Jaguar is DEAD!!!” So Mr. Singh or Mr. Barrow before you go out & buy Ministers’ fancy vechicle clean up our streets, buy equiptment & meds for our hospitals & buy a cheaper vechicle for the Ministers’. As you had said the economy is in bad shape so learn to invest in cheaper vechicles & spend the money on our people.

  25. jein says:

    that ture the belize doctor are not care about the people of bze

  26. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Cruz family. This is a tragic story as a result of pure negligence on the part of the healthcare professionals. Rather than criticising the doctors and nurses working flat out in Belize with very little resources. The healthcare system is very primitive, with very little investment. These investments should include an efficient pathology department, highly trained staff, and state of the art equipments. This lack of knowledge is clearly evident by the doctors working in the tropics not being able to recognised the signs and symptoms of a tropical disease presented to them. Upon examining this child and working in Belize, one should have suspect that it could have been a viral condition, as the illness was a sudden onset.

    When I suggested investment for the well-qualified staff at KHM, I meant regular mandatory training to keep up to date with their practice/skills. I wonder how many of these doctors upon receiving their MD qualifications continue with post grad courses. New research findings continually being published should definitely influence their clinical practice, however if doctors and nurses are not given this opportunity then the standard of care will always be inferior. If a doctor who gains his/her qualification in 2000, and haven’t pursued any refresher course (in their field) in the past ten years, then they could well be working using out-of -date practice.

    I believe the doctors in KHM are experts at trauma (i.e., gun shots, stab wounds, RTA injuries), however I would not be confident in them to provide any other specialist care for the reasons spell out above. Not because they are not capable, but because of the system they find themselves working in. We need to collaborate with our neighbours in the north, in exchange programs where we share skills.

  27. BZNinCALI says:

    Believe it or not, Belizean doctors collaborate with their neighbors, within the last 2 years at least one team of doctors from Mexico went down there to help improve their skills, one team included at least one gynecologist & the team member I spoke with will gladly return. There is an oncologist who spends a lot of time in Corozal, there is a Bzn doctor who has set up a cancer clinic in Dangriga. Lack of ethics, empathy & communication skills make too many staff members appear ignorant & uncaring. There are organizations that will gladly donate equipment & meds but are hesitant to do so because no one trusts that the equipment will go to the public hospital.

    There are a lot of medical professionals from Belize now living in the US who are near or past retirement age, who would gladly donate their time & expertise, they fear the lawless & violence that is taking over the country.

    Many Med Schools offer on line enrichment classes or weekend classes to assist people who want to stay abreast of changes. Let’s not forget that the former head of Our Medical Program at UB(?) was arrested & returned to the US on fraud charges a few years ago. We had a fraud teaching people how to pass a test he never took & no indication that he even went to Med School.

  28. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    I am sorry to hear that so many people have had such bad experience when they were most vulnerable and needed those people in authority to provide the highest standard of care. As I said before it is the system, lack of standards, no guidelines in place and if there is one, it seems no one follows it or know about it. In the case of the young woman (too tired), it goes back to their training, and the registering bodies of all the health professionals in Bz, presumably we have one for each of the disciplines (i.e Doctors, nurses etc)? The only way to improve a system is to provide feedback about the care you receive (what was good and was bad). Luckily this forum offers the opportunity to do so. If there is no registering bodies then who do you complain to?

    Infection control should also be top of the agenda in any hospital, so even if no money is available, the following words should never be linked to a hospital that treats human being:
    It’s STINK, DIRTY, RAT INFESTED, ROACH INFESTED & MOST OF ALL UBSANITARY. Those in authority should hang their heads in shame. A few buckets, mops, cloths, gloves, water, soap and disinfectant, labour is pretty cheap in Belize. Therefore if nothing else, our hospital should be spotless/odourless, at least we should get that right.

    What makes me so angry is that almost in acknowledgement that the system is rotten and not fit for purpose. Or perhaps that they lack confidence in the very hospital that they have successively failed fund. When these people fall ill, the next sentence you hear is that they went to US for treatment. Depending on their socio-economics they go to the US, a bit poorer goes to Mexico, less funds go to Guatemala, very little to the universal and then the paupers KHMH. Isn’t that a shame? Real animal farm.

    Isn’t it about time we come into the 21st century? Healthcare reforms should be high on the agenda now.

  29. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    I agree 100% with what you said BZNinCALI. It must be demoralising for the doctors/nurses working here in BZ though.

    What I don’t get is how our leaders don’t seem to get it?

  30. LTC says:

    It’s always disturbing when a precious life is lost due to Hospital negligence. I can only imagine the suffering this family is going through. Death is irreversible, and no matter what we say or do, Melissa is gone forever. I’d like to give my sincere condolences to the Cruz’ family.

    Elgin, you are so right: a child who was just in surgery, and had complications, should have had a stricter vigilance. ‘Too tired” I think that the same thing happened to you and thank God you survive it, despite the poor care you received. Quite frankly, I think you should have reported that nurse to her superiors as well as any staff who ill treated you, so that the same pattern of abuse doesn’t keep happening.

    What many of us fail to realize, is that understaffing is a major issue with Public Health Facilities and I would hate to think that something as frivolous as this caused Little Melissa’s demise. Imagine if she had gotten the same attention those very same staff gave to Rodwell, at their private practice? Many times we go to the KHMH and we are forced to wait endlessly on a very few staffs because that hospital seems to have a serious problem with providing enough staff to EFFECTIVELY DELIVER ADEQUATE HEALTH CARE. It doesn’t seem to bother Cabinet or The Ministry of Health; at least not enough for them to take action. A little less spending by GOB, on gas – drinking SUVs, would provide the extra funds needed to supply ample human resources to the KHMH.

    There’s no excuse for unprofessional, negligent staffs, ‘ doctor’. Condoning them, and letting them off the hook because administrators and Ministry failed in its job, will only hurt the Institution and its patients. We can only empathize with the frustration of KHMH’s staff, but we must not confuse NEGLIGENCE WITH INEFFICIENCY DUE TO LACK OF RESOURCES! At the same time we must ask ourselves, ‘do you think that the staff of KHMH enjoys being understaffed, overworked and underappreciated? Do you think if they were given a choice, wouldn’t they prefer to work in a first- class service hospital, where not only patients are treated right, but the staffs too, i.e. good benefits, comfortable work areas, state –of- the- art resources, a good pension scheme, insurance, etc. . . .

    The Minister of Health is clueless, and has done nothing to uplift himself in order to rise to the many challenges that his ministry is facing. Health is his main portfolio and I doubt he even has a definition for Health. THE BUCK STOPS WITH HIM! Lay the blame where it belongs first and foremost! While the Minister is relaxing and drinking expensive whiskey at the CFZ, Private Health investors are getting their way with his Ministry. The SSB’s MONEY IS SPENT PRIMARILY ON THOSE PRIVATE HOSPITALS. Imagine the SSB, which everyone knows is GOB – controlled, chooses NOT to invest in the Public Health Facilities, hence providing well needed funds to improve these facilities.

    There has to be a reason why Public health care is kept substandard, skimpy, and poorly equipped. Can you imagine what would happen to Private Hospitals if the KHMH was brought up to their standard? THINK ABOUT IT, why would anyone pay thousands of dollars at a private facility to get the same service you can get at KHMH for free? Look at the long wait to get a Dialysis Unit installed in at least one of the Public Hospitals! WHY WOULD THE MINISTRY WANT TO KEEP PAYING MILLIONS FOR PRIVATE DIALYSIS? Who is benefitting by keeping Dialysis out of the Public Hospitals.

    When Belizeans were presented with opportunity to let Ministers of Cabinet know how we feel about the grossly neglected Public health care of this country, most of us chose to stay at home. Only 3000 people turned out on Independence Hill, when Musa / Fonseca wanted to use up 33 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to fund the private debt of UHS. Imagine 3000 people out of 300, 000. What a doggone shame! Talk about priorities!

  31. BZNinCALI says:

    Charlotte,
    Our leaders don’t get it because they don’t want to, they would have to give up some of their perks & live by what they preached to get voted into office.

    We have oil, we are less populated than Kuwait where education & health care is free to all of their citizens.. Demanding that we develop top notch schools & a decent medical system before we give any of ” the anointed ones” oil money to pay us to stand outside their gates to protect them from us is not too much to ask. & everyone benefits. Imagine health tourists coming into our country for good affordable care, it is cheaper than going to India & Thaland & the flight is a lot shorter, we could make money. There are some good doctors, someone mentioned Dr Grinage, I have heard great stuff about Dr Sanchez & there is another one in Dangriga. You’re right, they do deserve credit for making do with what they have & they are appreciated.

  32. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    I have enjoyed reading all the blogs you. I hope those in authority is listening. LTC, I know is a conspiracy theory, but very plausible. However, if this is so then this contravene the doctors Hippocratic Oaths.

    BZNinCALI: I like the idea of medical tourism, but there needs to be a radical overhaul of the healthcare system. I myself attended a healthcare facility in Bangkok Thailand in April 2009 – Bumrungrad Hospital. I was travelling through Asia and a very dear friend from Belize introduced me to this amazing hospital whilst I was in Thailand. It was out of this world, nicer than the five star hotels I had stayed before. When it was time for my discharge from the hospital I didn’t want to go home. I was well cared for, all staff was very professional, floor you could see your face in it. The nurses were the very best. Surprisingly because of the exchange rate, it was very affordable. They were all curious to know where was Belize?

    What I am trying to say is that the idea of Medical Tourism is a very good one; however the standards they are going to be competing against are very high-class standards. I know that Barbados, Venezuela and Brazil and many other countries in the region have such businesses already (cosmetic surgeries, and IVF etc). I would never question the skills of these doctors in Belize, but the system has got to change radically.

    Moving forward what I would like to see is that the government now begin investing in healthcare and KHMH. Recruitment of doctors and nurses so it is fully staffed, this may mean recruiting from abroad until we have our own home grown nurses and doctors. They could also offer incentives to the highly trained doctors and nurses they lost, to entice them back home.

    If these guys want consultants any one of us could be of assistance right? There are plenty of Belizeans with the knowledge and skills however, as the saying goes its not what you know but who you know. This is the problem and what keeps Belize from making real progress.

  33. Peace says:

    LTC you are right…my friend let me tell you something, about what the Ministry of health is doing about a MOnth Ago or so It was on the news that BNE and an Organization that the spoke person is Prime Minister Wife donated 800,00Bz dollars in Equipemnt to the Western Regional Hospital Maybe you can recall it on the news…Well let me tell you it was a blatant lie the donation did came but it was trailer full of Junk and expired goods, yes maybe a few things weere acceptable. Yes there were equipment but guess what they were equipment that thier company are out of service. Yea but the CEO and The Manager all held a nice ceremony congratulating a thanking BNE and Mrs. Barrow for their kind donation …what a shame . Seems that that people can go to USA and pik junk from hopital that throw away pack it nicely into a trailer and Our Government accept it for the health of our people. wow maybe the media people should investigate and find out the truth: but guess what the staff were theaten by thier Manager not to say a word.

  34. Mad Girl says:

    Why is it that the social class of an individual plays such a big role when it comes to medical assistance. Someone commented that the life of Rodwell was well monitored up until when he could have been taken away but the life of an innocent child of a lower class is insignificant that they could make such a diagnosis of appendix. I honestly believe that KHMH is not a Belizean hospital, if you take a good look in there he nurses are perhaps 20% Belizean, 30% Cuban and 50% Nigerian/African. I took my mother in law for a cancer treatment and since am not aware of their procedures I inquired as I have freedom to and I was attacked harshly by a Nigerian Nurse who made me feel illiterate and incompetent and instead of explaining to me she shouted at me. It immediately irritated me that I preferred to walk away and they my mother in law some where else where she can be treated with proper care. It seems that a Doctor’s Philiosophy has changed their priorities is no longe to save lives but rather to clean up the mess quick at KHMH to make space because crime is so high in Belize that every 5 mins another person needs medical attention. If we cannot trust the Government system whether medical or at the courts who are we then suppose to trust. The PM needs to read our comments and address these social problems that are decreasing our capability to grow as a nation.

  35. belizean says:

    Sad..Sad..Sad…what school those Bzn Drs. went to? did they pass di copy? such Idiots…and blame it all on the Govt for not providing the right effective equipments and tools needed to treat patients….Belizean people learn to defend yourselves….make sure your kids are hydrated…eat a healthy meal…clean your yards from stagnant waters….help yourselves people to protect yourselves.

  36. peacemaker says:

    Its so sad when i child dies. A life so innocent and gone so quickyly. I have three girls of my own and i tell u when i go to KHMH im on their …… I dont care what they say but i will ask every question pertaining to my child. I dont what to hear no bull. This is total negligence. I mean the doctors have certain procedures they go true before they actually dignose someone. Im sure they have ways to check for appendix. My child has been sick more than one time with high fever and the first thing they tell me they have to check for dengue. So what happen to this child, why didn,t they check for dengue, Its total nonsense. This was a young child and doctors should know that they should treat kids all precautions because they are not adults that can tell you exactly what is wrong with them . To the parents of Mellissa, my sincere condolences. My advice to you is SUE THE HOPITAL.. Its too much happening there, so many kids are dieing because of the neglicence at KHMH. Something has to be done, nurses probably need more training we need more BETTER doctors. An advice to people taking their love ones to KHMH, dont leave them, ask as many questions, be on your guard and dont make they push you around and out of the hospital cause thats when they don their nonsense. RIP MELLISA

  37. BELIZEANGYPSY says:

    Is it still free to go to nursing school in Belize like it used to be in the days of Hon. George Cadle Price and Hon. Phillip Goldson, in those times we had efficient and humane nurses who were Belizeans and not foreigners. Hopefully all these Nigerians are trained nurses and not the ones who buy their credentials.

  38. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    Why do we have so many Nigerians nurses in the country. I will make absolutely no apologises for asking this question? They came via UK and USA and landed in Belize? Believe me there first options would never have been Belize. There standards are just not good enough for the other countries. These nurses can be quite abrupt, and can come across very rude when they speak because of their poor command of the English language. I am aware that there has been a world wide recruitment because of shortage of nurses. However, I think Belize need to tighten their rules for employment and living in Belize. I also feel that they are using Belize as the port to eventually migrate to the USA, just the Philipinos nurses do in the UK. They arrive in the UK with one aim to sit their NCLEX within five years and then move to USA.

    Belize is not the only country that have Nigerian nurses, there are many in Queen Elizabeth hospitals in Barbados. A few months ago, there was in a dispute between the Broadcasting Corp and the nigerian nurses. The Corporation had claimed that they were working below standards (unqualified) and that three nurses had died of HIV/AIDS (this is in the public domain). So about 40 of the nurses went on strike demanding that the statement was retracted.

    We need to set higher standard for the nurses in Belize (check their papers etc). Recruit Nigerian Nurses if you must, but they need to be of high standards and also make a five years agreement with them as they’re only here strategically to reach the USA .

  39. PK in NM, US says:

    I traveled to Belize City back in 1986 and I recall getting quite a shock at the conditions of a hospital/clinic there. It was not too large or small, was 1 story high, and, to get to the point, the ‘restroom’ was the center of the inner courtyard. Period. A big heap of human waste and toilet paper surrounded by open windows. ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’ would have been apt.

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