Head of the Public Health Department of City Council, Dr. B. Jeffrey, is refuting statements attributed to her by the Stabroek News that she made a public ‘evacuation call’ to residents affected by the smoke from the Princes Street dumpsite.
Yesterday’s edition of the Stabroek News quoted Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, as saying that Dr Jeffrey’s call for evacuation was “preemptive and that she spoke without consulting the Ministry of Health.”
“She made some strong recommendations, but should have consulted with us prior to making them, and we would have advised,” the Stabroek News quoted the minister as saying.
Describing Dr Ramsaran’s utterances as ‘misleading,’ Dr Jeffrey told Kaieteur News yesterday that at no time did she ever advise residents to wantonly evacuate their homes, as the article suggests.
She explained that in the wake of the resurgence of the fires at the landsite, a team of officials from the municipality, which included health and public relations personnel, visited with residents last Friday.
Dr Jeffrey explained that she impressed upon persons who said they were affected by the smoke the importance of seeking medical attention, even going as far as identifying the municipal centres in the vicinity.
“I pointed out to them that there is the Dorothy Bailey Centre on South Road, another one in Festival City, and one in Queenstown …I further advised them that on weekends they could visit the hospitals, since the health centres would be closed….the main thrust of my visit was based on advising persons on ways of avoiding the full impact of the smoke, and for those who exhibit symptoms getting medical treatment.”
Dr Jeffrey said she also questioned persons in homes in which there were infants, elderly persons and those with asthmatic conditions whether they had any close family members with whom they could stay temporarily.
“It was not an open call to everyone to leave their homes… That would be crazy… It was in situations where I, as a medical doctor, deemed it necessary after visiting the homes…. I did not tell anyone to leave, I advised the most vulnerable among them, because of their vulnerability, that if they have an option of temporarily moving, they should take it up.”
Dr Jeffrey, who has been giving of her skills and service to Guyana for almost 21 years, also questioned the relevance of the article in the Stabroek News mentioning her nationality. According to her, this is not the first time she has been described in the Stabroek News as an Ethiopian.
“How is the fact that I am an Ethiopian relevant to the article? I have lived and worked in Guyana all my adult life, I am a citizen of this country and have helped thousands of people. I was not visiting the residents in my capacity as an Ethiopian, but as head of the Public Health Department, and that should have been the focus…What bearing does where I come from have on the story?” she questioned.
Noting that there are scores of foreign professionals living and working in Guyana, Dr. Jeffrey pointed out that the Stabroek News does not refer to their nationalities in its articles.
Dr Jeffrey has lived in Guyana for the last 21 years, and has served at a number of medical institutions throughout the country, in addition to volunteering her services with several medical outreach missions to Guyana.
Jun 04, 2020Archery Guyana proudly fielded two archers for the 60X ISOL Remote Shoot Competition held on 31st May, 2020. This was the ninth stage of this novel Virtual Competition where approximately 100 archers...
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]