By Kiana Wilburg
Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive member, Cathy Hughes said yesterday that her party is concerned about the performance of the security and health sectors, which she later described to be “poor.”
At the AFC’s last press conference for the year which was held at the Georgetown Club, Hughes was asked about the performance of which sectors her party is most concerned about.
In providing her opinion on the health sector, the AFC parliamentarian said that she is disappointed with its performance, particularly as it relates to the high incidence of maternal deaths and the lack of equipment at the regional health centres.
She recalled a televised incident where a young woman whose baby allegedly died under questionable circumstances after visiting one of the regional hospitals, subsequently had to be transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Hughes then reminded that it was only last week where there was a candlelight vigil which was held in observance of the death anniversary of four-year old, Jaden Mars at the Georgetown Hospital.
“He was more or less a healthy young boy, but with a bite on his tongue,” the politician remarked.
She then expounded on another case where a gold miner passed away under questionable conditions after being treated at the GPHC.
As it relates to the public security sector, Hughes said that she is worried about the incredibly high level of interpersonal violence and the seeming lack of effective approaches by the police force to raise awareness and reduce the incidents.
“I ask, what has the Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee and the administration of the police force done differently? What has been put in place to try or attempt to handle or prevent these situations? Just this morning (yesterday) we heard of a man who killed three persons and again we are not aware of approaches designed and implemented in communities where you are seeing a high incidence of interpersonal violence,” she added.
Hughes then informed the media of a situation she has been dealing with since the start of this week. She said it involved an incident which occurred in one of the regional communities.
The AFC member alleged that, “The area was touched by an event where in one night in a street that still does not have electricity, there were four robberies. During one of those robberies, a 14-year-old was brutally raped by four individuals and an attempt was made to rape a 10-year old.
This is totally unacceptable and what is even worse is, I was approached by one of the family members and they have claimed that they made reports to the police station, and the mother has been trying to get information from a certain inspector and is getting the royal runaround. The children only received counseling two days ago when I put them in my car and went to the Child Care and Protection Agency, and luckily, we were very well received by Ann Greene and her team, but all this is to show you that there are gaps.”
Hughes said that Rohee could “sit and talk about whether we are a forced-ripe party, but at the end of the day who is dealing with those critical situations? …Where does it end?”
At the conclusion of the press conference, the moderator, Beverly Alert and AFC General Secretary, David Patterson were asked if there is any government initiative that they are either proud of or at the least, satisfied with.
Patterson remarked, “That is a tough one.” But Alert promptly said that the AFC is particularly proud of the performance of the CSEC students and though it may be as a result of a combination of factors, she believed their overall performance was outstanding. “Hats off to them.”
Asked if she would attribute any part of that compliment directly to the efforts of the Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, Alert said, “Oh yes, of course, to her and her team. But there is
room for improvement in the education sector, so much room.”
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