Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 26, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Health said its mental health Unit has so far worked with 260 persons including 126 children as part of government’s efforts in response to Sunday’s night tragedy in Mahdia which resulted in the deaths of 19 children.
Providing an update of its work and response thus far, the ministry in a press release on Thursday said under the coordination of the Director of Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr Lachmie Lall, mental health teams were dispatched to Mahdia comprising one child psychiatrist, one child psychologist, three adult psychiatrists, two general psychologists, six social workers, mental health assistants, and two mental health trained family physicians. This team, the ministry said from day one prioritised all children that were in the dorms at the time of the fire, including parents, guardians and teachers. “They were all evaluated and offered psychosocial support. On day two, the fourteen children who were hospitalized in Madhia and their parents were evaluated, including the parents of the children who died in the fire. Auxiliary staff in direct contact with the fire, and first responders, which were inclusive of teachers, police officers and other support staff were also assessed and given psychosocial support. Students who were not hospitalised but were in direct contact with the incident and students that were not in direct contact with the incident but were affected were also assessed and provided psychosocial support,” the ministry noted. It disclosed that thus far, in Mahdia and Region 8 villages, the Ministry’s Mental Health Teams have worked with 260 persons, including 126 children. The teams will continue to work in Mahdia and Region 8 villages continuously over the next three months. “We will review the response at the end of three months and maintain a strong mental health team in the region permanently. All the parents and children are under continuous support from the Mental Health Team including the psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellors and social workers.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it became aware at about midnight Sunday, May 21 into Monday, May 22 morning that a catastrophic event was taking place in Mahdia (Pataro-Siparuni), Region Eight with a fire that had engulfed the whole Female Dormitory at the Mahdia Secondary School. The Health Emergency Protocols were activated immediately, the ministry said, adding that a team of doctors and other public health officials from both Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), headed by a Burns Specialist and Plastic Surgeon, Dr Shilindra Rajkumar, together with necessary medical supplies were assembled and departed the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at about 1.45 am, May 22. Earlier departure was impeded by inclement weather resulting in the team arriving at 2:50 am.
According to the ministry by that time, the local health team, led by Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Johnaton Dudhnath at the Mahdia District Hospital had already been responding to the crisis and had already prepared three patients for a medevac to the GPHC, with one person’s condition listed as critical. They arrived at Ogle and were immediately transferred to GPHC at around 4.15 am. Subsequently, two other medevacs brought in six additional patients. By the afternoon of Monday, May 22 five of those patients were stabilised and admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Another underwent surgery and was admitted into the Burns Care Unit (BCU) and three others were admitted into the Pediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU).
The ministry said on Tuesday, May 23, 10 more patients were medevaced to the GPHC. Their condition was listed as stable. Only three of these ten children were still patients at the Mahdia District Hospital at the time of Medevac. The other seven were housed at the hospital because it was the most convenient accommodation at the time, the statement read. The MOH, out of an abundance of caution, decided to medevac the ten children for further general, medical and psychiatric examination at GPHC. Upon arrival in Georgetown, during the afternoon of Tuesday, May 23rd, the three children who were hospitalised at Mahdia Hospital were assessed and admitted into the PHDU, while the other seven were admitted for further observation and subsequently discharged into the care of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human and Social Services and Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.
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