Latest update June 2nd, 2023 12:49 AM
May 27, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – One of the Mahdia fire victims that is listed as critical at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) will be flown overseas for further medical treatment, Prime Minister Mark Phillips disclosed on Friday during an update on the Mahdia Secondary School’s female dormitory fire that occurred last Sunday.
The victim is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit of the GPHC.
Prime Minister Phillips said “We haven’t determine yet exactly where they will go but based on the doctor’s work that girl is identified for further treatment overseas and she is being prepared to be sent overseas.”
President Irfaan Ali on Thursday during a briefing in Lethem had mentioned that of the two critical girls, one with a 40 percent burn has been offered to be flown to Shriners in Texas, one of the best burn care hospitals.
“The paper work in relation to their passport and travel document is being prepared. We are working simultaneously with Cuba, who has offered full support for all of these children to get the necessary medical care that may not be available here in Guyana,” the Head-of-State said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister during his media update said that every survivor of the fire and their families are undergoing counselling. This is being led by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security he said.
The Prime Minister said that while the majority of the children have been flown to the city for assessment, they have identified four girls who are yet to be sent to Georgetown.
“It is our intention to find out where those girls are and bring them to Georgetown because every person who was in that dorm must undergo an evaluation by the specialist in Georgetown that is our directive,” the Prime Minister related.
Kaieteur News understands that the other girls admitted in the hospital are in a stable condition and are improving.
Meanwhile, 13 children were burnt beyond recognition and as a result Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) samples were taken from families and sent overseas for testing.
The Ministry of Health on Friday disclosed that around noon the Government of Guyana (GOG) obtained the DNA results matching the names of thirteen bodies from the Mahdia fire tragedy that were previously not visually identified. The Ministry said that bodies of the 13 fire victims will now be released to the families of the deceased for funeral arrangements.
According to the Ministry, the DNA analyses were conducted by the Pathology Laboratory of the internationally – recognised Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. Dr. Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Professor and Systems Chair, and internationally renowned for DNA analyses, led a team of experts in conducting the analyses.
Further, arrangements have been put in place by the Guyana Police Force for families to take possession of bodies when and where, in accordance with their wishes. The Government of Guyana is providing assistance and support to all families for funerals over the following days.
As investigation into the fire continues, President Ali on Thursday had signalled the government’s intention to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the tragic fire at the Mahdia dormitory, which claimed the lives of 19 children.
During his Independence Day speech he said, “We are also committed to establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the causes and circumstances of the fire which destroyed the dormitory and to inquire into related issues. This will be done soonest. The findings of that inquiry will inform the way forward”.
Following the fire, residents and families from villages where the victims are from had made calls to the government for compensation, this the President committed would be addressed. He stated that the government will support the families of those affected in every way needed.
This publication had reported that nineteen children – 18 of them school girls and one 5-year-old boy died Sunday night when fire swept through a heavily-grilled dormitory which housed students of the Mahdia Secondary School, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).
Information reaching this publication revealed that of the 19 children, 14 children died at the scene, while five died at the Mahdia District Hospital. Among the casualties were twin sisters. The names of the children who died on Sunday are as follow: Adonijah Jerome, Tracil Thomas, Lisa Roberts, Delecia Edwards, Lorita Williams, Natalie Bellarmine, Arriana Edwards, Cleoma Simon, Subrina John, Martha D’Andrade, (and twin) Mary D’Andrade, Belnisa Evans, Loreen Evans, Omerfia Edwin, Nickleen Robinson, Sherena Daniel, Eulander Carter, Andrea Roberts, and Rita Jeffrey.
In a press briefing on Monday afternoon, Deputy Fire Chief (ag) Dwayne Scotland confirmed that the fire which took approximately three and a half hours to be extinguished, was maliciously set. It was confirmed by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Tuesday that a female student of the Mahdia Secondary School reportedly started the fire. The police in their report said investigations so far revealed that a female student is suspected of having set the devastating fire because her cellular phone was taken away by the dorm mother and a teacher.
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