Category Archives: Health

Gardasil HPV vaccine controversy continues

“Orchestrated Campaign of Intimidation” or a lively debate?

Katie Couric gets hammered for daring to challenge big business.

Mercola.com: Gardasil and the Public Flogging of Katie Couric

BFP’s thanks to Larry

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Scuba diving accident at Harlequin’s Buccament Bay: Friends question emergency care, lack of insurance

diver-flag

“The shocker is that the injured diver was not evacuated to Barbados until the next morning – after additional serious damage happened overnight.”

“Harlequin has offered no support to injured dive instructor Michael Richards…”

Harlequin and St. Vincent news media say not a word about this story…

An experienced diving instructor at Harlequin’s Buccament Bay was evacuated to Barbados for critical care after he was seriously injured on the weekend of November 16, 17, 2013.

From what we’ve been able to gather, Bajan Michael “Richie” Richards fell unconscious after a dive and was taken to Milton Cato Hospital: but the shocker is that he was not evacuated to Barbados until the next morning after additional serious damage happened overnight.

Diving friends and co-workers are incensed and say that Richie should have been evacuated on an emergency basis right away because St. Vincent does not have a re-compression chamber, so by the time any further symptoms became apparent it would be too late.  Any diver knows that unconsciousness within a few hours of a dive is a critical indicator of decompression sickness and serious injuries possibly already done. A gas embolism (“air bubble”) in the brain or heart can kill or maim for life, and if a diver falls unconscious within a few hours of a dive, it is immediately a critical situation even if the victim regains consciousness and appears to have no other symptoms such as joint pain. Dive physicians worldwide agree on one thing: any sign of gas embolism and the diver should get moving towards a hyperbaric chamber immediately by the safest possible means.

Some of Richie’s friends and divers in general are pointing to a statement on Barbados Free Press by Kay Wilson, the owner of Indigo Watersports Ltd., as proof that Richie’s condition was not taken seriously at the time.

Ritchie’s employer Kay Wilson said…

“The following morning it became apparent that his injuries were more severe than anyone could have expected and he was transported with hours to Barbados for treatment.”

One diving colleague told Barbados Free Press “The wrong decisions were made at each step until it was too late. Richie is facing months of treatment and may not fully recover. Immediate evacuation and treatment could have made the difference and probably would have made a big difference in the seriousness of his injuries.”

Richie’s friends are also concerned that he has no insurance and that Wilson stated his dive was “after work”. Divers quite correctly point out that diving illnesses and injuries are often cumulative from multiple dives, and that the earlier work dives that very day were certainly part of the problem. They see Wilson’s statement as a poor attempt to shift liability away from Richie’s employer. They also question why a diving company would not have proper insurance for their diving instructors and students to get them quickly to a chamber the moment a problem happens.

Did Richie have a working dive computer? Was it supplied by the employer? What standards does his employer insist on? Are those standards really enforced or does the work schedule override safety? Does the employer monitor dive logs against work schedules and classes? What was his schedule for the past three months? As a working diver, did the employer arrange medical supervision and regular checkups?

No Ms. Wilson: this is not as simple as “Ritchie was diving after work”.

Barbados Free Press hopes that Richie recovers quickly. As usual, should Kay Wilson or anyone wish to say anything to our readers we would be happy to feature their comments in an article and give it the same prominence.

Further information about hyperbaric chambers and treatment in Barbados and St. Lucia:

BADASS – Barbados Divers Association

Iyanola Dive Ventures – St. Lucia Hyperbaric Center

Here are some of the exchanges about Michael ‘Richie’ Richards that happened at Barbados Free Press:  Continue reading

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Filed under Health, Sports

Why is Dengue Fever up 300% so far this year?

Mosquito dengue Barbados

Dengue is serious business, and a secondary infection can be a disaster shutting down the liver or damaging the heart.

That’s serious business alright.

Epidemic Dengue is also serious business when it comes to tourism and the economy.

So what is the government doing about a spectacular 300% increase in cases?

It should be a national emergency, but all I see is the same old, same old.

Some things never change.

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Where will Burger King Barbados get its beef patties?

Hey… I’m just asking!

And are large food franchises really any worse than smaller operations?

The Guardian: Burger King reveals its burgers were contaminated in horsemeat scandal

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Filed under Health

Unregulated gift giving between doctors and patients follows an old Bajan tradition

barbados-cricket_bmw.jpg

There once was a time on this island when doctors did not drive BMW and Mercedes autos. There was a time when a doctor would go about his visits and stay for a meal, and perhaps receive nothing more than a meal because that was all there was. Several weeks later maybe a kingfish would be delivered to the doctor’s home and gratefully received because the doctor, like everyone, was struggling too. At Christmas time especially people would drop off what they could, and if a doctor’s son needed a better job, there was likely one to be found. If a tyre puncture needed attention as likely as not the doctor would return to the garage to find that someone had already taken care of the bill.

Those days are gone, but the gift giving has not gone. If anything the ‘gift giving’ between doctors and their patients has ramped up to impressive levels both in frequency and in the value of the bribes er, ‘gifts’ received by the doctors.

Why has this happened? Is it because the patients and citizens value the doctors and freely supplement the doctors’ salaries out of respect and thanks?

Perhaps…. but where do we divide the grateful gift givers from the subtle pressures by doctors that they could arrange that test a little earlier ‘if only the radiologist would be reasonable’ ???

We know how things work ’bout hey, and so does the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. That’s why the BAMP wants to address this ‘gift giving’ topic as soon as possible – because they say it has the potential to undermine the system with fraud and bribery.

The docs are right. Now, if we could only convince the politicians to do the same!

Please read the article Docs playing dirty at Barbados Today Online, but if it’s not there, we’ll have it here…

Docs playing dirty

by Emmanuel Joseph

The unregulated practice of gift-giving between doctors and patients in Barbados is creating fears of possible fraud and bribery in the minds of the hierarchy of the local medical representative body. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Health

Rihanna’s Christmas message to the world

Rihanna Christmas 2012

“It is most important to be happy, eliminate negativity around you this holiday season…2013 is way too futuristic for the same weak shit.”

Rihanna

But Rihanna’s real heart and Christmas message might be found at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where the Clara Braithwaite Center Oncology and Nuclear Medicine was christened in memory of Rihanna’s grandmother with RiRi’s cheque for $1.75 million dollars.

BBC News: Rihanna donates $1.75 million to hospital

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Filed under Health, Rihanna

UWI student death at Grantley International Airport: Questions about ambulance delay

Barbados Airport Death

by Clanger

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I would like you to print this letter and I hope that people will ask questions about how long the ambulance took to reach Shenice Davis at Grantley International Airport. Shenice was only 21 years old and she collapsed at the airport and died. Everybody is saying that it took too long for the ambulance to arrive and maybe she could have survived if we had a proper medical response team at the airport.

Every day thousands of people move through and around the airport it makes no sense to not have a medical team and ambulance at the airport. Many passengers need assistance every month because of the rarefied air pressure in the airliners and thrombosis and other medical problems. We do not have an ambulance and first responder medical team at the airport and that is criminal.

Barbados stakes its reputation on tourism visitors. Visitors to our country should be confident that if they have a medical problem that trained help is readily available on a FIRST WORLD BASIS, not a third world basis. Whatever shortcomings we have in tourism can be made up with smiles and friendliness but proper medical care cannot be made up with friendliness and excuses.

It is about priorities and some idiot spent money on something else instead of proper emergency medical care at the airport.

Clanger

Please read the full story at The Nation: Student Death

Student Death

A 21-year-old Trinidadian woman who was studying at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies died yesterday morning after collapsing as she was preparing to go home for the Christmas break. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

Health and Transport Ministers no-show at World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims

Barbados still without breathalyzer laws

Transport Minister John Boyce – Zero action on breathalyzers, road safety laws.

Health Minister Donville Inniss and Transport Minister John Boyce continue to send a big message to the Barbados Road Safety Association and all Bajans. That message is that the Ministers and their staff members don’t care about the deaths and ruined lives that happen because our governments have failed to implement modern anti-drunk driving laws and testing equipment.

The Ministers’ “I couldn’t care less” attitude to traffic deaths and injuries was again reinforced by their failure to show up at the World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims memorial service. Inniss and Boyce and the Ministry personnel didn’t even bother to respond to the invitations.

Given how important our tourism industry is to our economy, and how tourist safety is a big factor in destination choice, one would have hoped that our government would act to reverse the slaughter on our roads. After all, Barbados road deaths happen at a rate 240% greater than in the UK.

“I am very disappointed that both ministers did not feel the need to have an authoritative figure at two very special events. This is their people; it is our brothers and sisters that have been killed on the road. The families of these people are still hurting.”

… President of the Road Safety Association, Sharmaine Roland-Bowen, quoted in The Nation Absence noted

Further Reading

Links to past BFP stories about the need for breathalyzer laws

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Health

Is Chief Medical Officer Joy St. John sending the right message to Barbados?

And… is Minister of Health Donville Inniss the right man for the job?

Further Reading

Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: King of Pregnant Women Porn?

* Thanks to a reader for the comic. Thanks to the Barbados Advocate for the photo!

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Filed under Barbados, Health

France considers emergency ban on Monsanto’s genetically modified corn after study links cancer

Eating GMO foods dangerous?

by Green Monkey

In light of the recent news from France that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready variety of corn has been linked to significant increases in cancer in long term animal feeding trials (which Monsanto itself refused to perform).  I think it is important for Barbados Free Press readers to be fully aware of the risks they are potentially running by eating corn or processed foods from North American food manufacturers who now use large quantities of genetically modified crops from Monsanto and other GMO suppliers in their products.

Green Monkey

France to prove study linking GM corn to cancer

France has asked its national health body to verify a study released this week linking Monsanto’s NK603 genetically modified corn to cancer in rats, saying the results of the probe could lead to an “emergency suspension” of NK603 imports. Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Consumer Issues, Health, Science

Bajan autistic child improving with sensory learning programme

A friend asks BFP to thank Dr. Brad Haberhehl for his kindness and good works…

FLINT, MI – A Flint-area optometrist who has traveled to the Caribbean to help developmentally challenged children recently welcomed some of those children to his home country to help them cope with autism.

Dr. Brad Habermehl traveled to Barbados last December to meet with children enrolled in the Sunshine Early Stimulation Centre. Now, some of those families have made the trip to the states to work with Habermehl on his home turf.

Francis Thompson of Barbados came to Michigan with his family and his 6-year-old son Alex Thompson, who is autistic, to be part of Dr. Brad Habermehl’s autistic therapy program – a sensory learning program.

“We really appreciate the opportunity, it is a unique opportunity and one that has been very precious to us because not every single child is able to get the intervention at an early age.” Thompson said. “So for us, the opportunity to be here and this entire experience means a lot to the entire family.”

Continue reading this heartwarming story at MLive.com: Flint-area optometrist works with autistic children from Barbados

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Barbados Health Ministry fails to ensure Dialysis clinics have back-up generators

Two out of our three dialysis clinics lack a generator

by Doctor Feelgood

Forget all the excuses: somebody has to be in charge of the health system. In Barbados that person is Minister of Health Donville Inniss. (photo above) After almost 5 years in power, Inniss and the DLP government own any operational problems. Any management failures are theirs. Any failure to budget for sufficient inspections to maintain standards is theirs.

“I sat there watching my blood sitting motionless in tubes outside my body and precious time running out. With two minutes to spare before the situation became critical and with the look of panic etched on the nurse’s face, I sent my wife and kids a bb message saying ‘I love U’….

Soca band leader George Jones describes what happened in Barbados Today’s Close Call. Also see Standard Care.

Sometime I’d love to see Minister Inniss (or any government minister from any party) simply tell the truth and say: “The Ministry of Health should have ensured that this critical health care supplier complied with the standard, but we did not. I apologise. We will now re-inspect each dialysis facility and ensure more regular inspections are done in the future. We will now test back-up power systems during our inspections.”

Instead, we get a blame the victim speech from the Health Minister. Yes, according to Donville Inniss it’s the victim’s fault for needing dialysis. Anything to deflect the story away from the fact that of the three dialysis clinics in Barbados, two operate without backup generators. Standards? I call that a third world standard.

Also during his Barbados Today interview, Minister Inniss started talking about how there was no power failure at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the QEH has backup generators. Was Inniss playing stupid to spin the story? He knows that this nearly averted disaster didn’t happen at the QEH: it happened at a private dialysis center that is supposed to be licensed, inspected and adhering to Ministry of Health standards.

Yes, patients almost died during a power outage last week because Minister of Health Donville Inniss and his staff failed to do their jobs. The public wouldn’t know about this except that one of the patients was George Jones of the Soca band Square One and he put his harrowing tale up on Facebook.

All that talk about making Barbados a destination for health care tourism? Without real actions to set, maintain and enforce standards, it’s all wish talk and nothing else.

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Barbados signs environmental deal with one of the world’s worst offenders: China

“During the visit, Barbados Environment Minister Dr. Denis Lowe said he was aware of China’s commitment to good environmental governance and its concerns about climate change and other issues which occupied the consciousness of global planners.”

… from a Barbados Government press release (reprinted at the bottom of this post)

“China warns foreigners to stop monitoring its pollution. The Chinese government claims it’s making serious efforts to clean up pollution. But as this horrifying report shows, much of their ‘success’ has involved simply moving their toxic industries out of sight…

Untreated industrial waste is pumped directly into rivers… the water is used to irrigate crops.”

… from the new documentary film Cancer Villages – China

What exactly does Barbados hope to learn from China about managing the environment?

If you’re going to speak, at least speak the truth – better to just keep silent than to perpetuate a lie. At least that’s what I was always taught.

In recent years China has seen mass riots and violent government responses when the citizen-slaves stand up to stop the ongoing slaughter of humanity caused by their government’s callous and long term disregard for people and the environment.

All those low priced Chinese goods you purchase are low priced for a number of reasons: government & private slave labour camps, sweatshops, rampant pollution and the communist disdain for individual human rights and human life.

“I often wonder about folks 200 years ago who purchased cotton and sugar…

Did they care that slaves suffered to provide the products at a certain price?

Every Barbadian should ask their own heart…

“Should we be taking gifts and buying products from a Chinese Communist government that relies upon slavery as a vital part of the economy?”

… from the BFP article Citizen Journalist Beaten To Death By Chinese Government Officials – Filmed Waste Disposal Near Homes

To the communists, people are always a government resource – never individuals. Where the state is supreme and individuals exist only to serve the state, these kinds of environmental abuses and disasters are at their worst. (See China Hush: Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China)

Disposable people feed China’s industrial machine. This man paid the price for low-priced Chinese goods in Barbados.

In the eyes of the Barbados Government, China can do no wrong. Like a dog begging for a cookie, Barbados will do anything and say anything for China – just as long as we know we can pick up some scraps thrown our way. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, China, Disaster, Environment, Health, Human Rights

Can Barbados invent a better toilet?

Suckwells, well, suck!

Billy and Melinda Gates are doing something truly wonderful with all that Windows95 money you sent them: they are trying to find a better way to dispose of your poop.

Barbados should really really really be into this challenge. After all, this small island doesn’t have much of a buffer between you sitting on the toilet and the drinking water that comes out of your kitchen faucet.

If that sounds yucky, it’s only because it’s closer to the truth than we like to be reminded of.

Watch the video, then stop by Bill’s personal blog and take a look.

Bill Gates: Inventing a Toilet for the 21st Century

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Filed under Health, Technology

In memory of Eva Louise Kemeny Rausing

“Through her endeavours, both with her personal involvement and charitable contribution, Eva and Hans Kristian “saved” thousands of lives – tragically not her own. This is a stark reminder that the illness of addiction knows no social class or gender.”

A message from the Kemeny family

The Kemeny family is deeply distressed by the tragedy of their daughter, Eva’s, death and have seen the widespread worldwide media coverage of her difficulties over the last few days. Eva would have wanted the memory of her life to be used to benefit others facing similar addiction challenges in their lives. The Kemeny family hopes this tribute will be used to draw attention to the tragedy of drug addiction and to generate awareness and financial support for this cause in the future. In due course they will launch a foundation.

American philanthropist, loving wife and mother, who helped countless addicts, and children

By Tom Kemeny, Eva’s father

Eva Louise Kemeny was born on 7 March, 1964 exactly nine months and one week after Nancy and I were married in Goldsboro, North Carolina on 1 June, 1963.

Eva lifted by mum Nancy

Eva was born in the Matilda War Memorial Hospital on the Peak of Hong Kong. Our darling Eva was literally delivered by me and a 16 year old assistant nurse, since the doctor had failed to show-up. When Eva was born, I wrapped her up in a towel, still attached to Nancy’s umbilical cord, and held her up to show Nancy our beautiful first born. Nancy said, “Oh, a boy!” And I said, “Not exactly, what you’re seeing is the umbilical cord.” Thus Eva entered dramatically into our world.

From Hong Kong we moved to Sydney and from there to Milan where her sister, Be, was born. We then moved to Rome in 1967, where Eva attended the original Montessori Nursery. In 1970 we moved to London and Eva first attended Garden House School, and then later Queens Gate, followed by the American School in London. She was an immensely bright, loving but very shy little girl.

We think she started experimenting with drugs in her late teens to overcome her shyness. The drug dependency impacted poor Eva, and her attendance, at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

After attending many drug rehabilitation centres in the USA and the UK, Eva finally recovered in the late 1980′s. Her recovery was strong and, as is customary in the 12-Step Programme, she went around London and the UK sharing her life and experiences to explain that recovery is possible and to give hope and support to others. This became a major defining endeavour in her short life: to help others, especially those with drug addictions. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Health

Shocking photos of Eva and Hans Rausing show what drugs do

UPDATE: Hans Rausing lived with wife’s dead body for up to a week!

£15million mansion “drug den, living in squalor’

“Eva Rausing, the wife of an heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, may have lay dead for up to a week in a bedroom at the couple’s £50m central London home, it emerged yesterday.” The Independent

“It was total squalor. Really messy. You wouldn’t believe they were billionaires. It shows the effects of drugs. They couldn’t look after themselves or their house. They only used two rooms despite having dozens. It’s very sad indeed.” Mail Online

The photos…

Seven years ago…

(Hans & Eva Rausing photo used with permission: Copyright – www.donfeatures.com)

A few weeks ago…

click for large photo

Photos courtesy of Mail Online: The shocking decline of the TetraPak billionaire and his wife.

BFP: Eva Rausing found dead. Husband Hans Kristian Rausing arrested.

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Health

Barbados government makes support payments for delinquent fathers – Deadbeat dads, slut mothers say “Thanks taxpayers!”

… or a Slut Mother?

Deadbeat Fathers: I shouldn’t have to pay for your children!

Submitted by West Side Davie

A recent news story announced Barbados sets up child support assistance fund and covered Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s comments about deadbeat dads during the budget introduction. Sinckler used the politically-correct term ‘parents’ instead of ‘fathers’ but everybody knows that ‘parents’ word is a lie because fathers are never awarded custody of the children by Barbados courts. The few exceptions prove the rule but are usually held up anyway to prove that the system is ‘fair’ when everybody knows it is incredibly biased against men.

The bottom line of the story is that the Barbados government has decided to make support payments for delinquent fathers who cannot be found…

 “This situation has reached a particularly unsettling stage where on a weekly basis several parents who have ventured into the various Magistrates’ Courts to collect payments have had to leave empty-handed as these payments have not been made and Court Marshalls have been unable to locate the delinquent parent. The downside of this is that several of the nation’s children are then left to struggle without basic amenities and supplies necessary for a meaningful existence,” Sinckler said.

He said the persistence of this problem is causing major social dislocation among a particularly vulnerable segment of the country’s population.

“We are satisfied that this matter has reached such an unhealthy state that lack of intervention by Government at this stage will lead to the emergence of a dangerous set of circumstances that will work to undermine the household fabric of the society,”

The DLP government is not responsible for the disastrous societal changes that resulted in an exploding epidemic of single mother homes in Barbados in the last twenty years. There is no one cause for the ‘single mother culture’ and thousands of fatherless homes on this island, nor is this only a Bajan or Caribbean phenomena…

But…

This is just one more instance where Barbados is using tax dollars to perpetuate the destructive single mother culture. Men have been reduced to being nothing but sperm donors and then financial slaves for a few moments of pleasure. Don’t hand us some line once a year about fathers being necessary for the proper development of children, especially sons, when the daily actions of women, society and the courts show them in total opposition to the concept that fathers are important.

Aside from the continuing societal injustices against men, I’m tired of paying for other people’s children. I’m tired of paying in tax dollars, and I’m tired of paying in the reduced quality of life in Barbados. I’m tired of paying in increased crime by fatherless young men who have been taught everything they know by their uneducated, low-class, no-class, slut single mothers… of which there are hundreds and hundreds on this rock if not many thousands. Continue reading

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Filed under Abortion, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Health

No wonder the North Koreans are always so angry…

(click map for a larger, ah, image)  :-)

The nation with the smallest average penis size in the world?

Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un welcomes you to the People’s paradise of North Korea!

And ladies… on the other end of the list – Cliverton welcomes you to Barbados and the Caribbean…  :-)

Click Here to check out the winners and losers around the world.

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Filed under Barbados, Health