Tag Archives: Barbados Health

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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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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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

Meat glue: Is your beef roast held together with pork blood enzymes?

Call upon Barbados Ministry of Health to ban meat glue use

Have you heard about meat glue? I hadn’t until an old friend sent Barbados Free Press the above YouTube video. It is a common practice where scraps of meat are glued together so they mimic prime cuts, and it’s not confined to beef: pork, chicken and lamb are also subject to this trickery.

According to the video report, the enzymes used to perform this are dangerous and the meat ‘cuts’ created by this process can have over a hundred times the bacteria content of ‘real’ meat cuts. That’s important if that nice looking steak you ordered ‘rare’ is actually formed with multiple scraps of meat.

This white powder sold by the kilo, is the meat industry’s dirty little secret, secret because it is hazardous to your health! Meat glue makes pieces of beef, lamb, chicken or fish that would normally be thrown out stick together so closely that it looks like a solid piece of meat. Continue reading

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Leptospirosis crisis shows long term negligence by Barbados Government

In face of a record outbreak Health Minister Inniss admits Ministry inaction, negligence

“The Government of Barbados gave notice this morning that it will be prosecuting owners of Bridgetown businesses, home owners and individuals who persisted in flouting the Health Services Act.

Health Minister Donville Inniss laid down the gauntlet at a Press Conference at his Culloden Road office to deal with a record number of leptospirosis cases which had resulted in three deaths this year.

Inniss fingered “the big ups” whom he said owed the ministry money for cleaning up their unkempt properties and could afford to pay, but wouldn’t.

He said while Government should not have to use “heavy-handed” methods to get Barbadians to keep their surroundings clean and tidy, he had asked his officers to step up surveillance and start lodging cases in the law courts.”

… from the Barbados Today article Foot Down

by Nevermind Kurt

 Listening to Minister Inniss one would have to think that he and his staff just heard about the annual statistics showing a massive increase in leptospirosis cases during the past year. Indeed, the “Woaloss, what a surprise! We gots to do something about this!” feeling that ran through the press conference was surreal.

Why doesn’t the government already monitor this deadly disease on a weekly basis? Shouldn’t the trend have been noticed six months ago? Shouldn’t there already have been prosecutions, inspections and forced clean-ups happening for the last three years?

The latest press conference by Donville Inniss has all the usual hallmarks of the laissez-faire system of non-leadership that characterizes both DLP and BLP governments.

Think about past leptospirosis outbreaks and you’ll see that the story always follows this pattern:

  1. The long-term failure of government to counter leptospirosis is once again highlighted through the release of an annual statistical report, or a death.
  2. The newspaper stories note that many publicly-owned lands and derelict buildings contribute to the problem by offering homes for rats and other lepto carriers.
  3. Government Ministers call a press conference where they vow to “lay down the law” against businesses and land owners who fail to keep their properties clean, clear and free of carrier habitats. Government pledges to do its part about public properties. Government promises new and revised laws where current legislation is inadequate.
  4. After a month or two of action, the outbreak dies down. Monies that were pledged to the long-term control vanish from the budgets because the problem has gone away. With the crisis past, the preventative measures fall off the priority chart as some other flavour of the day takes over.
  5. A steady and slow increase begins again, until it reaches the tipping point when leptospirosis cases go exponential. When this happens, go back to Step 1 and start again.

This has been the pattern of response to leptospirosis outbreaks for the last 20 years.

Why must every new leptospirosis outbreak be a surprise? Why are Barbados governments incapable of implementing and carrying through with long-term plans about issues that are foundational to the health and safety of citizens?

The same thing happens with mass vehicle deaths and drinking and driving. The government responds with plans, promises of breathalyzer legislation, increased enforcement and the start of action… but six months later its all back to the way it was.

The Health Minister’s latest press conference was nothing more or less than an admission of gross neglect about leptospirosis since the last outbreak.

Remember this: three months from now nothing will have changed, and a year from now when the 2012 leptospirosis statistics are released we’ll see the same speech by the next Health Minister.

Not much changes ’round this place.

Further Reading

Barbados Advocate: Health warning

The Nation: Lepto Leap

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Cancer drug shortage: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Health authorities telling the truth.

Drug producers limiting supply to up prices and profits?

“In some cases, oncologists are creating a triage system whereby the patient who is most likely to be cured will receive the therapy that’s in short supply.”

by Nevermind Kurt

A simple internet search reveals that current shortage of chemotherapy drugs in Barbados is a worldwide problem with no reasonable explanation forthcoming from the manufacturers or governments. Some say it is a showdown with the US government over manufacturing standards. Some say that the drug makers are playing the trump card of withholding the supplies and killing patients in a deadly political game.

It also is entirely possible that like OPEC, the drug producers have decided to control the supply, lower their costs and thus raise profits. Nevermind the patients.

After all, the relatives of the manufacturers and the elites will always be able to find supplies because they have money. For the majority of us who rely upon our public health systems, there is another reality. Continue reading

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