Deyalsingh slams  media  for its reporting of the PAHO report

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Deyalsingh slams media  for its reporting of the PAHO report

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) report into the deaths of seven babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Port of Spain General Hospital, has been laid in Parliament by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh with significant focus being placed on the 29% NICU a score.

The PAHO team, consisting of Dr Nalini Singh MD, Professor Emeritus-in-residence, Professor of Pediatrics, Global Health and Epidemiology, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA, Dr Grisel Rodriguez MD, PH Clinical Microbiologist, head of Microbiology, Centro de Asistencia Medica Soriano, PAHO International Consultant based in Uraguay, and Dr Gillian Borchwood MD, Newborn intensive care specialist and head of the Neonatal Care Intensive Unit at the QEH, Barbados which conducted the investigation in April following the deaths of seven pre-term babies at the hospital’s NICU ward, found significant deficiencies in the operations at the NICU at the Port of Spain General Hospital, many of which relate to sanitation, and therefore gave the NICU a score of 29%.

Deyalsingh slammed the media  for its reporting of the PAHO report saying that the media was ‘cherry picking’ elements of the report and not reporting the whole picture, calling the reporting ‘misinformation’: “Unfortunately people are cherry-picking figures out of the report. And that is the problem with the way the report is being discussed by the media and the public. The data has not given the full picture because there were many other parameters that scored above 80%, 90%, and 100%, and unfortunately, we have to respond to that misinformation.

Deyalsingh, who spoke to members of the media during the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) health fair and presentation of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from Lions Club to him at the Mt Hope/Mt Lambert Community Centre, said that as part of its investigations the PAHO team failed to interview both the head of the NICU and the Chief of Staff at the Port of Spain General Hospital.

The PAHO team’s 35-page report found that breaches in personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols were observed in the NICU, “indicating a need for improved compliance monitoring and training”.

The report  recommended that compliance monitoring of donning and doffing (removal of PPE in a way that avoids self-contamination) procedures for PPE and contact precautions on NICU using the WHO tool should be done.

In response Deyalsingh said: “many of the recommendations that they have made in the short, medium and long term are already and have already been a part of our standard operating procedures.”