Fyzabad MP wants Deyalsingh to resign after seven babies die

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Fyzabad MP wants Deyalsingh to resign after seven babies die

Following the deaths of seven babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe, has issued a call for the resignation of Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.

Speaking at the UNC’s weekly media briefing yesterday, Bodoe, an obstetrician and the shadow minister of health, said since Deyalsingh takes credit for the good work at the neonatal clinics, he should also shoulder the responsibility now that something has gone wrong.

“If the minister truly believes the words he uttered in Parliament that he was personally responsible for the infant mortality rates dropping in 2016, then equally he has to take personal responsibility for this tragedy at the North West Regional Health Authority. I think it is only fair, so in the circumstances, he should do the honourable thing and resign,” he said.

Deyalsingh has apologised to the parents of the seven babies who died of neonatal sepsis at the NICU between April 4 and 7.

He said the NWRHA has always implemented stringent infection prevention and control practices, which are standard in the NICU.

Bodoe said he wants Deyalsingh to come clean and disclose when exactly he learnt about the deaths. The Opposition MP said he had received information that bacteria that caused the neonatal sepsis was found under sinks.

He said the incident undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the country’s healthcare system and asked whether the deaths were due to a shortage of equipment.

On Saturday, attorney Anand Ramlogan SC issued a pre-action protocol class action letter to the NWRHA on behalf of the parents of the seven babies. Yesterday he issued another letter on behalf of a Tobagonian mother whose baby died on April 6, four days after she was born.

He said as a former head of the South-Western Regional Health Authority, the deaths pained him.

“As an obstetrician and gynaecologist for 35-plus years, I care for women and deliver their babies. I understand their hopes and aspirations. I can certainly understand the anguish, despair and disappointment that the mothers of those seven dead babies are feeling.”