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Health minister: Swine flu crisis in south Trinidad

By Ralph Banwarie, Trinidad Guardian

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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh says there is a cri­sis in the out­break of H1N1 or swine flu in Trinidad es­pe­cial­ly in the south­ern part of the coun­try where there have been three re­port­ed deaths.

Deyals­ingh made this dis­clo­sure to the me­dia af­ter the of­fi­cial open­ing of the San­gre Grande En­hanced Health Cen­tre at Ojoe Road, San­gre Grande yes­ter­day.

The Min­is­ter of Health con­firmed that three deaths have been record­ed as a re­sult of H1N1 and not­ed there are many more lab-con­firmed cas­es.

He ad­vised the pop­u­la­tion of Trinidad and To­ba­go to get the in­fluen­za vac­cine as it is be­ing of­fered at the na­tion’s health in­sti­tu­tions free of charge.

He said some peo­ple are lack­adaisi­cal as they nev­er seem to seek the in­ter­est of their own health.

Deyals­ingh made an ap­peal to all present to en­cour­age mem­bers of their fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty to take the flu shot be­fore its too late. He said in 24 hours some­one hav­ing the virus can die.

The Min­is­ter of Health has been ap­peal­ing to the pop­u­la­tion to get the vac­cine but he says his pleas have fall­en on deaf ears.

He re­called the Min­is­ter of Works urg­ing mo­torists to have their ve­hi­cles in­spect­ed be­fore the end of the five-month mora­to­ri­um, but they did not ad­here to his call and this re­sult­ed in a last-minute rush and chaos at the in­spec­tion cen­tres over the last few weeks.

He says it is the same with H1N1 vac­cine with three re­port­ed deaths, peo­ple are now flood­ing the health in­sti­tu­tions to get the vac­cine.

He said in Tabaquite, where one per­son died from the H1N1 virus, Se­nior Nurse Eleanor John-Nicholas re­port­ed that there was a mad rush for the vac­cines and the health cen­tre in that re­gion was forced to open yes­ter­day to meet the de­mand.

The cen­tre usu­al­ly ad­min­is­ters 20 vac­cines per day but this has now risen to over 100 per day and in­creas­ing rapid­ly.

Deyals­ingh said in his first year in of­fice there were eight cas­es of H1N1, none in the fol­low­ing two years, but there is al­ready a surge in 2019.

Deyals­ingh said health of­fi­cials are fo­cused on preg­nant pa­tients and want to as­sure them that the vac­cines are safe.

He said they have made a con­cert­ed ef­fort at their an­te­na­tal clin­ics to have preg­nant pa­tients ac­cept the vac­cine. Cur­rent­ly close to 2,000 preg­nant women have been im­mu­nised.

Ac­cord­ing to Deyals­ingh three women who were not vac­ci­nat­ed al­most died, two have sur­vived and one is be­ing treat­ed at Mt Hope hos­pi­tal.

Deyals­ingh gave the as­sur­ance that the vac­cine is safe for preg­nant pa­tients and their foe­tus at any stage.

He said the most chal­lenges they faced is from the poor peo­ple who don’t seek good health care be­cause they are fight­ing to sur­vive.

The Min­is­ter of Health said he is afraid that if peo­ple don’t take care of their health and live good lifestyles then health in­sti­tu­tions will have to be built in every com­mu­ni­ty. He hopes that this will nev­er hap­pen and peo­ple will change their lifestyles.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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