ATTORNEY DEMANDS THA RELEASE REPORT ON MATERNAL AND CHILD DEATHS

 Attorney-at-Law Martin George is giving the Tobago House of Assembly 24 hours to make public the findings of the investigation into the maternal and neonatal deaths of Mrs. Leciana Sheppard and her baby, Ajani, on October 31st, 2014.

Both mother and newborn died at the Scarborough General Hospital during childbirth.

On Tuesday, Mr. George said almost six months after the deaths, the results of the investigation have not yet been made public.

“We have been reliably informed that the report is available. However, we have been told that it is being passed to the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA). This is not a report for the TRHA. This is a report for the public and the people of Tobago so that they can see what is transpiring in the health sector in Tobago.”

The Attorney is demanding that the findings be made public within the next 24 hours or the Assembly will be put before the court.

As the Health Secretary, Mrs. Claudia Groome-Duke, celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, Mr. George wanted her to think of the little boy who died on the day of his birth at the hands of doctors at the Scarborough Hospital.

“We would have wished that that little baby Ajani Sheppard would have also had a happy birthday but unfortunately, due to the failings and inefficiencies of the TRHA, that little baby died on the very day he was born.”

The investigation into the maternal and neonatal deaths was conducted by a team led by Dr. Albert Persaud and Mr. George hopes that the integrity of their report would not be compromised.

He said Tobago’s health sector is in shambles and called on the Prime Minister and her team to revoke certain powers of the THA.

“We wish to call upon the Government and the Prime Minister to ask them that the Parliament exercise its powers to revoke the section of the Regional Health Authority Act which gives the THA the power to manage the TRHA and health care in Tobago.”

On March 16th 2015, the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) issued a release which stated that a preliminary report on the matter was submitted by the investigative team. However, the release stated that the investigative process was still ongoing. This preliminary report was being reviewed by the Board and Management of the TRHA at that time. No word has been forthcoming on the final report.

Meanwhile, Mr. Brinsley Sheppard, the widower of Leciana Sheppard and father of deceased Ajani Sheppard, is still emotionally wrecked following the tragic incident which occurred in October last year.

He is unhappy with the way in which the investigation is being handled and he feels neglected by his own.

“Ms. Duke, I know she very well and she know me too. Ah wearing red today. I en ashamed to say it. I is a PNM too and it very hard, it does be very hard to see my own party who I voted for every year, they not supporting me. Ah feeling like deh holding something back from me and it’s not a nice feeling.”

He hopes that who ever is responsible for the deaths in his family will face the full brunt of the law.

Written by C News
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