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Hospital gets new Paediatric Critical Unit

Hospital gets new Paediatric Critical Unit


The commissioning of an 8-bed Paediatric Critical Care Unit at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital last Friday, June 20, signaled another crucial step in the partnership between the International Hospital for Children (IHC) and the Rotary Club of St Vincent South.{{more}}

While a Caribbean Hospital for Children in St Vincent is the ultimate goal, over the last six years some 200 or so children have benefited from the expertise of visiting surgeons from the Virginia based IHC, at an estimated value of EC$13 million.

Under the existing programme, teams of medical experts conduct medical interventions here, and when the need arises, some children are flown out to IHC for medical care.

At the opening of the critical care unit, Dr Simone Keizer, who was at the time the acting Medical Director of the hospital, said that the Unit would strengthen the hospital and described it as “something that we really needed to have a good long while.”

Meanwhile, hospital administrator Fitz Jones said

that the Unit is another step in a long journey and applauded the joint effort of all involved that made the Unit a possibility.

“No government in developing countries will ever on its own be able to deliver health services,” Jones said.

Dr Bharati Datta, consultant paediatrician in charge of the paediatric ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, who is also intimately involved in the overall project, said that the new Unit was very important for improving the care given to children in the hospital.

“We really needed to update the care and provide more personalized care for the children,” Dr Datta said.

President of the Rotary Club South, Cecil McKie, spoke of the ongoing Million Dollar walk project involving Vincentian walking legends, Earl ‘Ole George’ Daniel and Joel Butcher.

The men are doing walking exhibitions throughout the region aimed at raising EC$1 million for equipment for the new Unit, while at the same time promoting the services of the Unit in neighbouring Caribbean countries.

Walks have been held in St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada.

In fact, of the first three patients at the new Unit, two were Grenadians.

One is six-year-old Maria Lewis, who for the last two months has been suffering from severe headaches, which were diagnosed as being caused by a brain tumour.

“She used to cry out for her head, and we didn’t know what was wrong with her,’ said her aunt, Veronica Baptiste who made the trip with her to St Vincent, where an operation was performed by the visiting neurosurgeon from the United States.

Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT that she is grateful for the facility and service being offered in St Vincent, and is pleased that the doctors say that her niece is progressing well.

Maria is scheduled to have another operation in Virginia, Baptiste said.

At the brief commissioning ceremony, Denise Browne and Delisa Skerritt of local private sector firms Kelectric and Karib Kable, respectively, jointly presented a cheque of US$2,500 towards the project.