Health Minister: 3 babies give hope in a pandemic

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THREE Xmas babies were born for 2021– two from the South West Regional Health Authority and one from the Eastern Regional Health Authority.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the births amidst the looming pandemic showed there was still something to be celebrated. He was speaking during his tour of the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, on Saturday.

Karlene Molineau gave birth at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) to a girl at 12.15 am who weighed 4.8 pounds. Debra Subero also gave birth to a girl with a weight of seven pounds at the Sangre Grande Hospital around 1.07 am. And Sandra Lewis’ baby boy, who weighed 7.2 pounds was delivered at 4.07 am at SFGH.

It is the second year the traditional Christmas Day baby visits did not have visitors which usually included the minister, the hospital’s managing staff and the media.

Deyalsingh said that new life has shown that there was a reason for the population to fight against the covid19 pandemic, to be with families and friends and urged that vaccination was the best route towards achieving normality.

“In the midst of all of this we have birth, we have renewal and as we move into 2022, I’m hoping that this spirit of renewal continues to flow. Out of some difficult situations, as with the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, some good has come.

“I’m hoping that the country will understand what is happening not only here but around the world. This is a global pandemic and the only way to get out of this right now is to be vaccinated,” he said.

Deyalsingh was accompanied by CEO of the North West Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Davlin Thomas as they presented staff with tokens of appreciation and serenaded them with song.

Deyalsingh referenced Friday’s covid19 death toll of 37 people, the worst day recorded in TT, and urged the public to be careful during the holiday season.

He said while people were looking for a reason to exhale, now was not the time and the adherence to covid19 safety measures was an individual’s responsibility.

“The virus is not going to take a rest at Xmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, or Old Year’s Day. Countries are now reeling from their fourth wave; countries are now reeling from the omicron wave which is crippling healthcare systems across the globe. For us to prevent that we must move to vaccinations, we must move to social distancing and wearing masks.

“People are trying to get back to normality and we can’t be hard on people. But in doing that we still have to be cognisant that non-adherence to the simple public health measures will land you here (the hospital).”

Thomas said the healthcare workers continued to lead by example and noted the vaccination rate for NCRHA employees have increased from 48 per cent to over 65 per cent.

“They are rallying again in yet another way. It is really a tremendous momentum that is taking place against the covid19 virus,” he said.

His call to vaccinate and booster shots were echoed by Dr Sarisa Sankat of the department of medicine who said medical professionals’ only wish for the season was for people to heed the call to get vaccinated.

“On behalf of all the doctors in the cold zones and hot zones, I’d just like to ask the public to get vaccinated. Vaccines save lives and I’d like to stress that the vast amount of patients that we have been seeing at hospitals are unvaccinated. That is our Xmas wish from all the doctors.”

General manager of nursing at the NCRHA Dianne Hinneh said despite the stresses of the pandemic, nurses have embraced the challenges and were working to ensure the best care is given to those who contracted the virus and were admitted to hospitals.

“We have come a long way. During this pandemic, we have grown tremendously. We understand more the necessity to do our best at every time. The nurses are tenacious, and they are resilient,” she said.

The post Health Minister: 3 babies give hope in a pandemic appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.