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Cabinet to discuss Couva Children’s Hospital

Published: 
Thursday, January 11, 2018

A note will be take to Cabinet today which could determine the future of the Children’s Hospital in Couva.

So said Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh who took part in a flu vaccination drive held at the Tunapuna market yesterday.

He said the note would “point the way forward” regarding how the ministry would be “advising Cabinet how to operationalise” the hospital.

Asked whether a decision would then be take to bring the hospital into operation the minister said, “Cabinet may or may not make a decision tomorrow (today).

“They may send it to the finance and general purposes committee for further detailed discussion. I cannot predict whether Cabinet makes a decision or not,” Deyalsingh said.

He said the committee was a subcommittee of the Government which receives notes which requires further detailed analysis.

On the collapse of the hospital’s cooling tower the minister said contractors were already attending to this. He said seismic and sabotage activity had been ruled out, adding that engineers were still to determine the cause of the collapse.

Regarding the drive the minister said vaccination was available at 33 health centres throughout the country and was free.

Saying that the flu season was from October of one year to May of the following year Deyalsingh said when he came into office he inherited 6,000 flu vaccines but has since been increased by 70,000.

“This is almost 12 times the number of vaccines,” the minister said.

But he said the flu vaccines for any year was an estimation of the strain of the flu circulating in any point in time.

“So it is quite possible for the flu vaccine which is manufactured in a particular year not to work. So we have to guard against that by taking the country to ‘herd immunity’ which is where you vaccinate as many of your population as humanly possible so that you break the cycle of transmission.

“That is what we are trying to do by ramping up our vaccine drive,” Deyalsingh said.

On why the initiative took place at the Tunapuna market he said the aim was to make the vaccine as accessible as possible to members of the public.

“We are also on a drive through our anti-natal clinics to vaccinate approximately 18,000 pregnant women because those are the people who are susceptible.

“Also our elderly population especially those who have diabetes,” Deyalsingh said.