Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Commonwealth Day Observance For Women, A Blessing For Trinidad

"Women As Agent For Change"

Yesterday we had two first.  Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar addressed the Commonwealth Day observance ceremony.   

For the first time in history a woman Prime Minister, representing Trinidad and Tobago gave her contribution to such a distinguished organization. 

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has made a plea for a review of the Commonwealth action plan to include pressing issues which affect women. 

She said; "The time has come for us to acknowledge the growing recognition and importance of women's participation in leadership across the Commonwealth. 
Together, the people, societies and organisations of the Commonwealth, the world's oldest political association of sovereign states, with 54 independent member states, can change the fortunes of women for the benefit of all,"

It was also the first time in history that immediate investigations were ordered in the deaths of anyone at a medical facility in Trinidad and Tobago.   

On March 4th Carnival Friday, Carapichaima housewife Chrystal Boodoo Ramsoomair, perfectly pregnant young woman died at the hospital after she gave birth by cesarean section.  An investigation is also being conducted in the still birth of a baby boy, by a pregnant mother  Simone Critchlow Taylor last Saturday.

Five doctors and four nurses were suspended because of this one death.

Overkill. Both you and I know that no normal patient gets five doctors and five nurses to attend to them in no hospital in Trinidad, especially Sando General.  People does die waiting to see one doctor; they’re investigating five?  Why would one case involve so many doctors and nurses?

The "shut up" battle axe, Health Minister Baptiste-Cornelis, declared Government will "no longer tolerate the untimely demise of our patients who have been put into our care".  

Add to that what Minister Mary King, the only Minister with a title that has two "ands"  had to say” “Trinidad and Tobago is the third best country in the commonwealth for a girl to be born.  New Zealand is first and Barbados second.  And by the way, Mary King’s title is Minister of Planning, Economic AND Social Restructuring, AND  Gender Affairs. 

She did not say how they arrived at that conclusion but we could assume they took into consideration socio-economic lifestyles, availability of services including medical and career opportunities.

PM Kamla primary concern, however, was clear when she said that the “Commonwealth action plan of 2005-2015 should include gender equality and areas of concern such as climate change, trafficking of women, food security and the impact of the global financial crisis on women”. 

I'm a little confused as to how women's issues would include climate change, trafficking in women and food security?  Seems like they all relate to men too.  But maybe that's because I'm a man. Duh?

She never mentioned the dangers women face in the delivery of medical care in developing countries.

Timing is everything, these events may appear unrelated but they are connected by a common tread.  Why the sudden concern for the quality of health care for women now?   

Is it mere coincidence that attention to these unfortunate events is all crammed into one week of ministerial announcements?

Thank God for the observance of Commonwealth Day for women.  Too many unusual things happen at our local hospitals; not only to women. 

The suspended medical personnel must still be reeling in shock.  But here is something you may not have thought about; with five doctors and four nurses suspended, how are the emergency patients fairing now?

For more details on cases mentioned here, follow the links below to the local newspapers.