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November 30
10:02 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff, -  

A family from Santa Cruz village is mourning the loss of their one-year-old daughter to a mysterious illness, and the Ministry of Health has deployed a team to investigate the incident.

Hilaria Na, mother of baby Ofelia Na, said that her daughter had a fever and other flu-like symptoms on Sunday night. The symptoms went away on Monday morning but came back in the afternoon. The child died while they were trying to find somebody to give them a ride to the southern Regional Hospital.

Na explained that Ofelia is the second child that she has lost to sickness, while other villagers are saying that several children have died recently in similar fashion.

Information Officer in the Ministry of Health, Claudette Dakers-Norales explained that the Ministry’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, decided to dispatch a team to Santa Cruz after being briefed on the situation by the Southern Regional Health Manager.

Norales noted that the health center nearest to Santa Cruz is just over 27 miles away in Dangriga, but emphasized that the village does have a trained community health worker (CHW) stationed there, as well as another CHW in training. She also said that in cases where villagers need more help than is available in the village, the community health worker is supposed to assist in getting them to the nearest health facility.

“Ideally, we would want to have a health center there, but it is impossible to have one in every village. That’s where the community health workers come in,” Norales said.

As a part of the investigation, the team will try to ascertain if the family was aware of the CHW and knew how to contact her to get assistance, and if they made any efforts to do so. The Ministry has reserved further comment on the issue until the team has submitted its report.

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