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More news in brief - Don't take minor ailments to Bustamante - SERHA

Published:Tuesday | September 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) yesterday urged parents with children who have non-urgent illnesses to seek health care at the nearest primary-care facility for treatment.

Dr Andrei Cooke, acting SERHA board chairman, said that as a result of a significant increase in patient load, the Bustamante Hospital for Children has been continuing to experience challenges with its bed capacity and increased waiting time at that facility.

While not referencing the ongoing outbreak of chikungunya, it is understood that the increase in the number of young patients is a result of concerns over the virus.

"We continue to see a high volume of patients in our Accident and Emergency Department as well as on the wards. Despite our efforts to bolster the staff complement to deal with the delays, it has been observed that the waiting time is still long," he said.

Cooke encouraged parents to seek early medical intervention for their children in order reduce the onset of complications that would require hospitalisation.

He also noted that the region continues to explore possible solutions and implement measures to treat with the delays.

Chik-V halts court proceedings

Ongoing cases in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston continued to be affected by the chikungunya virus yesterday, as a judge had to adjourn a case involving two fishermen charged with the murder of three children in 2004.

The move came as one of the jurors in the matter reportedly contracted the virus.

Justice Gloria Smith, who is trying the case, adjourned it until tomorrow.

She said at that time, an assessment would be made whether to continue the case without the sick juror.

Meanwhile, The Gleaner has learnt that the Supreme Court building was fogged Sunday night after Smith's request last week.

Smith said she made the request in light of the virus and a problem of mosquitoes in the building.

Justice Minister Mark Golding had told The Gleaner that he would have had the request fulfilled.

Several cases had to be adjourned because court staff, witnesses and jurors complained of chikungunya-like symptoms last week.

Canadian envoy hails Angels of Love

Robert Ready, the Canadian high commissioner to Jamaica, has lauded the work of Angels of Love Jamaica (AOLJ) and stressed that the charity organisation with a focus on paediatric cancer care has a bright future ahead of it.

Ready was speaking with The Gleaner on the weekend during an AOLJ Keep a Child Alive fundraising concert staged at his residence in St Andrew to close off Jamaica's second staging of Paediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

"My wife is a retired oncology nurse so I have a very personal engagement in cancer care," he said. "In addition, Canada has taken a special interest with Jamaica in cancer care and paediatric oncology."

Ready added: "We decided to open up our home to this event to raise awareness for paediatric cancer and the organisation. I think it is very important when you look at who they are reaching out to, young children who suffer from life threatening illnesses, who in some cases they come from very poor backgrounds in rural Jamaica and cannot afford to care for themselves."