Elderly And Children Abandoned At Hospitals Ahead Of Festive Seasons In Grenada


(CMC) – Grenada’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tyhiesia Donald, Tuesday said there appears to be family members who are deliberately denying medication to elderly people and children diagnosed with non-communicable diseases (NCD) and other life-threatening ailments.

She told a post Cabinet news conference that such a situation becomes most notable ahead of festive occasions on the island.

“As a matter of fact, during festive seasons family members look at the hospital as a day care (centres), so what happens is that sometimes medication is not given, patients end up in hospital and persons who are caring are free to socialize and this is a trend we have seen over the years and it continues to happen,” she added.

She said staff at the General Hospital, the main health institution on the island, have noted cases where children are also affected by this “despicable” action.

“It happens across the board; it happens with adults as well as with children. The good thing as I said, the hospital is a safe place for the kids and for the adults,” Donald told reporters.

“It is a trend we have seen and It should not be something that we are to be proud of but it’s something we have noted over the years, so it’s across the board,” said the acting CMO, who has also served as the Medical Director at the General Hospital.

In regards to the high number of NCD cases, Donald said she is urging the population to adopt a more active lifestyle including exercises so as to maintain good health.

“So, we want to implore the population to change their lifestyle,” she said.

In the meantime, Grenada announced that it has made some significant changes to its entry protocols and coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations.

“Our entry protocol will now be accepting antigen testing within 24 hours off arrival to Grenada and will continue with PCR testing within 72 hours of arrival. So that change will be antigen testing within 24 hours,” Donald said.

“I know that this is a very good change for persons in the Diaspora because PCR is very difficult to access, and it has been a problem. A lot of flights have been cancelled because of the inability to get results on time. Therefore, with this new testing we expect persons will be very happy and we will have more arrival coming to Grenada,” she said.

The acting CMO also announced that passengers arriving via the Maurice Bishop International Airport will not be treated differently to those who are arriving via cruise ships. All passengers entering Grenada must be vaccinated but those entering via cruise ships are not allowed to socialize outside of the tourism bubble.

“For all tourists whether you enter by sea or air you are free to walk around and experience our attractions sites,” she announced.

Health Minister Nickolas Steele said that the new measures go into effect immediately.