News Stories - July 28th, 2011
Last Updated Thursday, July 28, 2011 8:32 PM

  Family of dengue victim speaks
Story by Sant Justin
  The home was reeling from shock and grief over the loss that ended a long week and a half. Aunt of the seven year old- Beverly Joseph spoke of events that occurred from the time young Jada fell sick to her death on Wednesday afternoon. It was the Sunday before carnival – July 17th - when Jada was first rushed to the Victoria Hospital because of a high fever and sore throat. Joseph says the hospital tested young Jada for dengue but found no trace- and later diagnosed and treated her for tonsillitis.

She says the seven year old showed signs of recovery on Monday and Tuesday but had to be taken to a private doctor on Wednesday- who then diagnosed her with the deadly virus. By Thursday- young Jada was readmitted to the Victoria hospital and placed on life support. An emotional cousin described the disease and death as shocking. Shavier Henry also advised others to take precaution against the deadly virus.

Joseph also entreated parents to take all health warnings seriously. The family expressed gratitude to the staff at Victoria Hospital who they say were very helpful up until the end. Joseph says she was always one to take precautionary measures pertaining to cleaning around the home and ensuring the presence of insecticides in the home. As a result – the family remains clueless about where young Jada could have contracted the virus.
The seven year old was the second of her mother’s two children.

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  CMO advice on dengue
Story by Sarah Peter

In the wake of the first possible death linked to dengue - the Ministry of Health has vowed to step up its measures to fight the dengue fever epidemic on the island. However, Ministry officials say they cannot fight the scourge on their own and need assistance from members of the public. A seven year old girl from the community of La Croix Maingot died Wednesday afternoon possibly from dengue hemorrhagic fever. Already the island has recorded an unprecedented 169 cases of the disease.


Nevertheless, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Merlene Frederick says that the disease can be prevented by taking a number of measures. The Chief Medical Officer has added that even if one household takes the necessary preventative measures they can still be affected if their neighbor does not do the same. In light of this - she is encouraging members of the public to form groups to ensure their community is free of mosquito breeding areas.
People can also protect themselves by wearing long sleeved clothing and using insect repellants.
However - Dr Frederick has urged parents to be mindful of which repellants they use on children.

Symptoms for dengue fever include headache, pain upon moving the eyes and muscle and joint pain. The complicated signs of the disease include bleeding in the inside and through the skin; this may be seen as blotches on the skin.  Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by a virus. The virus is injected into humans by the bite of an Aedes Aegypti mosquito carrying the Dengue fever virus. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito has black and white strips on the body and breeds in any container containing clear

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  -Molotov cocktail attack
Story by Sant Justin

The St. Lucia Fire Service responded to an incident on Wednesday that bears the markings of a failed arson attempt.Deputy Fire Chief- Lambert Charles says the fire service received a call that evening - after a glass bottle with an ignitable fluid was thrown at a wooden structure on Jn Baptist St. Charles calls the situation unusual one and expressed concern because it was a deliberate attempt at destruction.


Charles says arson is against the law- and can have serious implications for any individual caught in the act. The reported attack was occurred against a small canteen- but also affected other shops which were open at the time of the incident. The shop in question is owned by a woman with another business nearby.

  -Opposition responds to frederick
Story by Winston Springer

On Wednesday the Planning Minister emphatically denied allegations he broke the law by granting approval in principle to a firm for the use of land at Sans Soucis. The firm which he described as 51 percent St. Lucian owned reportedly plans to a build a bar and café on a site classified as green space by the DCA. The SLP alleges the Minister directed the DCA chairman to go against the body’s decision to reject the application in a letter dated April 4th 2011.


It is challenging claims that section 25 of the act authorizes the Minister to take an application rejected by the DCA to Cabinet for approval. The SLP argues the DCA act was revised in December 2005 and the provisions of the physical planning and development act chapter 5.12 is now the relevant law in such a matter. The Organization for National Empowerment has also added its voice to the controversy. ONE Chairman Peter Alexander who is accusing the Minister of abuse of power claims Frederick has misinterpreted the law.

Alexander contends section 25 of the act is not applicable because the right to an appeal is outlined in section 26 of the same act. According to the opposition parties the alleged letter of April 4 to the applicant signed by the DCA Chairman made no reference to a Cabinet decision or the reasons for the decision as required by the Act.
They claim this is also a violation of the law.

The ONE Chairman calls the initial decision by the DCA to reject the firm’s Bar and Café project on the designated green space sound and reasonable. He wants civil society to protest the allege countermand.

The Organization for National Empowerment says the development is unwarranted and it plans to work with all political organizations and groups to stop the project.

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  UWP picks two more candidates
Story by Carmy Joseph

At a meeting of its National Executive held on 25th July – the ruling UWP accepted the nomination of two candidates for the Dennery North and Vieux Fort South constituencies. In the case of Dennery North – attorney Andy Daniel has been selected to replace current MP Marcus Nicholas. Former Party Chairman - farmer and Businessman - Karl Daniel will contest the Vieux-Fort South seat currently held by SLP Political Leader Dr Kenny Anthony. According to a UWP Press Release both candidates received widespread support from


their respective constituencies as well as the Party's hierarchy. The two nominated individuals along with Henicks Renee – who is the endorsed UWP candidate in Laborie and female candidates, Gale Rigobert and Nancy Charles of Micoud North and Vieux Fort North respectively are expected to be endorsed at the Party's National Council Meeting in Babonneau on Sunday 31st July.   The endorsement of these candidates will complete the United Workers’s Party’s slate of candidates for the upcoming General Elections constitutionally due March 2012

  -Mega J recall
Story by Carmy Joseph

Mega J is recalling its cool select 16 inch desk fans sold at the store during the period January to July 2011. Head of CFL Marketing and Corporate Communications - Sariah Best-Joseph – says the voluntary recall is because the grill spaces are wide, making it possible to touch dangerous moving parts of the fan. Some of the identifying marks of the fan include - white body, grey blades, white box, three speeds and a model number of pkd 16.


Joseph says the company has already notified several of its customers who purchased the more than 30 fans sold about the product. But for those customers who have not been notified – they are advised to return the product to Mega J for a full refund. These will be dealt with through the store’s customer service desk.

Meanwhile - Mega J is also working very closely with the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards and has already pulled all remaining stock of the fan from its sales floor. Further - all other models of fan currently being sold at the store have been deemed safe by the Bureau of Standards. The company adds that customers can be assured that all actions have already been taken to eliminate future occurrences.

  -NAPS on AIDS statistics
Story by Sarah Peter

Multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships especially without using a condom has been identified as a significant cause of HIV/Aids in the region.  Nevertheless, its contribution to ultimate cases of HIV/Aids on the island is not known.  The National Aids Program Secretariat says while there has been an increase in condom use there needs to be a reduction in the number of sexual partners that individuals have. Multiple concurrent partnerships occur when a man or woman has


more than one sexual relationship at the same time. When men or women have more than one sexual partner over the same time period, they become part of a sexual network. If someone in that sexual network becomes infected with HIV, it increases the chances of HIV spreading to everyone else in the group

Jn Baptiste added a misconception is commercial sex workers – people with multiple sex partners as a profession - are not educated on protecting themselves against the virus.   On the contrary - NAPS says these people may be more knowledgeable on protecting themselves compared to other members of society such as “glorified prostitutes.” These people are described as women or men who are not necessarily on the streets selling sex but have sexual intercourse in exchange for money.

The spread of AIDS/HIV is also driven by older men with numerous sex partners who also have sexual relationships with young women. According to Medical Officials the Caribbean is the second-most affected HIV/AIDS region in the world. Among adults aged 15–44, AIDS has become the leading cause of death.  
UNAIDS has stated that by the year 2020, HIV/AIDS will account for 75% of deaths in the Caribbean.

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  -Gender equality committee
Story by Sarah Peter

Violence against women and issues with the number of women actively involved in the Labour Force were two main concerns raised by members of the steering and technical committees appointed to oversee the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. These surveys are expected to provide statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of a range of indicators in the areas of health, education, child protection, water and sanitation as well as HIV and AIDS.


They are also expected to be one of the most important sources of data in St. Lucia available for use as a basis for policy decisions and programme intervention and for influencing public opinion on the situation of children and women. The committees are currently meeting for a two day session at the National Insurance Corporation and are part of the island’s effort to achieve the Millennium Development goals.

The Steering and Technical Committees have been established to provide managerial and technical oversight respectively. The MOU that establishes their work follows the signing of an agreement between UNICEF and the Government of St. Lucia.

  -Castries south east donation
Story by Sant Justin

Hurricane victims of Castries South East received a number of supplies on Thursday- which were meant to assist in the reconstruction of their homes. SLP Candidate - Timothy Mangal handed over the material which was worth eighteen thousand dollars. Mangal says two residents from the constituency were chosen out of a list of requests received since the hurricane. Sariah Clauzel and Mary Shassang both lost their entire homes as a result of the devastation caused by hurricane Tomas.


Mangal says both recipients were also fortunate to receive assistance from members of the community in the reconstruction process. Sariah Clauzel says she is only now recovering from the devastation brought about by the hurricane- and thanked the constituency group for their donation. Clauzel lived with two others at the time of the destruction.

Mary Shassang also thanked the constituency group for their generous donation. Shassang lived at her former residence with seven other family members at the time of the hurricane. Hurricane Tomas hit the island in October 2010- leaving the constituency one of the worst hit.

  Family of dengue victim speaks
  CMO advice on dengue
  Molotov cocktail attack
  Opposition responds to frederick
  UWP picks two more candidates
  Super j recall
  NAPS on aids statistics
  Williams on BTC
  Gender equality committee
  Castries south east donation

Noted economist Richard Peterkin says the general elections need to be called to get the economy moving. Peterkin is a former Chair of the National Economic Advisory Board. He is also an economist and accountant by trade. While he accepts the local economy is impacted by a continuing slow global recovery from recession – he says there are local factors like the general elections that are also keeping people from spending money.
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