Very frightening experience
Guyana Chronicle
January 1, 2002


ON THURSDAY, December 27, 2001, I had a frightening experience at the Kitty Health Centre, where I took my 4-month-old baby for his monthly check-up as he was due for a vaccine. After his weight was taken, I stepped into a cubicle to put his clothes back on when the senior nurse called the name, Michael. I answered and she came in and asked me if he was Michael and I said yes. She then proceeded to give him two shots, then turned to me and asked whether he was over one year. My answer to her was no, he's just four months and she freaked out. He got two wrong injections that were intended for another Micheal, two years and eight months old. She did not even apologized, but instead blamed me because I answered to the name Michael. Mr. Editor, what was I to do? My son's name is Michael.

The injections, yellow fever and MMR are given to children one year and older. All that was said to me was to go home and observe him for abnormal behaviour. Why? Nobody seems to know or wanted to give me any information. They didn't even make a note on his card. I was told to try and remember that he had the injections, itís on their records. I was very emotionally upset at that point and just accepted all they said and went home. My sister later called the Ministry of Health and made a verbal complaint to the CMO office. Two doctors responded for that day from whom we learnt the procedures this nurse should have been following and of course there was a breach. But I still don't know what they intend to do.

Every day I feel a little angrier at the kind of incompetence that is displayed by some of our senior health workers whom we should be able to trust. Too many times blunders like these happen and nothing is done, and incompetent Doctors and Nurses get off. But not this time, I intend to explore every avenue to see that something is done. I will forward a formal complaint to the Minister of Health and would like to be given a verbal hearing.
Rennita Bentick