Sinn Féin Deputy Pearse Doherty has repeated his criticism of the Government over its ‘bare-faced lies’ on the future of St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals.Speaking to Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly, Deputy Doherty raised the issued of the government’s failure to approve the capital funding required to redevelopment St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals.The Donegal T.D. accused the government of acting in ‘bad faith’ and of ‘drip-feeding misinformation’ to both communities over the projects before condemning the fact that neither hospital has yet been allocated funding under the HSE Capital Plan. He criticised the HSE of “squandering money” on minor upgrades in at Ramelton and Stranorlar to ensure both units adhere to HIQA standards by 2021, while funding that was promised for their redevelopment has not materialised.Video via @PearseDohertyTDSpeaking in the Dáil yesterday, Pearse Doherty TD said: “Minister Daly you sat with myself and other Deputies as well as the hospitals committee members who travelled a long distance from Donegal to come to the Oireachtas on 7th November last and you told us, along with Department officials, that these projects were going ahead.“You told us that there would be detailed design for these projects by 2019 and they would go to planning in early 2020 and that there would need to be sequencing in terms of patient transferring to Letterkenny while these works were ongoing – yet that is not happening. “Your promise has been broken and there is deep suspicion in the communities involved over what government has told them because of this and because you have not given the go ahead for these projects to commence.”Following the heated debate, Deputy Doherty is now urging the Government to change tack and to immediately sanction the finance required to proceed with the redevelopment plans and secure the long term future of the hospitals.Watch: Doherty slams Minister over broken promises on Community Hospitals was last modified: July 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:COMMUNITY HOSPITALSPearse Doherty TD
On July 9, when Akki Adiwasi returned home after working in the fields, she found her 18-month-old son lying unusually quiet, with eyes closed. She nudged him — even shook him — but to no avail. By then, Amir Awadesh, his chest shrivelled and cheeks sunken, had died of hunger.“He didn’t die of hunger. Usse sookhe ki bimari ne cheen liya (the disease of drought snatched him away),” quips Akki, a resident of Tiktoli village in Sheopur district.While her husband is away in Gujarat for three months to work as an agricultural labourer for ₹150 a day, their half-an-acre arid field here lies fallow. Only milk from a few goats, shoring up their one-room ramshackle hut, and wheat given by neighbours, keep Akki, who is pregnant, and her other son, aged three, alive.Loss of livesAcute malnutrition among Saharias, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, due to crushing poverty, delayed breastfeeding, premature pregnancies and seasonal migrations is continuing to take away lives. As a result, every second child under five in the Shivpuri and Sheopur districts of central India is underweight. Even the country, in the 2018 Global Hunger Index, ranked an abysmal 103 out of 119 countries, consistently showing a downward trend on wasting and undernourishment parameters.Mitti Adiwasi, an anganwadi worker in Nonheta Khurd village in the Shivpuri district, breastfed her 10 children, two dead now, for the first time, three days after being delivered of them. Until then, they were fed only jaggery syrup or honey.“The first milk is impure. That’s because it is extracted from breasts after nine long months,” she says.Chipping in, Danmati Adiwasi, wife of a school teacher who earns ₹22,000 a month, says, “Moreover, women become polluted at the time of a delivery. They need to bathe after three days and only then feed newborns, otherwise the milk would only cause them harm.” Right after the birth of her son a few years ago at a hospital, when she was prompted to breastfeed him, she just put his mouth to her breast, and received ₹1,400 in the name of an institutional delivery.According to the National Family Health Survey 2014-2015, just 43.2% of children under three were breastfed within the first hour of their birth in rural parts of Sheopur district.Seasonal migrationAlmost all the 35 families in the village, taking their children along and leaving behind the elderly, migrate to Rajasthan and Agra to harvest wheat and potatoes every year.When families returned in July this year, the anganwadi workers noticed that more number of children had come back weaker. While three boys and four girls out of 83 children were underweight in April, 15 girls and four boys are in the category this month.“Girls are most affected as parents mostly take them along with them to fields where they are neglected, wander under the sun, don’t get food, and contract diseases easily during the monsoon,” says an anganwadi worker.For each bigha of wheat they harvest in Rajasthan, 6-7 labourers get a quintal in return. And each villager manages to bring back at least two quintals. Individual families have no more than two acres each to themselves, mostly arid, and completely dependant on rain.“When we run out of it, we barter PDS (public distribution system) rice,which is unsavoury, in exchange for wheat from a local vendor,” says Parmal Adivasi. Married at 15, he lost two infants who were born weak. In the past fortnight, two meals of chappatis with dry onions or chilli chutney is all he and his wife have been eating.“We don’t have breakfast. A vegetable dish or dal is a luxury. And children don’t get to eat until they start howling out of hunger. Toddlers get only a roti each in a day,” he says. Seven individuals in the village, including children, suffer from tuberculosis (TB). Ajay Yadav, a social worker who has been working in the area for 18 years, believes higher incidence of tuberculosis among Saharias is linked to the high malnutrition level among them and vice versa. An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study revealed that, among Saharias, TB prevalence is an alarming 1,995 per 1,00,000 persons.