Health scare

Close to a dozen residents come down with Gastro on south coast

Health authorities say they have found nothing so far linking a Christmas Day outbreak of gastroenteritis at some business establishments on the south coast and the ongoing sewage mess.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George told Barbados TODAY this evening that after the ten cases were reported, a team from the Ministry of Health, including environmental health officers and officials of the epidemiological department, started investigations on December 30 and found no evidence that the long-running sewage problem was responsible for the outbreak.

“We have found no bacterial or viral contamination in the establishments across the south coast,” said Dr George, who explained that the teams had carried out an environmental health assessment of food kitchens in the area.

Dozens of dead fish have been seen floating in a swamp at a commercial and residential facility at Perone Village, Worthing, Christ Church, which has been affected by the recent sewage spills. Inset, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George.

The senior health official said the teams went to the various proprietors and food establishments to determine the source of the gastro, which is caused by contaminated food or water.

“There is a process for this. It involves interviewing persons who were affected. It involves taking samples and it also involves paying scrupulous attention to harm prevention and control strategies at food establishments. The laboratories have been assisting us,” he stressed, adding that the ministry would continue to update the public on developments.

However, despite the absence of a direct link, Dr George said the ministry established several guidelines which the outlets must follow in the preparation, storage and delivery of food on the south coast.

These include regular washing of hands, ensuring hygiene practices are at least at a minimum standard, and reporting all illnesses to the ministry.

He is also urging motorists using the south coast road to slow down in order to avoid splashing pedestrians.

Less than a week ago, community activist Adrian Donovan called on the Ministry of Health to immediately order the temporary closure of fast food outlets, restaurants and guest accommodations directly affected by the worsening sewage crisis on the south coast.

Donovan acknowledged it would be a painful move, but said it was necessary because the sight of faeces bubbling at the doorstep of restaurants was akin to “selling food from a portable toilet”.

And while the acting chief medical officer today said these businesses had done nothing that warranted them being shut down, he did not rule it out should they fail to adhere to the required food management standards.

“We have found no evidence to have to close down businesses. Our aim is to protect the public,” he warned, adding that nothing had been found so far to indicate that the water supply had been compromised.

Meanwhile, dozens of dead fish have been seen floating in a swamp at a commercial and residential facility at Perone Village, Worthing, Christ Church, which property officials blame on the sewage leaks.   

Donovan told Barbados TODAY one of the residents of the apartments had already moved out and another one was in the process of following suit due to the effluent on the property.

“This situation has gone past a national crisis . . . it has now taken on catastrophic proportions,” Donovan warned. 

26 Responses to Health scare

  1. Veronica Wiggins
    Veronica Wiggins January 3, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    A national disgrace.

  2. Roger Fitzgerald
    Roger Fitzgerald January 3, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    These ppl playing wid the health an safety of us all telling a lot of RH lies

  3. Santini More
    Santini More January 3, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    The likelihood and severity of an outbreak of illness increases with every day that raw sewage is a surface contaminant on our roads, cars, sidewalks, clothes and shoes. Ministerial heads should have already rolled over this dangerous, disgraceful and AVOIDABLE catastrophe.

  4. Toyna Green
    Toyna Green January 3, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Its better to be safe than sorry

  5. Sunshine Sunny Shine January 4, 2018 at 12:35 am

    You have raw sewage flowing in the streets, several people came down with gastro, and this man wants you to believe that it is not linked to that.

  6. luther thorne January 4, 2018 at 2:48 am

    Sometimes one gets the impression that those DEMS in positions believe that the rest of Barbados is like the people in St.John : ignorant ; stupid and bewitched so you can tell them anything and they will believe it. Steupse !!

    • Berestford Leon Phillips January 4, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Luther get Horn
      The people in St.Michael North East is thee most ignorant, un Godly, stupid and bewitched people in this Country, you can tell them anything and they will believe it, fool them once you can fool them all the time

  7. luther thorne January 4, 2018 at 2:53 am

    I will not be found anywhere on the South Coast while Sewage is around. This Sewage situation sums up the tenure of the present DLP administration: Bare She-ite

    • Berestford Leon Phillips January 4, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Luther we thought sewage was your ting

  8. Tony Webster January 4, 2018 at 6:29 am

    When the stuff dries out and we can take a break from driving carefully around “sewage ponds”, what happens? The germs will eventually be caught-up in air currents, we up the windows , turn on the A/C and breathe easy…right? WRONG. Hmmm…do you know that some cars airco units do NOT even have filters? Even so, filters come in various specs, and only those intended for hospital operating theatres, are sure to stop the entry of microscopic pathogens into your lungs. Much better to avoid the area altogether. The Ministry of Health did not tell you this, so just Google it a bit and see for yourself.

  9. Hermine Alleyne January 4, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Seriously if my well was over flowing and my neighbours complained they would be all over me like a tick on a dog,Bajans should all stop buying food in the area,it will be hard on the workers but there is a time when enough is enough.

  10. petra January 4, 2018 at 7:53 am

    I hope it gets fix very soon before we have an outbreak of something. where are the experts. if not here please bring them in. seems the south coast is not a healthy environment

  11. harry turnover January 4, 2018 at 8:38 am

    A SEWAGE STINK on the South Coast and people on the SOUTH COAST down with GASTROENTERITIS,fish on the SOUTH COAST DEADING and DEM got talk bout MIA and a Legal Certificate
    Gastroenteritis can be due to infections by viruses, bacteria, PARASITES and FUNGUS
    Prevention includes hand washing with soap, drinking clean water, PROPER DISPOSAL OF HUMAN WASTE ( we know that as SH8 ), and breastfeeding babies instead of using formula.
    We have found no bacterial or viral contamination in the establishments across the south coast,” said Dr George.
    All readers got to do is to do some research on GASTRO and the other two causes ..PARASITES and FUNGUS.
    ….and the PM says doan look fa elections any time soon…he gine down to the baller again.

  12. luther thorne January 4, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Nothing else but
    Talking Sewage about going down to baller

  13. Berestford Leon Phillips January 4, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Lutherr stop fooling the masses

  14. clint January 4, 2018 at 10:54 am

    The whole place is a mess. Garbage everywhere! One would think if there was a time to contract private companies to help collect garbage, this would be the time. There are just too many things wrong on this country and I quite frankly have no credence in pronouncements made by some of those in authority! Barbadians have to do the sensible things in protecting themselves.

  15. Ralph W Talma January 4, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    @Tony Webster. Well done Sir, I concur. Also, something just does not seem right in my understanding of the Medical Officer’s statement.

    • John Everatt January 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Well the good doctor’s statement “We have found no bacterial or viral contamination in the establishments across the south coast,” does not say how many establishments were inspected nor does it say how hard they looked. So he would not be lying with a statement like that unless they had actually found some contamination.

  16. John January 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    What am I reading?? They might take many for a fool but not this guy….. Plus…. the property 2 down from old club xtreme is half under water and now the mosquitos are at the highest level I’ve seem in my 8 years of living very close by. Easily 10 fold and getting worse……. beyond poor management, they must be held accountable for this embarrassment –

  17. Jennifer January 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    This issue has moved as far down as the Garrisson. When will the government act. Advisors will come in and tell them how to correct this problem. I don’t understand why it has not been done already. It has been going in at least 1yr. It will affect tourism heavily. Watch this space…Mr Stuart, you need to go…!!!

  18. Belfast January 4, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    First, when St Joseph and others were having water problems we went back to the Stand Pipe, in the form of community plastic tanks.Now we have an ongoing unfixable sewerage problem on the South Coast, we have reverted some of those businesses to the use of their previous “pit toilets”, but who to say that these septic wells are still serviceable after some 20 years of redundancy.
    But I cannot understand why people continue to state that Freundal Stuart and his administration has done nothing for Barbados. They set out to mash up Barbados and they have achieved that aim. They have reintroduced Chinks, and now have many workers on the South Coast falling ill.
    Highway 7, is definitely the highway to Heaven, according to the term “Stinks to High Heaven”.

  19. harry turnover January 4, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    People,June in too soon to get rid of the DLP in the Parliament of Bdos.June might be too soon for severe Hurricanes to roll in but not too soon for a landslide victory for the BEES.
    People ,if ya not voting BEES,vote for Solutions or if push come to shove and ya head got in nuff liquors from the night before ,vote UPP..but NOT DEM…Bdos needs a NEW OPPOSITION jack.
    …….so people make sure that those presently in Parliament NEVER ascend those steps as MPs again. We don’t want DEM to GOVERN and we don’t want DEM to oppose EITHER
    DEM got de ball now…but in JUNE the BEES gine TEK IT WAY from DEM…we gine wring it out DEM hands during the landslide and NONE a DEM will be left standing when the dust has settled.

  20. Helicopter(8P) January 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Busses and automobiles should be spray washed they carry germs on their exterior. Pressure washing your busses, ZR, and mini vans should be a necessity! Disinfectants should be sprayed in the interior of vehicles. Lysol or other brand named such as Dettol!

  21. Helicopter(8P) January 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    If the situation is of concern for diners then use your good sences and take a bus to the west coast, East,north or central dining spots I think Barbadians have good tranportation access and you can even take a cross country bus to almost anywhere. So lets be pioneers and not be stagnated. Lets not put all our eggs in one basket

  22. Lulubel January 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    As a visitor to barbados I can not believe my eyes , something must be done about the sewage , I understand sometimes problems happen but come on , Barbados needs tourists and in all the years I’ve been coming I have never seen anything like this. This is not good for barbados ,
    People will become sick ,

  23. Trish January 7, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    I am amazed that the Chief Mefucal Officer is not taking firm action regarding the sewage crisis and the outbreak of gastroenteritis.
    Of course this sewage is creating airborne disease which is affecting both residents, employees, employers and visitors.
    It is the height of the tourist season and many people work in this industry. Tourists, including myself, have this week been very ill. It will not take very long before Barbados has a bad reputation for not dealing with Health problems.
    This is a crisis which the BWA, the CMO and the Givernment bodies need to remedy this ASAP before it becomes an epidemic


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