Child died at childbirth due to no emergency air transportation on Ambergris Caye

A woman who experienced complication at childbirth lost her child after there was no available air transportation for her. Jorge Aldana has the story in the following report.

Jorge Aldana – San Pedro Correspondent
A young family on Ambergris Caye is devastated after their unborn child died because of the lack of proper health facilities. The pregnant mother was rushed to the San Pedro Poli Clinic sometime before midnight on Wednesday after she began experiencing complications. A doctor was located who examined the mother and recommended that an urgent C-section be performed in an attempt to save the unborn child.

Because the government operated Poli-Clinic and the island do not have an approved surgical and child birth facility to handle such emergencies, the only other option was to air lift the distressed mother to Belize City. During the night, finding medical assistance can be very stressful and in a case of emergency, a minute can save a life and that is what apparently occurred last night.

A member of the family, who chooses to remain anonymous, explained that there was no available air ambulance to transport their family member to Belize City. It took almost three hours before the family chartered a plane from one of the local airlines in the wee hours of Thursday and carried the mother to the International Airport and then to Belize City. By the time the mother arrived at the KHMH, the child was stillborn.

In the past, the only quick emergency option to airlift patients from San Pedro Ambergris Caye was via BATSUB; those services were discontinued last year in July of 2010. But in an interview with Love News on the 18th of August 2010, Area Representative Hon Manuel Heredia said that “as the matter is of extreme importance, I will be following up with the relative authorities to come up with a plan.” Heredia told Love News in the said interview that the matter would be taken to Cabinet on Tuesday August 24th 2010, but until now, islanders are yet to be informed what the emergency plan is.

San Pedro being a municipality that generates much revenue in taxes and a population of 22,000 people on the island at any given time, the recent incident highlights the urgent and desperate need of having a proper health facility on the island, something islanders have been clamoring for years from both administrations.

This news reported is sponsored by Grand Belizeans Estate Limited.

Reporting for Love News from San Pedro Town, I am Jorge Aldana.