NIA not participating in Nevis kidney screening

HonMarkBrantleyHeadshotL(ZIZ)- The Nevis Island Administration’s Ministry Of Health has come under heavy criticism for not participating in a two-day free kidney screening exercise.

Earlier today, Nevisian Opposition Senator, The Honourable Carlisle Powell, called in to the radio programme “Ask the PM” and said more than 400 persons were screened on day one of the exercise.

“I went to get my screening done today and I suspect that they will see over 500 cases today but the process is slow. Why is it slow? Because this government that we have in Nevis sent out a directive to the ministry of health banning the people who work in the lab and the nurses and the medical people from participating in the process,”he said.

The March 17th and 18th kidney screenings on Nevis form part of four days of free kidney screenings organised by four organisations including the Caribbean Health and Education Foundation [CHEF].

According to a letter dated March 13th 2014 and issued by the NIA’s Ministry Of Health, “the project cannot move forward at this time due to issues primarily related to data ownership and ethical considerations.”

ZIZ caught up with Nevis’ Deputy Premier and Health Minister, The Honourable Mark Brantley, who alleges that the event’s organisers were not allowing the NIA to have access to the data collected. The NIA, Brantley said, then sought advice from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Martin.

“We in Nevis were guided by Dr. Martin’s decision as we feel the doctor is a CMO,” he said. “I am not a trained doctor. I take advice from those who are being paid, the technical people, who are being paid to guide us. So the advice that we got from the Chief Medical Officer is that the project, the research, the screening could not proceed because the safeguards that were necessary were not taken.”

When asked why plans were being made to host a similar exercise on St. Kitts this week, Brantley said “I am advised that the same advice that was given to Nevis was given to St. Kitts and so, there is a question. I think you asked a good question whether or not the St. Kitts Ministry of Health is going to ignore the position of the Chief Medical Officer and proceed regardless of the safeguards not being put in place.”

Attempts made to contact CMO Dr. Patrick Martin were futile but ZIZ will keep you updated on this matter.

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