6-year-old dies after ingesting Filaria pill

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By Devina Samaroo

Six – year – old Princess Kissoon died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on October 27, two days after she ingested half of a Filaria pill.

Her sudden death plunged her neighbourhood of ‘D’ Field Sophia into a state of uproar and her father, Ray Kissoon is blaming health workers for the death of his only child.

Princess developed a high fever two days after she ingested half of the pill and she was rushed to the hospital where she eventually succumbed.

“She had roasted fever and I rush she out and I asked mah neighbour for a passage and I come out and I see a man pon a motorbike and I ask him to call a car. Ow, ma daughter turning up she eye all the time. I tell you truth to my heart, I wished I fall down and dead! When I bust at the hospital door I said ‘please help’ … they came and check she and then they come tell me that she gone,” Kissoon cried.

The autopsy performed on the child was inconclusive and family members are hoping to raise funds to conduct a second autopsy at a private institution in a desperate bid to find answers.

Kissoon broke down in tears as he told News Room some of his fondest moments with his little princess.

Ray Kissoon being consoled by one of his friends

“My daughter was the lovingest thing to me. The guidance of my life…She need she animals, she love she family…(she’s) one out of a million for me. I love her so much. We riding down the road, she would kiss me up and feed me things and she would say ‘daddy I love you’ and I would say ‘I love you baby’,” he reminisced.

Kissoon repairs shoes for a living and is a single father who also takes care of his four stepchildren. The man said his heart is heavy and his life is shattered but noted that he has to stay strong for his other kids.

According to Kissoon, the health workers confirmed that a six-year-old is eligible to take the Filaria pills which are being distributed countrywide in a national campaign to end the disease but relatives are claiming that they were informed otherwise by another group of health workers.

He strongly believes that the Filaria pill killed his daughter and he is demanding that a thorough investigation is conducted so that he can get justice and closure on the death of his little girl.

Jennifer Leo, an aunt of Princess, told News Room that health workers said her 11-year-old daughter could not have taken the pills.

Dead: Princess Kissoon

“They came by my house and my daughter is eleven years old and they didn’t give to her. Why they give his child and she’s six years old. How they coming about sharing this thing without educating you or having a professional dealing with the volunteers. They need to tell you about the side effects,” Leo stated.

Coretta Eastman-Watts also made similar claims and called for the Ministry of Public Health to better train the persons responsible for the distribution of the pills.

Every year, the Ministry of Public Health conducts a nationwide campaign against filaria. Health workers would walk around communities and distribute pills to households.

Since the year 2008, six regions have benefitted from the Mass Distribution of the tablets Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) 100mg and Albendazole 400mg at predefined doses.

In 2016, 277,612 persons from Regions 3, 4, 5 and 10 received the drugs via directly observed therapy (DOT). Prior to this initiative, thousands of Guyanese received Diethylcarbamazine in DEC salt.

The medicines being distributed are donations from the World Health Organization (WHO) through their regional office – the Pan American Health Organization.

Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by an infection with roundworms of the Filarioidea type. These are spread by blood-feeding black flies and mosquitoes. This disease belongs to the group of diseases called helminthiases.

News Room contacted the Public Relations Department of the Ministry for a comment on the matter. They promised to issue a statement.

Click here for the Ministry’s response. 

Persons desirous of helping the family can contact them on 592-668-4951.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include the Ministry of Public Health’s response to the issue.

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