Mahdia tragedy: Two girls remain critical in ICU


Two of the girls who were rescued from the devastating Mahdia Secondary School dorm fire remain in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The Ministry of Health in a press statement on Thursday revealed that seven other girls are also admitted to the Pediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU).

“While two are still critical in the ICU, the others are listed as stable. Their conditions are improving and discharges for some are possible in the shortest possible time,” the ministry stated.

Meanwhile, all the girls who were admitted to the Mahdia District Hospital in Region Eight have since been discharged.

Additionally, 11 girls who had gone home without seeing a doctor were transported to Georgetown on Wednesday for an assessment.

“They are presently being assessed by the special team in the ER of GPHC assigned to see all the children from Mahdia,” the ministry noted in its statement.

An enhanced medical team is also present in Mahdia. It was also noted that the ministry’s Director of Primary and Family Health Care, Dr Ertenisa Hamilton is on the ground coordinating the medical response in Mahdia and the region’s affected villages.

The medical team is expected to remain in Mahdia for the next three months.  At the end of this period, a review will be done to ensure an enhanced medical capacity continues in the region.

The GPHC Emergency Team and Specialist Departments, including the Emergency Room, the ICU, the Burn Care Unit, the PHDU, are on full alert.

The GPHC teams have assessed and treated 29 girls of which 20 have been discharged.

Mental Health Response

Under the coordination of the Director of Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr Lachmie Lall, mental health teams were dispatched to Mahdia comprising one child psychiatrist, one child psychologist, three adult psychiatrists, two general psychologists, six social workers, mental health assistants, and two mental health trained family physicians.

“This team from day one prioritised all children that were in the dorms at the time of the fire, including parents, guardians and teachers. They were all evaluated and offered psychosocial support,” the health ministry said.

Students who were not hospitalized but were in direct contact with the incident and students that were not in direct contact with the incident but were affected were also assessed and provided psychosocial support.

Thus far, in Mahdia and Region 8 villages, the Ministry’s Mental Health Teams have worked with 260 persons, including 126 children. The teams will continue to work in Mahdia and Region 8 villages continuously over the next three months.

“We will review the response at the end of three months and maintain a strong mental health team in the region permanently,” the release noted.

All the parents and children are under continuous support from the Mental Health Team including the psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellors and social workers.

The devastating fire started after 23:00 hrs on Sunday night and continued into the wee hours of Monday morning. Authorities have confirmed that 18 girls and one boy died in the fire.


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