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Man shocked at wife, son’s detention in India

‘…we raised all the money needed’

Kenneth Ramnarayan yesterday got the shock of his life when he prepared to browse the Kaieteur News. He was greeted by a picture of his wife, Farah Jeebo, and his two-year-old son, Zephaniah, under lock and key in India with a security official restraining their freedom.

 

He said that he was even more surprised when he learnt that the reason for the detention was that Kids First Fund owed the hospital.

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According to Ramnarayan, of the little more than US$14,000 that was required for his child’s surgery, the government assisted with $US5,000 and he and family members worked tirelessly to raise the remainder to complete the surgery.

They then wrote “please help” on a placard and showed it to media persons waiting outside.

Ramanarayan told this newspaper that he was even more surprised and in disbelief, given that all of the money for the surgery was raised. He is questioning why his child would have been placed in a group that was detained.
He noted that he was now concerned for future patients who might need assistance from kind-hearted citizens and companies, who might be skeptical, given that there may be a suspicion of some wrong doing.

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He said that none of the donations was ever placed in his or his wife’s name. Rather, the cheques were all written to Kids First Fund.

Kenneth Ramnarayan, a Guyanese coolie man freak - out  after seeing a picture in Kaieteur News of his wife, Farah Jeebo, and his two-year-old son, Zephaniah, under lock and key in India with a security official restraining their freedom

There was drama at the Frontier Lifeline Hospital on Friday, when 10 children and two adults from Guyana were detained at the hospital for allegedly defaulting on payment of US$91,250 (about Rs 45 lakh). They had been taken to the hospital on June 9 for heart surgery by the former First Lady of Guyana, Varshnie Singh.
At 5 pm, when they were to leave for the airport, they were told they wouldn’t be able to do so without making a payment and were made to wait in an enclosure outside the casualty ward.
They then wrote “please help” on a placard and showed it to media persons waiting outside. The police were called and complaints lodged. A deal was worked out and they were eventually allowed to leave. Kids First Fund now has six months to pay the Bill. Kids First Fund  is a non profit, non-governmental organisation, registered as a friendly society since 11 February 2000. Kids First Fund’s stated objective is to provide funding for poor children who require emergency medical treatment, regardless of race, religion and political affiliation.


According to the entity, there is a backlog of approximately 1700 children on the Ministry of Health waiting list, some of whom have been there for years, because of very limited funding in this sector, lack of specialists, equipment and facilities.
“Since 2000, the government has injected in excess of  $4 billion a year into the health sector, but when in order to access surgery, children and an accompanying adult have to be sent outside Guyana and the cost is thousands of pounds sterling. “The government expenditure is not nearly enough,” according to the entity’s website.

Sunday, June 28, 2009