6-year-old dies after ingesting Filaria tablet, Health Ministry says tablet safe

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…PME does not link ingestion of tablet to child’s death

Two days after ingesting half of a Filaria tablet, a 6-year-old Sophia, Georgetown resident met her demise and her relatives are now placing the blame on the medication which is being circulated through the Ministry of Public Health in a countrywide campaign against the parasitic disease.

Dead: Princess Kissoon

However, in a press statement issued by the Ministry on Tuesday, those claims have been refuted with the department contending that the Post Mortem examination (PME) conducted on the child does not support the allegations against the Filaria pill.

“The Post Mortem examination performed by Pathologist Dr. Nancy Olario on October 29 does not point to any linkage between the ingestion of the tablet and the child’s death,” it said.

Princess Kissoon reportedly consumed the tablet on October 25, 2017, and reportedly experienced high fever in the days leading up to her demise on October 27, 2017.

According to Kissoon’s father, the PME said that the cause of the child’s death was inconclusive. As such, the family is soliciting funds to have another autopsy conducted, privately.

Meanwhile, the subject Ministry says that it “extends its sincerest condolence to the family of the late Princess Kissoon who passed away on October 27, 2017 at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.”

Nevertheless, they are maintaining that they are “confident that the drugs being administered on the Filaria campaign are SAFE.

According to the Health Ministry, “the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis began in 2001 in Guyana. Since 2008, six regions have benefitted from the mass distribution of the tablets- Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) 100mg and Albendazole 400mg- at predefined doses. Last year, 277,612 persons from regions 3, 4, 5 and 10 received the drugs via directly observed therapy (DOT).”

The Ministry said that prior to this initiative, thousands of Guyanese received Diethylcarbamazine in DEC salt. The medicines being distributed are donations from the World Health Organization through their regional office: -the Pan American Health Organization.

It was also noted that the donation process begins with the exchange of documents which include, a certificate of good manufacturing practice (issued by the Ministry of Health in the country where the tablets are manufactured),  a certificate of analysis of the tablet which assures product quality assurance, and an information leaflet on the tablet which details its indications, considerations and precautions, dosage and side effects.

“The aforementioned documents are first perused by the Permanent Secretary and Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Public Health before the drugs are approved for shipment” said the Public Health Ministry.

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