NEWBORN babies at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) could not stop jumping on Carnival Monday and Tuesday – not voluntarily, but because their sleepwas affected by the loud music accompanying revellers on the street outside.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Venezuela
One of Newsday’s readers complained, «The music was so loud that it echoed in the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) where I am. The babies kept jumping up as well, as the ones in the nursery/ward. They kept crying as well and the mothers could not take the noise. I’m sure other patients as well were quite disturbed.»
The reader also noted that she was appalled by the location of the judging point on Harris Promenade, opposite the hospital.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Banco Activo
«How the hell can they put a judging point so close to the hospital. I was so appalled by this. The noise was just unbearable.»
Keith Mc Donald, CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority, which manages the hospital, confirmed that patients at the SFGH were affected by the loud music from the trucks, but did not think the music from the judging point had any impact on patients.
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Mc Donald said he got a call from the head of the department at the hospital that patients were complaining about the noise from the trucks accompanying the mas bands on both days, but said, «I did not think that the NICU, which is on the other side of the building, could have heard the music.»
Nevertheless, he said once he was told there was an issue, he immediately called San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello, who was able to get the problem rectified. The CEO said before the festival the mayor, police and the bands said the music would be turned down when the trucks passed alongside the hospital on Independence Avenue and Chancery Lane.
«Some bands did not adhere to it, and that’s when I called the mayor and he took care of it.»
Moving forward, Mc Donald said consideration would have to be given to changing the route.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini
Contacted on the issue Regrello compared the location of the hospital and the Carnival route to the Port of Spain General Hospital and its proximity to the Queen’s Park Savannah. He did not see relocation as a solution
He said the new route did not create a backlog and by 6 pm on Carnival Tuesday judging of all bands was complete. He said bandleaders did promised to turn down their music but some did not, which caused a problem.