The Western Regional Hospital has been in the news over the last few weeks after it was revealed that a rat was found in an incubator in the nursery, after having bitten a baby. The video has gone viral, garnering headlines at home and abroad. While criticisms and allegations have been flying over the airwaves and social media alike, we have not heard from the administration of the Western Regional Hospital. Today we travelled to Belmopan to get some answers. Love News spoke with the hospital administrator Bernadette Nicholson Seavers who said the reports have been blown out of proportion. Seavers spoke to us about the first instance that gave the institution a black eye, when images of a number of dead rats in a drawer was made public. She said what the public saw was the result of rehabilitative work being done.
BERNADETTE NICHOLSON SEAVERS
“And that is when the Supervisor for that department decided to wrench off the walls; the cupboard may have been there from the time the hospital was built and when we pulled that away from the wall then we had holes and tunnels and things like that that we believe that the rat nested in and so on. When they pulled that, it was a war zone; the rats scattered and the Maintenance Department started to kill the rats. We wanted to tell that that site that was shown on television is not what we lived with every day. That to me, it was like it was staged because you’re not going to walk in a room every day and see a rat on the floor like that killed and bloodied. It was when the rats decided to come out of their hiding spots then they decided to kill them and they just put them in that drawer. So everything in the store room was being pulled down to try to get to all the spots they were and that is how we got to capture all the rats in that area.”
AVA DIAZ SOSA
“So what has been done since then to ensure that there is not a re-occurrence?”
BERNADETTE NICHOLSON SEAVERS
“We have taken a number of steps inside and outside the building. First of all we started with clearing out all the junk around the place, old files and things like that, we made sure to have the grass cut to make sure that we paid more attention to the grass. We’ve cleaned the drains and the drains we might need some more technical advice on how best we can work on the drains. We found out that that was one of the major tunnels for the rats to enter the Western Regional and we’ve been lobbying our patients and staff not to keep food around the place, not to leave food in the garbage overnight. We have more disposing of garbage more regularly during the week and that system has worked perfectly along with the public health inspectors. We work with the vendors, I think the public health inspectors had cautioned them on how best to control the matter and we have seen a great deal of improvement during that time so we were extremely shocked when the incident with the rat in the incubator and we are still puzzled as to how that occurred because we were addressing another issue in the hospital where we insisted and we monitored the way things are in the wards and especially in that nursery.”