NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands confirmed cases of tuberculosis at the AF Adderley and the Government High School in parliament on Wednesday; but with no official statement issued, President of The Bahamas Union of Teachers, Belinda Wilson said the announcement has sparked unnecessary outrage.
“If you were to communicate with the teachers and the union then we could resolve these issues, and what is so sad is that these aren’t new issues, they’re issues that may have happened at other schools, so it’s just a matter of communicating,” Wilson told Eyewitness News Online.
“It seems as though the Ministry of Health has not gotten it right as of yet, because we keep saying to them, if they are faced with matters of concern with our teachers and the students, it would be more sensible to communicate with us so we can communicate with our shop stewards and the teachers in a timely matter.”
Wilson explained that after two persons tested positive for TB, this unofficial news circulated and teachers threatened to leave campus.
Wilson said she had to make personal calls to teachers to prevent a school shutdown, but this could have easily been avoided if proper protocol was put in place.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister has assured during previous TB outbreaks that officials have effective surveillance programs in place and they are managed according to international guidelines.
As for whether or not both schools will be closed today, Wilson said, “They are waiting to get the testing done and once that’s done they will call me and give me the update.”