FRESH CREEK, ANDROS — A team of officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) is expected to travel to Central Andros today to investigate alleged death threats against a nurse and suspected arson of her residence on the island.
Police officials confirmed to Eyewitness News that following a fire that occurred on Friday, August 12, at the nurse’s residence, the nurse informed police that she had been receiving death threats. At the time, the cause of the fire was said to be unknown.
The claim was also supported by Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) president, Amancha Williams who said she was aware of the matter and that the union is allowing police to lead the investigation.
“It is very concerning for us,” she said.
“Those nurses have been in the community for more than two years and if there was a problem there are ways to go about doing things…it should not have ended up like this. The nurse lost everything and had to return to Nassau and now the community is at a disadvantage because now there is no nurse or doctor there.”
When asked, Williams said there were no challenges or problems between the nurses and community residents.
“As a community, it is so important for everyone to work together because finding doctors and nurses to go to these islands is so challenging,” she said.
Sources who informed Eyewitness News of the incident alleged that some of the threats to the nurses on the island included phone calls telling them to “leave the island or else”, and threats that they would be killed.
One resident, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said: “Two nurses are now gone for receiving similar threats. We had other nurses transferred out, all of this in one month and now we have absolutely no medical people at the Fresh Creek clinic. They are sending a nurse from the north but we have no doctor. This is a matter of life and death.”
Williams also spoke about the lack of medical personnel on the island, noting the wider implications of the incident.
If investigations confirm arson, Williams said it would “speak volumes” about what is happening not only on the island but in the country.
“It’s really hard for me to imagine that this is where we have come to,” she continued.
“We all need to unify and look out for one another because this not only affects the doctors and nurses but entire communities who are now left without the resources that they so desperately need.”
“Anything can happen and we are getting to the peak of the hurricane season, islands will need doctors and nurses in emergency situations…but we as a body have to ensure that our nurses are protected, we will not stand for this,” she said.
This latest incident comes as there has been an apparent increase of criminal activity on the island of Andros, according to police officials.
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Micheal Darville told Eyewitness News that his ministry is responding appropriately to the incident.
“We await the conclusion of a police investigation that is ongoing,” Darville said.
“We have removed the nurse from that location and are making the necessary provisions. There will not be a void of medical staff on the island and we believe the incident is an isolated one.”