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Ministries probe baby's death

By Juhel Browne and Achsah Gulston

Probes into the unfortunate death of baby Isaiah Nagassar on Saturday are now being conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Family Services Division of the Ministry of Social Development.

In an interview with TV6 News, aired last night, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said the information he had received as of yesterday gave little detail as to exactly how the infant died after just five days.

"The baby was alive at four o'clock and when the nurses checked on the baby, he was dead at five o'clock. Within that hour something occurred, there is an investigation going on... to say exactly what happened,"  the Health Minister said.

He said the details would be forthcoming soon.

Baby Isaiah's birth to his 19-year-old mother, Shauna Nagassar, in the toilet of a KFC fast food outlet in Sangre Grande, and the heart-rending story behind it captured the attention of the nation.

Nagassar is reportedly diagnosed with cerebral palsy and the Health Minister said he is working along with the Eastern Regional Health Authority to not only provide some answers on what happened to baby Isaiah, but to ensure such a tragedy never occurs again.

Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh told TV6 News in a brief telephone interview that the Ministry's Family Services Division will be filing a report on Isaiah's death.

He said the Family Services Division has been working with a task force as part of a campaign to house street dwellers and once it was informed of Nagassar's case, it intervened.

"We have already asked for a full report from the Family Services Division. We have instructed the PS (Permanent Secretary) to get the report. Our aim right now is to ensure the stability and comfort of the mother," Dr Ramadharsingh said.

He said 35 street dwellers were housed since last Christmas and he does not know why Nagassar was not picked up off the streets at that point.

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