Hapless woman a ‘health risk’
Residents of a small tenantry at Silver Sands, Christ Church, are afraid that one of their own may be putting their health at risk.
As a result, they are calling on health officials to remove a sick Angela Skeete from the neighbourhood so that she could get proper medical care and her home could be sanitised.
Neighbours reported that Skeete was very ill and could not walk, and that there were buckets and plastic bags full of faeces and urine in her home.
“Duh got bags in there with stool, buckets with stool that full of larvae and people live ’bout here,” one of the older residents cried, as a small group gathered outside Skeete’s home when a NATION team arrived on the scene.
“People got duh house shut up – they can’t open duh doors, they can’t open duh windows because they inhaling too much things,” the woman said.
She added that rats and cockroaches were rampant in the neighbourhood and they believed it was because of the state of Skeete’s home.
What has the close-knit residents, most of whom are related, in a quandary, is that Skeete was the girlfriend of their family member and on his death bed he told them to let her remain in the house.
“She take care of my uncle and I does always say one good deed deserves another. That is why my uncle say when he died she could live in it till she die, but she can’t do nothing for herself. They got to get she out of here because she needs care,” one resident said.
The sister of the man who died pointed out that she does what she can for Skeete. She lamented that Skeete was in good health until about three years ago when she fell and broke her foot.
“She was good. She used to go to the supermarket . . . but now she can’t do nothing for herself. She fall down and she get her foot break ’bout three times. She take off the Plaster of Paris she self and that is why the foot ain’t heal.”
At left: Angela Skeete, showing her swollen foot, sitting on the floor of her house after being discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (Picture by Maria Bradshaw.)
The woman said Skeete was about 60 years old and had two children – a boy who was an in-house patient at the Psychiatric Hospital and a girl that was taken away from her at birth.
She pointed out that Skeete’s right foot was swollen “big, big, big. She can’t move. She does drag on she [buttocks] and come to my house so that I can give her a hose to bathe.”
She revealed that environmental health officers had cleaned and sanitised Skeete’s home before but said it had fallen into an unsanitary state again, mainly because her water bill was over $3 000 and there was a leak so the pipe had to be shut off.
“They went there once and clean. The next time they bring a bucket of white lime and they tell she when she gine stool, throw the white lime pon the stool. The inspector come back another time and took a video inside the house. I called them and they said they ain’t coming back up here. I tell them rats running ’bout the place, cockroach and everything,” the neighbour said.
She added that she had also called the Welfare Department.
“Two months ago I call back the social worker and she say them ain’t got no room; but in she condition she want putting somewhere. She can’t get up and bathe she self. This is four days she ain’t bathe and a woman should bathe every day.”
Last Monday an ambulance was called for Skeete after she fell again. However, 24 hours after she was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, she was sent back home.
When a NATION team visited the area, Skeete was sitting on the floor in the living room of her home, unable to move. She pointed to her swollen foot and said she was in pain and could not get up. The house was in a state of disarray while a stench was evident.
When contacted, John Watts, the Principal Environmental Health Officer at the Randall Philips Polyclinic, said he was aware of Skeete and her situation.
“We go and clean up her house all of the time. We also engaged the social worker from the Welfare Department and they are in the process of trying to get her relocated so that she could get care.”
However, he said that efforts by them to install a dry pit for Skeete were rejected by people in the neighbourhood.
“I was making arrangements to have an earth pit put on that property for the lady and they objected to it. That’s a case that we have been pursuing,” Watts said.
However, a resident said they rejected the pit because of the health hazard it would have created.
“They wanted to put a dry pit under the gate which part my daughter live and she got two children in there that have asthma. You can’t do that with people living inside there,” she said.
However, the resident said she hoped that Skeete can be removed so that she can be properly cared for and her house cleaned by health officials. (MB)