Social media has, thankfully, jumped on the tragedy of 18 babies dying at two Jamaican hospitals. In fact, a hashtag #deadbabiesscandal has emerged. That does not sit well with me, despite the good intentions behind it.
Perhaps it is because I am holding my newborn daughter in my arms, Perhaps it is because we tried to have our daughter at the University of the West Indies Hospital (but were too late to register), where some of those babies died of a bacterial infection. But I don’t think that the hashtag is particularly sensitive to those parents who lost their most precious children. It is not a scandal. It is beyond that. I even struggle with what word to use to describe it- tragedy does not seem right.
But scandal speaks of something salacious or something at the level of mere gossip. These parents have to deal with a lifetime of grief unimaginable to most of us. They will have more questions than answers for the rest of their lives. Every time they see a baby or a child, they will think, What if…
Two people have now lost their jobs- management of the hospitals, but the Prime Minister remains silent and the Health Minister is still in charge. Another social media campaign has started- #FireFenton (Health Minister Ferguson Fention). In any case, the intentions behind the hashtag are surely noble, but perhaps not so sensitive to those parents now suffering in their own private hell.