An Overview of Nursing and Midwifery Services in
St. Kitts and Nevis
Today, Health Care is expected by all of the populace of St. Kitts and Nevis All of the Health Institutions and Community Health Centres are staffed with medical and nursing personnel ready to assist those who in need of their expertise.
But there was a time when health and nursing care were luxuries that were available only to the privileged few who could afford to pay for them, and the medical and nursing professions were in the hands of foreigners.
As the abolitionist movement gained in the late 1700’s it was felt that measures to show that slaves were well looked after had to be put in place.
In 1798, this resulted in the passing of a law in St. Kitts which made provision that “every owner or director of slaves shall have under the penalty of one hundred pound on the estate or place.
Where the slaves usually reside a commodious Hospital with proper convenience for the sick and a sufficient number of attendants.”
The passing of this law agreed upon but enforcing it was challenging since those who would have to enforce it were planters themselves. The situation became worse in the following decade and in 1830, A Hospital named the queen’s House was built in Nevis.
The arrival of Emancipation in 1834 force the plantocracy to address the inhumane condition that existed, but it was not until 1848 when the Hospital Known as the Cunningham was built in St.Kitts, through the efforts of Mr. Charles Thornton Cunningham. Lieutenant Governor of St.Kitts from 1839-1847. The Cunningham Hospital was manager by Mr. and Mrs. William Phipps as master and Matron, and they received an annual salary of $60 and $40 respectively. “The actual care of the sick was left to able-bodied inmates, relatives and woman with no formal training or education.”
On the 31st March 1892, the Pogson Hospital was opened with a staff of four day nurses, two night nurses and two servants. During this time the Cunningham Hospital had acquired a staff of six day nurses, six night nurses all women, four male servants and four part time male servants.
The Hospital in Nevis, known as Queen’s House was destroyed in the Hurricane of 1899, and the patients were housed in the island prison. In 1904, Mr. Thomas Liburd, one of the two nominated Members of Government complained bitterly of the plight of the patients, but it was not until 1909 when the old Government House which was also the temporary Magistrate’s.
Residence was converted into the Hospital named after Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward the Second.
“Within the Community were the Nanas, honest hard working women who had learnt to deliver babies mostly by watching other women. These Nanas received payment in kind – eggs, chicken, some fish, a few vegetables, or whatever their clients could afford.”
The care and treatment for women in labour was very ancient – “rum to kill pain and kitchen cobwebs to dress umbilical cords”. The mortality rate was therefore understandably high.
In 1918, the Nurses Hostel was established at the Cunningham Hospital. In 1920, an Act regulating Midwifery was passed, thus, paving the way for more trained nurses to replace.
The Nanas in the various communities, thereby making community care safer and more sanitary. “Nurses were given a full course of both practical and theoretical general training, midwifery and commonsense.
One of the difficulties encountered in the community was that of transporting the sick that would have to travel “five, six, or ten miles in quest of hospital attention…. In an open wooden cart, drawn by horse, mule or donkey, without the protection from the elements.” On the 27th September 1934 the first ambulance arrived in St. Kitts due to the major community effort which was launched by Dr. J Cramer.
The 1st Three Letters....S.T.R.
My nurse friend sent this and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree.
If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks.
During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ..... she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food.
While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.
Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die.... they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999/911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.
Heart Attacks And Drinking Warm Water
This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your meal, but about Heart Attacks . The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not cold water, maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating.
For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
C ommon Symptoms Of Heart Attack...
A serious note about heart attacks - You should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting . Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line .
You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.
A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life. Read this & Send to a friend. It could save a life. So, please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends you care about.