The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica has come under pressure after criticisms on social media after the minister was seen in a photo giving gifts to a minor who gave birth to twins on Christmas Day
Reports from Kingston on Christmas Day indicated that a 14-year-old had given birth to twins. And in a photo on social media, State Minister Juliet Cuthbert Flynn was captured on camera presenting gifts to a minor.
Several residents were outraged, saying that the government should in no way condone minors having children but the teenager admitted that her pregnancy was unexpected and, initially, unwelcome.
In a statement today, the Ministry of said ss is customary, and in keeping with their portfolio responsibility for maternal health, the State Minister in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, along with private sector partners surprise mothers who give birth on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day with care packages to support their new journey into motherhood.
But Opposition Senator Damion Crawford said, “What is this .. what is this Jamaica? What is there to smile about here .. where is CISOCA in the picture .. this vex me badly in the Xmas,”.
In its statement on Monday, the health ministry said Victoria Jubliee Hospital advised that the parents of the young mother, who recently participated in a Christmas Day recognition at the hospital, had given consent for her inclusion.
“In the case of the young mother, the State Minister was unaware of the mother’s age at the time; however, the hospital has further advised that all the necessary protocols were triggered, as the young mother has been an active participant in its teenage clinic, where mothers 10-17 years old are given antenatal care.
“These young mothers are required to make a report to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) and the clinic partners with the VJH Social Work Department and the Women’s Centre as part of the standard of care for these cases,” the ministry explained.