Mahdia fire survivors, families undergoing counselling sessions – Prime Minister

Says support will be long-term

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips Friday said survivors of the recent Mahdia fire and their families are currently undergoing counselling, spearheaded by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

Providing an update on the situation, PM Phillips pointed out that the therapy is long-term and aims to assist the families with coping.

“We will continue to remain in contact with these families during this difficult time. This counselling is not a short-term or a one-off activity,” the prime minister disclosed.

PM Phillips, who is also leading the cabinet task force assigned to manage the situation, said of the 19 deaths, five were identified and autopsies completed, while specialists were brought in to conduct DNA testing on the remaining 14.

The government anticipates that the results will be made available later Friday. 

In addition to the medical and psychosocial interventions facilitated by the government, ministers have been assigned to the grieving families to provide the necessary support.

“We have a list of ministers who are working with each family. As you know, families were brought to Georgetown, along with patients, and the government is funding the upkeep of those families, in terms of allowances; financial assistance for the time that they will be in Georgetown, including accommodation, meals, and transportation to the hospital to see their loved ones.”

Additionally, personal care hampers were distributed to the families in Georgetown as well as those that remain in their villages.

 “We have provided food hampers, not only to the families but to the villages as well. We have had the Civil Defence Commission ferrying food items into Micobie, Karisparu, Chenapou, and El Paso,” the prime minister stated.

He added that these efforts will be duplicated in other villages in Region Eight that are also affected by the tragedy.