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JIS News

Ministry of Labour & Social Security
Gov’t Assists QuadrupletsKINGSTON (JIS):Monday, January 18, 2010

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Minister of Labour and Social Security Hon. Pearnel Charles (left), tries to get the attention of Ruth Anne, as he holds her sister Isabelle during a courtesy call at his offices on North Street in Kingston on January 15. The girls were accompanied by their parents Reginald and Keshia Hird and their two other sisters Annabelle and Gabrielle.The Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, has extended support to Reginald and Keshia Hird, parents of Jamaica’s first set of quadruplets, in the care of their daughters.
Permanent Secretary in the Labour Ministry, Alvin McIntosh, told JIS News that the four girls will be enrolled in the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH). This, he said, will ensure that their education needs will be taken care of and that undue pressure will not be placed on the parents.
He also informed that the Ministry will be offering further assistance to the Hirds in the development of a “small self-help project”, which is still in its infancy.
The girls, Isabelle, Annabelle, Ruth-Anne and Gabrielle, along with their parents, called on Mr. McIntosh and Labour Minister Hon. Pearnel Charles at the Ministry’s North Street offices in Kingston on Friday (Jan. 15).
Mr. McIntosh told JIS News that the meeting was at the request of Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, who had met with the girls and their parents earlier that day at Jamaica House in Kingston.
“The Prime Minister has asked the Ministry to investigate their circumstances and make a determination as to the best way they can be assisted, both in the short run and in the long run,” he informed.
He further said the Prime Minister was adamant that the girls’ development and normal growth should not be stifled or impeded in anyway.
“The Prime Minister indicated that whatever assistance given should be so structured to enable them to care for themselves in the long-term,” he said.
The Labour Minister, in the meantime, said he was delighted to meet Jamaica’s first set of quadruplets and said he would remain in contact with their parents to further ascertain just how the Ministry can be of assistance to the family.
The quadruplets were delivered via Caesarean section, following induced labour, in 2008 at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, at 31 weeks old. They celebrate their second birthday on January 24.
According to Mr. Hird, they have been progressing well and are very active, energetic and inquisitive.

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