Health: Study finds epilepsy drug given to pregnant women harmed up to 4,100 children

A drug given to pregnant women for epilepsy and bipolar disorder caused "serious malformations" in up to 4,100 children, a French study suggests.

Mothers treated with valproate for epilepsy were up to four times likelier to give birth to a malformed child, the preliminary study found.

Introduced in France in 1967, valproate is prescribed widely worldwide.

Doctors in France are now advised not to give it to girls, women of childbearing age and pregnant women.

There was no immediate comment from the drug's manufacturer, Sanofi.

Health: New study shows smoking causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide

Smoking causes one in 10 deaths worldwide, a new study shows, half of them in just four countries - China, India, the US and Russia.

Despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth has seen an increased number of smokers, it warned.

Researchers said mortality could rise further as tobacco companies aggressively targeted new markets, especially in the developing world.

The report was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Father delivers baby at home

In an unexpected twist of events, 33-year-old Kwame Regis was forced to deliver his own baby boy at home, a feat which has left him and his common-law wife, Doreen Roopa, calling newborn Ezekiel a “miracle baby.”

The drama unfolded between 5 and 6 pm last Wednesday in the couple’s Mary Street, Aranguez apartment, which they share with Roopa’s two-year-old daughter, Destiny, and her (Doreen’s) sister, Nalene, 24.

Healthcare workers to get backpay this week

The Ministry of Health says funds have been released by the Ministry of Finance for the payment of the remaining 50 percent arrears of salary to all eligible employees of the Regional Health Authorities who were previously paid the first 50 percent of the arrears. 

The announcement came via a media statement Monday evening.

The Ministry said cheques are being processed and it is anticipated that payment will be effected by the respective Regional Health Authorities between Thursday 6th April and Friday 7th April, 2017.

PM not speaking to media on his return today; country awaits explanation on health condition

The Office of the Prime has confirmed that an expected media briefing that was to take place on the prime minister's return to the country today, will not take place. 

In a break from tradition, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will not speak to the media upon arriving at Piarco International Airport. 

The prime minister's return flight was scheduled for just before 5pm and he was expected to answer questions about his medical condition. 

The prime minister is now expected to speak at this week’s post-Cabinet news briefing. 

PNM concerned about "attempts to politicize" health of PM

The People's National Movement is expressing concern over what the party deems as "attempts to politicize" the health of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

The party has issued the following statement through its public relations officer Sharon Felix.

"The People’s National Movement Women’s League views with concern the attempts to politicize the health of the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, especially by commentators throwing stones from glass houses well known to the national community.