Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageThalidomide vicitims in Canada press further for justice Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 27, 2015 in Health
Toronto - Ninety-five of the victims from the Thalidomide scandal are alive and residing in Canada. They continue to push for justice and have spoken with Minister Ambrose. The Canadian government may soon agree to fund full support of the Thalidomide survivors.
In 2014 Digital Journal reported on the plight of those blighted by the Thalidomide scandal in Canada. More than 50 years after the drug, Thalidomide, was prescribed as a morning sickness treatment for pregnant women, their surviving children are continuing to campaign for financial support from Canada's federal government. The campaign is spearheaded by an organization called Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada (TVAC.) The group is led by
Mercedes Benegbi, a 51-year-old thalidomide survivor born with no arms and a stunted shape as a result of the drug. Mercedes Benegbi has provided Digital Journal readers with an update.
To summarize the issue: back in 1959 the drug Thalidomide was made available for women in Canada. This was, unfortunately, without testing by health officials. The drug was designed to combat nausea and insomnia in pregnant women (it is a sedative-hypnotic and multiple myeloma medication.) Not only was the drug not subject to efficacy testing it was also banned in many other countries due to the a spate of birth defects. The unsafe medication was prescribed to a number of women in Canada over a three month period.
Fifty years after thalidomide was first prescribed, the surviving adult children affected by the drug continue to live with the terrible side-effects, including: missing and malformed limbs, deafness, blindness, disfigurement, and many other internal disabilities. There are 95 victims are left.
Not only do the victims have to cope with physical issues, most are also in financial difficultly. In order to seek appropriate compensation from the Canadian government, the TVAC action group ran a campaign called “Right the Wrong Campaign."
According to Mercedes Benegbi, in December 2014 the Canadian government stated that it would support the survivors and a funding deadline of January 26 was agreed. that date has now come and gone, and the victims are still waiting to hear what the outcome is. A few days beforehand, a group from TVAC had a phone conversation with Minister Ambrose. During the conversation, the official agreed to come up with a compensation package. However, she also requested more time to put a deal together.
Although the delay is disappointing, Mercedes Benegbi notes, and the need for the financial support to provide for Personal Support Workers, medical devices, and therapy remains, the TVAC group are hopeful that the Canadian government will at last pay appropriate compensation to the drug-scandal victims.
More about Thalidomide, Canada, Pregnancy, Drugs, Birth defects
More news from
Latest News
Top News