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Jamaica: Bustamante Seeing More Children With Gunshot, Sexual Injuries

While the Bustamante Hospitaal for Children has seen a significant decline in patients with accident-related injuries, lacerations and burns since mid-March, when schools were closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has seen an increase in assumed sexual assault cases and gunshot victims.

Earlier this year, United Nations human-rights experts warned that children would become more vulnerable to abuse and violence during COVID-19 lockdowns and other containment measures.

Statistics from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) show that nine children were treated for gunshot wounds at the St Andrew-based paediatric hospital up to September, a 50 per cent increase from the six cases for the corresponding period last year. Nine cases were registered for the entire 2019.

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