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Surrey teenager died after reading about suicide on school iPad

suicide

Surrey teenager died after reading about suicide on school iPad

A 15-year-old autistic girl took her own life after an “enormous and systemic failure” by her special needs school left her with unfiltered access to online materials about suicide, a coroner has concluded.

Frances-Rose Thomas, known as Frankie, took steps to end her life at home in Witley, Surrey, in September 2018, after earlier the same day reading a story on an iPad provided by her school in which a character died by suicide.

The inquest heard that the tablet computer had no internet filter software installed to prevent users from accessing unsuitable content, and that Frankie had been accessing suicide-related material for months.

Reading out her conclusion at Surrey coroner’s court on Wednesday, the assistant coroner Karen Henderson said she believed Frankie was influenced by the material she accessed.

“Frances-Rose Thomas had a number of underlying vulnerabilities, including significant childhood trauma, high-functioning autism and impulsivity,” Henderson said. “She died at 6.57pm on 25 September 2018 at Royal Surrey County hospital after being found unresponsive … at her home address at or around 5pm the same day, an hour after she was last known to be alive.

“On the day of her death Frances had unrestricted access to the internet at school and in the absence of any effective e-security monitoring system and personal supervision, she sought out and read stories about members of her favourite band featuring suicidal acts. She left a note declaring an intention to end her life.”

The inquest heard that that while attending Stepping Stones school in Hindhead, Frankie was given unfiltered access to an iPad despite having a “bespoke education plan” to avoid such a thing. An investigation into the computer after her death found she had been able to access material relating to self-harm and suicide over a few months. This was an “enormous and systemic failure on the part of the school”, Henderson said.

“I am satisfied that Frances-Rose Thomas died by way of suicide,” Henderson said. “I find the way in which Stepping Stones school failed to ensure sufficient e-monitoring of Frankie’s iPad, and follow her bespoke educational plan, more than minimally contributed to her actions later that day.”

After the inquest, Frankie’s parents, Judy and Andy Thomas, said they were horrified when they learned about the material their daughter had been able to access at school, “where we assumed she would be kept safe”. They called on schools, particularly special needs schools, to supervise pupils when online and to make sure their computers have “the highest levels of filtering”, not only to block unsuitable content but also to alert staff to any attempt to access it.

The Thomases also called on the Department for Education to ensure the safeguarding of pupils from online harms is standardised across all schools.

“Frankie was such a big part of our lives and it was a total privilege to be her parents and we were proud of her,” they said. “She had such potential and we believed in her 100%. She was seriously unique and we miss her terribly and still cannot believe she has gone.”

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NAFDAC bans sale of Dex Luxury bar soap in Nigeria

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, (NAFDAC) has placed a ban on the sale of Dex Luxury bar soap in Nigeria.

The agency explained that the ban was due to Butyphenyl Methylpropional, BMHCA, content in the product.

This was contained in a post on the Agency’s X handle on Thursday.

According to the post, the European Union, EU, banned the product due to the risk of harming the reproductive system of users, causing harm to the health of the unborn child, and cause skin sensitization.

“Although this product is not on the NAFDAC database, importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers are advised to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale, and use of the above-mentioned product”, the agency added.

 

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Health

No outbreak of Lassa fever in any local govt- Kogi Govt

Nigeria identifies three drugs for Lassa fever treatment

Kogi State Government has debunked any outbreak of Lassa fever across the 21 local government areas of the State.

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Abdulazeez Adams Adeiza while reacting to a viral video of an alleged lassa fever outbreak, noted that a student who was admitted to the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja did not die of lassa fever.

According to the Commissioner, it was reported that the student died of hemorrhagic fever.

The Commissioner explained that the deceased student who was admitted at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja presented complaints of fever and bleeding from the gum.

He added that the patient was being investigated and managed, while samples were taken and sent to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) Abuja, but before the result was released, he had lost his life.

The Commissioner said the result came out to be negative for lassa fever.

In his words, ”the suspected case has turned out to be negative for lassa fever.

“It is not only lassa fever that can make a patient to present bleeding from the gum. Other reasons could include blood dyscrasias and bleeding disorders”.

He advised members of the public to disregard the report as no case of lassa fever has been reported in the state

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Health

UCH workers directed to stop working by 4pm over continuous blackout

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) which is the umbrella body of unions at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo state, has directed all employees of the health institution to commence work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Tuesday, April 2. 

The directive came after the tertiary health institution was disconnected by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, (IBEDC) over N495 million debt accrued in over six years.

Addressing newsmen, chairman of JAC, Oludayo Olabampe stated that it is no longer safe to continue to attend to patients under the circumstances. He also said that workers would embark on strike if power is not restored.

He said;

“Workers would now work from 8 am to 4 pm only because it is dangerous and risky to attend to patients in that situation. We held a meeting with the management this morning but the issue is that there is no electricity. So, from today, Tuesday, April 2, we will work until 4 p.m. We are not attending to any patient after 4 p.m.

“This means that we won’t admit patients because the nurses that will take care of them will not be available after 4 p.m. and you don’t expect patients to be on their own from 4 p.m. till 8 a.m. the following day.

“If patients need blood tests, the lab will not work, if they need radiography, the radiographers will not work, and the dieticians in charge of their food too will not work after 4 p.m. We also gave management another 14-day ultimatum which started counting from March 27, and if after 14 days power is not restored, we will embark on warning strike.”

Commenting on the development, the chief medical director of UCH, Jesse Otegbayo, alleged that IBEDC was billing the hospital as an industry. He stated that the union did not formally notify management before making such a decision.

He said;

“I have not heard about that, if they are going to do that, they should write to management officially, and then the management will respond. There are rules that govern government service, you can’t just decide what hours you work and expect to be paid full-time.

“If they go ahead to do that without informing management officially, management has a way of applying the rules to pay them for the number of hours which they worked. The proper thing is for them to put it in writing because they didn’t write officially to the management before taking the decision.”

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