Category Archives: Health

Benefits, not increases

By Raffique Shah
June 20, 2022

Raffique ShahIt’s not so much that in a complex new world forged and driven by technology that comprises lightening-speed communications and incredible capacities for generating, processing, storing and distributing information that trade unions have been blindsided by microchips that could signal their demise.

Indeed, as my comrades make their way to Fyzabad today for the march and rally, they should feel proud to be part of an organisation that, during its 85-year history in Trinidad and Tobago, has, pound-for-pound, contributed more than any other toward the upliftment of the society. For people who have never participated in or attended the annual event, shame on you. I mean no insult when I say that you will brave storms and travel to Wah-he-oh-ho where alcohol and “wining” to sweet soca music are the only items that are on the agenda.
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Talk to me about patriotism

By Raffique Shah
January 24, 2022

Raffique ShahIt didn’t take Nobel Prize-winning economists such as St Lucia’s Sir Arthur Lewis, or the USA’s Milton Friedman or Paul Krugman, to project that as the world economy emerged from an unprecedented virtual lockdown that lasted three, four, who knows how many years during the Covid pandemic, commodity prices, especially those of goods and services that are critical to the recovery of countries across the world, would rise rapidly, putting them beyond the reach of the poorest nations and the poor in every nation.
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Army of the vaccinated

By Raffique Shah
January 17, 2022

Raffique ShahI am writing this column on Saturday morning, so I have no idea what the PM would have announced at his media briefing in the afternoon.

But with the drums of political war growing ominously louder by the day, and increasing in volume and tempo, and those who are looking to unseat his Government long before the due date for fresh elections, buoyed as they are by Watson Duke’s sound licking on the PNM in the recent Tobago House of Assembly election, they are doing everything to frustrate him, to goad the PM into calling snap elections, which they believe they can win, whoever “they” may be, whatever their agendas.
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Death, Be Not Proud

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 10, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDeath has stalked our land this past year with particular fury. More than 3,000 have died from Covid-19; 448 people died from homicides in 2021 and, blissfully, there were only 76 road fatalities—the lowest number since 1957. Yet, we only talk about death in mournful terms rather than what it might mean to those who are still alive.
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Bring back the ‘Bull’

By Raffique Shah
January 10, 2022

Raffique ShahNot even George Orwell, who wrote the right-wing classic Animal Farm which summarised workers in power, post-revolution, in the worst possible light, could have scripted the post-Covid tragi-comedy that premiered a few weeks ago, when the Delta variant of the virus first showed what it could do, and now Omicron is breaking box office records, leaving mankind stupefied.
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Covid and gas pains: who’s crying now?

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2022

Raffique ShahThe Covid-induced confinement imposed on citizens by the Government provoked a range of reactions—from anger and drunkenness to solitude and self-pity. Some persons came perilously close to crossing the thin line between sanity and insanity.

I was lucky to have lived the multi-faceted life I did before the pandemic—soldier, adventurer, prisoner, politician, teacher and a range of other life-skills that prepared me for just about anything I might face during the pandemic. Of course, as a human being and more so a humanist, I was shocked by the mass of people globally who were impacted by the virus, by how many were dying “live” before the lenses of reporters’ cameras, ­agony etched on their faces, questions writ large on them: why me?
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Be done with the lies: They’re killing us

By Raffique Shah
December 27, 2021

Raffique ShahTwenty twenty-one will be recorded as the year in which the Earth was battered by calamitous events that seemed set to fulfil the biblical end-times that Man has feared from the dawn of civilisation, or the advent of religions.

There were heat waves that sparked forest fires that ravaged Western America and huge swathes of the vital Amazon jungle, and shockingly, the Tundra region in the sensitive Arctic Circle.
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Let Medical Professionals Speak on COVID Vaccines

By Stephen Kangal
December 23, 2021

Stephen KangalThe emotionally charged response of Prime Minister Rowley to the Sunday Express feature article is exclusively more political than the requisite scientific in relation to his weak defense of the alleged low efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine.

He procured it with a secretive agreement from the Chinese with a huge cost — loan in a large quantity without obtaining any expected guarantee about its expected efficacy level even though scientists from developed countries refused to accept it as a genuine vaccine because trial results were not published globally and were not accessible.
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PM, PAHO, Chinese Embassy condemn news report on Sinopharm

By Rishard Khan
December 20, 2021 – guardian.co.tt

Sinopharm vaccineThe Chinese Embassy, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the St Augustine Medical Laboratory (STAML), have all condemned an Express newspaper article [Putting vaccines to the test] that challenged the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine.

The article, published in the newspaper’s Sunday edition, implied the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is ineffective at generating immunity against the disease.
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Do your duty, dammit!

By Raffique Shah
December 20, 2021

Raffique ShahI do not believe there is a common factor that unites people of any particular pigmentation or persuasion across the world, except, perhaps, religious doctrines that are deemed to be the “words of God”, written or revealed by the Almighty Himself, hence not subject to alterations by man.

Those of us who have studied history know only too well that in the name of religion, of spreading the word of God, atrocities were committed, entire civilisations were wiped off the map, and the anointed soldiers of God just moved on to other souls to be saved by swiping heads off bodies, then raiding their treasures.
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