Category Archives: Health

Opening the borders

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 13, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI left Trinidad and Tobago on March 16, 2020, a few days before the borders were closed to citizens and visitors alike. I was on the verge of departing for a ten-day visit to India, at the invitation of the Indian government as a part of its Academic Visitors Programme for distinguished scholars.
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Pass the teacup

By Raffique Shah
April 12, 2021

Raffique ShahThere must be an ultra-secret super-Lotto somewhere in the universe, where only the super-wealthy and governments-by-vaps play for super-stakes—you know, jackpots paid in gazillions, in currencies-of-choice, and in cash, s’il vous plait. Really, there must be. Why else would Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley strut around a country that looks like an abandoned steam locomotive whose era has gone, they looking cooler than the proverbial cucumber, seemingly without care or worry, while lesser mortals like your humble scribe worry to no end over the near-evaporation of foreign exchange, the unavailability of any good or service that we can sell in large enough volumes that will yield the billions of US dollars we require for our sustenance?
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PM Rowley tests positive for COVID-19

PM Rowley tests positive for COVID-19
The diagnosis comes mere hours before the PM was set to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Prime Minister tests positive for covid-19
Rowley is in isolation and under medical supervision.

CMO: PM will have to wait six months
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram this morning said that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must wait six months before getting the vaccine.
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Now’s not the time to misbehave

By Raffique Shah
April 05, 2021

Raffique ShahI suppose it had to come to this—an explosion of Covid-19 cases just when we thought we could see a ray of sunshine at the end of a year-long dark tunnel we’ve cautiously navigated, when the first tranche of vaccines had arrived, launching Trinidad and Tobago into the immunisation phase of the war against this deadly virus.

It’s not as if the surge in confirmed cases ambushed us. We were warned by the medical team that has thus far efficiently conducted the war against Covid-19, that should we continue to breach the simple safety practices that have worked for us, hence expose ourselves to regression, we would encounter a nasty backlash. But there are some among us who are plain “harden”, who must misbehave to look macho.
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Don’t Let God Stueps on Us

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 31, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe UK and the EU have populations of 68 million and 746 million people respectively. On Tuesday the UK tried to make up with the EU over its misunderstanding about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. Boris Johnson, UK’s prime minister, sent Lord Eddie Lister, to Brussels, the headquarters of the EU, “as part of an effort to secure millions of doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine vital to UK’s fight against coronavirus” (FT, March 23).
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Right, wrong, but spot on

By Raffique Shah
March 29, 2021

Raffique ShahLast week, dealing with the new vaccines that are unfolded almost daily to fight the Covid19 pandemic, I unfairly targeted the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation as having betrayed countries like Trinidad and Tobago that have adhered to the rules of engagement, quietly awaiting their turns to the first allocations of whatever brand of the vaccine the global and regional health organisations have secured.
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Betrayed by PAHO, WHO?

By Raffique Shah
March 22, 2021

Raffique ShahIt took a global pandemic that has, in one short year, claimed 2.7 million lives, infected 123 million people in 221 countries, to expose man for what he really is—a beast in human form.

For all his posturing on being civilised, on cooperation in the battle against the Covid-19 virus through agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, when several vaccines were finally developed, tried and approved, the wealthiest, most powerful nations simply trampled on the poor, grabbed all they could without shame, pity or any kind of emotion that is supposed to distinguish man from beast.
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A Search for Qadir

By Raffique Shah
March 15, 2021

Raffique ShahLast Sunday, I marked my 75th year on this earth. It was a milestone of sorts, but no great achievement at a time when many people go way past that number, and remain very healthy and fit into their 80s, all praise to them.

My birthday was marred by the mal-effects of crippling, Parkinson’s Disease that I’ve had to cope with since I was 66. Worse than that, the day before, my extended family was struck numb by news that one of my nephews, Qadir, had drowned off Paria bay, and his body had not been recovered. Sadness overwhelmed us, as it always does when someone as young as he was, thirty, and full of life, had met such an abrupt end to what was a promising life.
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Remove these shackles

By Raffique Shah
March 08, 2021

Raffique ShahIf a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.
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A passage to India

Newsday Editorial
March 05, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

COVID-19 VaccineIN ALL the recent instances of wrangling over vaccines from India, a key issue has been left unaddressed.

The heated reactions to both Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh’s mischaracterisation of the custody chain of vaccines donated by Barbados and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s letter to the Indian Prime Minister have deflected attention from a more profound diplomatic quandary which this country faces – as well as Caricom as a whole.
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