The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) recently presented 17 people with checks valued at $ 367,536 for medical procedures that are not available locally, as well as prosthetics and wheelchairs.
Tracy Davidson-Celestine, secretary of the Health, Welfare and Family Development Division, said, “Once we have the resources, we do what we can to help those with special conditions.
“We can’t always meet this demand, but, as the old saying goes, ‘one cocoa fills the basket’. “
Financial assistance is under the strict control of the Medical Assistance Review Committee (MARC), a multisectoral body established to assess the medical care demands of people unable to pay for specific types of care that are not available in the health field. public. care system.
Checks have been issued directly to service providers to ensure funds are used for their intended purpose.
While distributing the checks, MARC President Dr Maxwell Adeyemi presented alarming statistics on noncommunicable diseases.
“For a small population, we are not well placed. On a national average, we are second for diabetes in the Caribbean. We are second and third in hypertension. We are third in the world for obesity, and we are fourth in the Caribbean in terms of prostate cancer, ”said Adeyemi.
He stressed the need for “self-efficacy”, that is, to take responsibility for oneself.
“Get more involved in your own health. The majority of our problems come from preventable diseases.
Davidson-Celestine noted that Tobago has an average life expectancy of 77 years. The national average is 73.
“In Port-of-Spain, men live to age 60, but women live to age 70. Tobago women can expect to live to be 79 years old, but Tobago men die on average five years sooner. If we take better care of ourselves. , Tobagonians can live healthy to age 80. The Division is there to encourage necessary lifestyle changes and to help those who have been unfortunate enough to suffer from injury or illness. “
Recipients received funds for the following:
• Prosthesis under the knee
• Prosthesis above the knee
• Special wheelchair
• Electric wheelchair
• Arthroscopic repair and repair of the scapholunate ligament
• Craniotomy for frontal tumor
• Neurolysis procedure