Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 8th 2015 Contents A26
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The Board, Management and Staff of the Sagicor Financial Group are pleased to
extend heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Stephen D. McNamara, Chairman of Sagicor
Financial Corporation, who was named a Commander of the Order of the British
Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours for public service and services to
the legal profession.
In addition, Mr. McNamara has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from the
University of the West Indies for his outstanding achievements and contribution to the
region in the areas of business, sport and general philanthropy for more than 40 years.
The honorary degree will be conferred on Mr. McNamara at the Cave Hill Campus'
graduation ceremony in Barbados on October 17th, 2015.
In reaction to the news of both awards, McNamara said: "I was honored to be
recognised for services to St. Lucia and the law. These services I view as a duty
required of all citizens and members of particular professions, not necessarily requiring
reward. It is none the less pleasing to have one's efforts recognised."
He added: "I was equally deeply honored to have been recognised by the University
of the West Indies. However, I consider it to be an endorsement by the University of
the sterling efforts of the directors, management and staff at Sagicor and persons
elsewhere, who have been instrumental in any contribution that I have been able to
McNamara is also Chairman of the Group's main subsidiary Sagicor Life Inc, Sagicor
USA and Sagicor Finance Inc. He serves as a Director of Sagicor Group Jamaica
Limited and many other subsidiaries within the Group. McNamara is an Attorney-at-
Law by profession and a senior partner of McNamara & Company, Attorneys-at-Law of
Once again, we heartily congratulate Mr. McNamara on these significant achievements.
There are only three forms of male contraception:
condoms, withdrawal and vasectomy. New tech-
nologies are being developed, but an acceptable, reli-
able, reversible solution remains elusive.
If a decent male contraceptive pill, injection or
implant does come along, will men use it? Here are
some new male contraception methods being inves-
Vasalgel is a polymer gel injected into the vas deferens
(sperm duct) via the scrotum. It blocks sperm but lets
the rest of the fluid ejaculate through, so it doesn t
protect against sexually transmitted diseases. A second
injection dissolves and flushes out the gel, offering a
potentially permanent but reversible method. Vasalgel
is similar to a compound called Risug (or "reversible
inhibition of sperm under guidance") that is being
tested in India and appears to be safe and effective
for humans, though Risug may never attract enough
funding to come to market.
The clean-sheets pill
A drug is being developed in the UK based on phe-
noxybenzamine and thioridazine, which have been
found to stop muscle contraction in the vas deferens
so that sperm isn t pushed forward. The rest of the
ejaculate gets stalled, too, hence the "clean sheets."
The question is whether men would accept a dry ejac-
ulate or, as one respondent to a survey put it, "all of
the twitch, none of the spurt." This method could also
reduce transmission of HIV and deserves more attention
but, again, funding is a problem.
This is a male contraceptive pill based on the active
ingredient of gendarussa, a shrub native to Indonesia,
where the drug has been developed. It works by block-
ing the enzyme that allows a sperm to penetrate an
egg. Although further trials into effectiveness, dosage
and safety are needed, trials involving about 300 men
who took the extract for one to four months resulted
in only one pregnancy.
A drug (anti-Eppin) binds to a protein on sperm
(Eppin), and stops the sperm swimming towards the
egg. Anti-Eppin could be delivered through an implant
under the skin or orally. Tests assessing the drug s
safety are yet to be undertaken, but Dr Michael O Rand,
president of EppinPharma, the pharmaceutical startup
developing the drug, says: "When we finish toxicology
and non-human primate testing, we will be ready for
a phase one human trial. However, this is several years
The genetic drug
JQ1 is a drug that turns off the BRDT gene responsible
for sperm production in the testes. In animal studies,
the drug takes six weeks to achieve temporary infertility
and one to three months for fertility to return when
the drug is stopped. Testicular size is reduced, but
hormone levels and mating patterns are unaffected.
It remains to be seen whether it will make human
testes shrink and whether men would mind if it does.
The hormonal pill
Pills that combine two sex hormones (androgens
and progestogens) act on the brain to shut down natural
hormones that stimulate the testes to produce sperm.
Tests have proved effective but have raised side-effects
such as liver damage and variable effectiveness, espe-
cially between different ethnic groups.
The "bright" pill
A compound that temporarily inhibits the repro-
ductive capacity of sperm has been developed by Pro-
What's the future for
fessor Haim Breitbart (the pill s name is a play on his
surname) of Bar Ilan university in Israel. The drug
makes mice infertile for one to three months, depending
on the dose, with no impact on sex drive. However,
the professor says there is little chance of further
development for now. (Guardian UK)
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Condoms---one of the common forms of male contraception.
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