Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 4th 2015 Contents 4 UWI TODAY – SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER, 2015
Each year in Trinidad and Tobago there are approximately
20,000 pregnancies. Of these pregnancies there are 1,000 cases
of pre-gestational diabetes and perhaps as much as three times
as many gestational cases are to be expected.
Diabetes and its associated complications are at epidemic
proportions in Trinidad and Tobago. Women are at greater risk
and often declare this risk for the first time during pregnancy.
As pregnancy advances blood sugar can rise progressively into
the diabetic range. Following delivery, diabetes often subsides
only to return in subsequent pregnancies or as full blown
diabetes in later life. Diabetes can of course also precede a
pregnancy. Whether diabetes precedes a pregnancy or develops
during the course of a pregnancy, there is serious risk to both
mother and fetus.
When diabetes goes undetected during pregnancy,
particularly during the first few months of pregnancy, the risk
for fetal abnormalities is increased and maternal mortality
rates are also significantly higher. There is compelling evidence
that early detection and treatment of diabetes in pregnancy
improves outcomes for both mother and baby; and most
studies show that universal screening (screening of all pregnant
women) doubles the detection rate.
The Helen Bhagwansingh Diabetes Education, Research
and Prevention Institute (DERPI) at The UWI has begun a
national screening and treatment programme for diabetes in
pregnancy. This programme initially focused on the predictors
of diabetes in the womb and the reduction of it. To support
the programme, we developed an ICT application – HiPTT
(Hyperglycemia in Pregnancy in Trinidad and Tobago).
As the project evolved the HiPTT Team understood
that while the problem is health related the issue is social,
and the name Health in Pregnancy in Trinidad and Tobago
was adopted. A HiPTT Social component of the study began.
HiPTT Social will build a website and social media pages linked
to the HiPTT app to provide important information on health
in pregnancy to the wider public.
The HiPTT application will replace a very basic traditional
process of largely reactive health care with a localized, human-
Dr. Kim Mallalieu, Leader - Communications Systems Group, at
the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at The UWI
St. Augustine, was integral to the project to develop the HiPTT ICT
application. PHOTOS: ALVA VIARRUEL
DIABETES and your BABY
New app keeps mother, foetus and doctors connected
BY FALLON LUTCHMANSINGH
Fallon K. Lutchmansingh is the Research Coordinator for DERPi
centric, technology solution. It will stimulate improved
patient self-management, enable personal empowerment and
ultimately, yield improved medical outcomes and reduced
burden on the public health care system. The ICT HiPTT
application is being jointly developed and tested by the HiPTT
team of lecturers from the UWI Department of Clinical Medical
Sciences and Faculty of Engineering, members of DERPI and
the CARIRI CED with support from Microsoft.
HiPTT is a software product that will facilitate, for the first
time in Trinidad and Tobago, a system of data logging, analysis,
visualization, archiving and communications necessary to
provide efficient support to pregnant women. HiPTT is a
cloud-based solution, intended for use by both public and
private medical institutions. At the heart of HiPTT is a web
portal which supports the full cycle of data entry, flow and
visualization between patient, doctor and medical laboratories
for the management of diabetes in pregnancy. The application
allows for the registration of patients and institutions, covering
doctors, administrative staff and medical labs.
Once HiPTT has been successfully adopted into an
institution’s workflow, it will automatically provide interpreted
test results and reports to registered patients. Healthcare
providers will be notified of any abnormal results and can
review and provide real time feedback to pregnant women about
the blood glucose readings. This feature of providing quick
feedback to patients will significantly improve the detection of
diabetes earlier on during pregnancy, facilitate timely medical
interventions as well as improve self-management abilities.
From the institution’s perspective, medical labs can more easily
produce electronic as well as hard copy reports with doctors
being able to conveniently review a patient’s medical results
either via a mobile device or desktop computer.
The Health in Pregnancy in Trinidad and Tobago project
is a DERPI initiative with support and funding from the
National Gas Company (NGC), i2i Grant from the Ministry
of Planning and Sustainable Development, the Rotary Club of
St. Augustine, Community Chest and 2001 Carpet World with
technical support from Microsoft and CARIRI.
Teels Ramlochan, one of the patients taking part in the pilot study, which is being done at three health institutions in Trinidad.
The plan is that eventually HIPTT application can be expanded into every health center and hospital across Trinidad and Tobago.
The HiPTT Team held a stakeholders meeting on September 21,
2015, at the University Inn and Conference Center to present a
progress report on the pilot study, launch HiPTT Social and engage
with all stakeholders. Prof Paul Teelucksingh, team leader, with Dr
Stacey Chamely, another team member.
SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER, 2015 – UWI TODAY 21
Crisis and Promises in the Caribbean: Politics and Convergence,
Winston Dookeran, Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015.
The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series
Caribbean integration and why it failed and emphasizes
a ‘rethinking of the centre periphery’ approach of
the past. Chapter 11, “Trade and Foreign Policy in
Concentric Circle,” links the previous chapter and
argues that the new integrationist is more concerned
about inserting the country’s economy into the
international economy rather than regional one.
Therefore, there is an emphasis on connectivity and
convergence of integrative processes.
In Chapter 12, “Measuring Sustainability,”
Dookeran urges that the small states of the Caribbean
must ‘drill down for development,’ insisting that
development cannot be imported. It must be ‘home-
grown’ and requires the unearthing of entrepreneurship,
natural talents and capabilities of our people. We need
new approaches and new models of development that
are ‘customized’ to the Caribbean.
This month ends with the long awaited
conference: Seepersad & Sons: Naipaulian
Creative Synergies, organised by the
Department of Literary, Cultural and
Communication Studies of The UWI, St
Augustine and the Friends of Mr Biswas.
Chapter 13, “Caribbean Integration,” encourages
open regionalism, getting rid of all the ‘artificial’
borders, creating a borderless Caribbean space as
a means to achieve development in both economic
growth and social equity simultaneously. Dookeran
prescribes ways to position the diverse economies
of Caribbean states into the global economy. He
promotes ‘clusters and hubs’ of economic cooperation
and synergies to meet the challenges of the global
competitive markets. He reiterates the need for
regional blocs to operate and negotiate as economic
units (not political) so as to obtain reciprocal benefits.
If SIDS and the global south is to have equitable voice
and relationship in the global economic affairs there is
need for them to assume critical positions and exercise
political power within the existing institutional
Chapter 14, “A New Frontier for Caribbean
Convergence,” Dookeran asserts that the ‘old
integration approach’ through CARICOM, in its
present state, has reached its limits. Dookeran proposes
that the way forward for integration is to move from
a political strategy to an economic one by rekindling
it through a new process of Caribbean convergence.
He defines the necessary steps to create the “Economy
of the Caribbean Sea,” create a new Caribbean space.
Chapter 15, “The Challenge for Tomorrow’s
Leaders” is precisely that leaders must “embrace this
New Caribbean Space.” A new solution leadership
capable of rethinking the old paradigms must boldly
move into the new frontier. It is a shift from ‘place’ to
‘space,’ from the limits imposed by physical geography,
like ‘national borders,’ to the nearly ‘unlimited’
‘borderless’ space created by the flow of information.
Here the challenge is how to converge and integrate
without recognizable borders. The borders of a country
and the Caribbean are only defined by the network or
web of relationship created and managed to maintain.
Dookeran’s most significant contribution of
this idea-filled book is the conceptual framework of
Convergence without Borders. Alfonso Munerva,
Secretary General, Association of Caribbean States
says that he has “witnessed the evolution of the
concept of ‘Convergence without Borders’ which is so
thoroughly expounded in this book. I am convinced
that said concept constitutes a powerful theoretical tool
to foster bold transformations which are necessary for
the emergence and development of a new political and
economic vision in the context of integration among
The time has come for a new leadership, a
solution leadership. The thoughts expressed by
Winston Dookeran in this book can serve as a guide
for anyone seeking solutions to the challenges of
adaptation in today’s dynamic global, regional and
local environment. All chapters are rich sources for
further research and inclusion of quantitative support
and analysis. Crisis and Promises with its new ideas,
approaches is a valuable resource for students,
academics, policy makers and practitioners – for all
those who search for a new paradigm for Caribbean
inclusive and equitable societal development.
The thoughts expressed
by Winston Dookeran
in this book can serve
as a guide for anyone
seeking solutions to the
challenges of adaptation
in today’s dynamic
global, regional and local
The conference is free and open to the
public and runs from October 28-30, 2015.
It begins on the Wednesday
evening with an opening ceremony and
keynote address by Naipaul scholar, Dr
Bhoendradatt Tewarie. The following two
days are dedicated to more interactive
discussions of the Naipauls’ work. Most
of the sessions will take place at the Open
Campus Auditorium on Gordon Street, St
Augustine. This site was selected to afford
ample parking, lack of traffic congestion
and a generally laid-back ambience. The
first session from 9-10:30 on Thursday
morning is an address by Professor Arnold
Professor Rampersad, honoured by
another doctorate from The UWI in
2009, is Sara Hart Kimball Professor in
the Humanities at Stanford University.
Professor Rampersad will be followed after
the morning break by sessions led mainly
by speakers who are themselves writers.
The first one ends at lunch time and after
lunch, the conference moves to visit the
Lion House in Chaguanas. The evening
ends with a panel at the Chaguanas Mayor’s
Office, comprising writers and artists who
will speak about the synergies between
their own work and the Naipauls’.
Friday entails a full day of discussions
at the Open Campus Auditorium, and
includes sessions by very young Naipaul
scholars in-the-making such as Varistha
Persad, Fariza Mohammed and Meghan
Cleghorn as well as more well-known
ones such as Paula Morgan and Kenneth
Ramchand. The conference is likely to
end with a bang at the Naipaul House in
St James. We invite you to keep abreast
of developments in the daily newspapers
and on the Friends of Mr Biswas website at
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