Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2016 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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Health Minister Terrence
Deyalsingh says each pregnancy
will now be treated as a project
as the ministry tries to lessen the
high rate of maternal deaths.
Speaking at the installation of
the T&T Medical Association s
Board at Soong s Great Wall, San
Fernando, on Saturday night,
Deyalsingh said it was one of two
health interventions the Govern-
ment had been looking into with
a Non-Communicable Disease
(NCD) Unit being launched soon.
Describing T&T s maternal death
rate as unacceptable, he said each
death was theoretically preventable
and health care professionals should
be coming up with scientific solu-
tions to prevent them.
He explained: "What I have
decided to do is treat pregnancy as
a project. A project has a definite
start and a definite end so we will
treat a pregnancy as a project from
day one to 46 days after birth.
"Any maternal death is classified
as a death occurring 46 days after
delivery, once the death is attrib-
utable to something to do with
delivery or pregnancy.
"If we treat maternal health as
a project and we start to analyse
the data, for instance, we do not
do compulsory screening for dia-
betes after month six, should we
be doing that? And the answer is
"What are the protocols for
ultrasound interventions? Should
we be doing at least two so we
could pick up birth defects and
complications before the mother
is presented to a public institution?
Those are the things we have to
"Are we interventionist enough
in clinics in guiding our obese and
hypertensive mothers, that they
need to take some personal respon-
sibility for their health?
"When you do the mathematical
modeling, you will come up with
scientific modeling and you have
to come up with scientific solutions
to significantly decrease the incident
of maternal deaths."
Deyalsingh said although he was
two waistline inches away from
being obese, he intended to con-
tinue wearing a size 42 suit after
his five-year tenure.
Speaking on the issue of NCDs,
he said T&T had a crisis with obe-
sity in both children and adults and
many people were dying of related
diseases before age 70.
As a result, he said the ministry
would now establish a unit to
embark on a programme aimed at
reducing NCDs which would utilise
funds from an Inter American
Development Bank loan.
He added: "When I look back
all the years, past ten, 20 years, we
have been doing very little because
we never had a unit to drive the
conversation and to drive the
"It is not enough to say we will
take out an ad in the newspaper
and run some ads on the television
and when money for advertising is
finished, the programme ends.
"We need a permanent inter-
vention into the psyche of those
most in need of that message so
that is going to be one major inter-
vention: Population-based inter-
vention against NCDs," Deyalsingh
said. At yesterday s function, Dr
Stacy Chamely was installed as the
association s new president.
Minister: Move to lessen
rate of maternal deaths
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, front row, at left, with Dr Stacey Chamely, president of the T&T
Medical Association, pose for a photograph with members of the newly-installed Medical Association at
Soongs Great Wall on Saturday night. Members, from left, standing, are outgoing PRO Dr Austin Trinidade,
Dr Darren Dookeeran, Dr Liane Conyette, PRO, Dr Rohit Dass, outgoing president, Dr Muhammad Rahman
and Dr Christi Ramsingh, chairman of the south branch. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Trade and Industry Minister Paula
Gopee-Scoon says "inefficiencies in the
labour market are problems that have
often plagued T&T and more specifically
the manufacturing sector."
She said so at the launch of the T&T
Tobago Manufacturers Association career
initiative last Thursday.
The minister said the World Economic
Forum s Global Competitiveness Report
2015-2016 had "poor work ethic" in the
national labour force as the most prob-
lematic factor for doing business in this
She said: "In fact, we are ranked 96th
out of 144 countries in terms of labour
market efficiency. This is untenable. With
millions being invested in our youth and
increased challenges around us, it is crit-
ical that workers be allocated to their
most effective use and provided with
incentives to achieve maximum produc-
Gopee-Scoon also commended the
association on the launch of the initiative,
titled "TTMA Careers".
She said it would assist to boost
employment in the manufacturing sector
by facilitating the needs and wants of
job-seekers and employers alike.
"In the medium and long-term, pro-
grammes such as this will definitely have
a significant and positive impact on sector
and national productivity levels," she
She noted the importance of the man-
ufacturing sector, stating "a strong, com-
petitive manufacturing industry is fun-
damental to a strong economy, now more
She added: "Manufacturing contributes
to higher export potential, better stan-
dards of living, and more jobs.
"We, as a country, are faced with the
challenges of lower revenue and limited
resources. However, let this be an oppor-
tunity for us to collaborate, innovate and
most importantly act together for mutu-
ally beneficial outcomes."
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