Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 9th 2016 Contents Seventy-five-year old David
Saul, of Lanse F ourmi, be-
lieves the hyperbaric oxygen
therapy (HBOT) he is now re-
ceiving at the Tobago Regional
Health Authority s owned and
controlled Hyperbaric Med-
ical Facility is healing his foot
He said he has been suffering
from foot ulcers for the last ten
years, but that the treatment at
the facility, housed at the Roxbor-
ough Health Clinic has made a big
Saul, a former Division of Infra-
structure and Public Utilities
worker who took up gardening
when he retired, lost one of his
toes from diabetes some years ago
and underwent two skin grafts to
address the problem.
"I had one of those skin drafts
done since the hospital was at Fort
King George but the wounds kept
reopening," he told Tobago Today.
"They would heal for a while
but after one year they will reopen
and be a little worse and I had to be
going for dressing more than once
per week at the health center, but
the ulcer was not healing prop-
He said all that has changed
since he began HBOT.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in-
volves breathing pure oxygen in a
pressurised room or tube. Hyper-
baric oxygen therapy is a well-es-
tablished treatment for
decompression sickness, a hazard
of scuba diving. Other conditions
treated with hyperbaric oxygen
therapy include serious infec-
tions, bubbles of air in your blood
vessels and wounds that won t
heal as a result of diabetes or radi-
Patients are treated with pure
oxygen in a hyperbaric oxygen
therapy chamber, where the air
pressure is increased to three
times higher than normal air
pressure. The pure oxygen is said
to help to fight bacteria and stim-
ulate stem cells which assist in de-
veloping new growth, which then
Saul is now an HBOT believer
and smiled when he spoke just
after a session in the chamber.
"I am on my 24th out of thirty
sessions and seeing dramatic im-
provements in the way the ulcers
are healing and I am grateful to
nurse Waldron, Mr Edwards and
Mr Hinds for the treatment here,"
he told Tobago Today.
Nurse Waldron is attached to
the facility and dresses Saul s
wounds when necessary, while
Vernon Edwards operates the
chamber which is supervised by
Ray Hinds. Hinds, who now man-
ages the facility, built the hyper-
baric chamber over 17 years ago.
The recompression unit is the
only public facility of its kind in
Trinidad and Tobago. There are
private chambers in Trinidad
which charge patients approxi-
mately $1600 per session.
However, in Tobago the sessions
are free to Tobagonians once they
are referred for treatment by doc-
tors at the Scarborough General
tobagotoday.co.tt NOVEMBER 9 - 15, 2016
David Saul with a copy of his favourite paper, Tobago Today, after his hyper-
baric therapy session at the Roxborough Hyperbaric Facility. It was reopened,
to the general public for the treatment of wounds, just over one year ago.
Residents of Roxborough are relieved
that their district health center has
reopened. The centre, which was closed
early last month because of a rat infes-
tation problem, was opened on October
21after being cleaned and sanitised.
Secretary of Health and Social Services
Claudia Groome-Duke told reporters at
last week s post-Executive Council media
briefing that the centre was reopened after
inspection by a team of officials.
"The environmental unit of the TRHA
reported that there was an absence of
droppings at the health centre and the
walk-in centre ... monitoring of the sit-
uation is ongoing," Groome-Duke said.
The derelict building adjacent to the
health centre, which was cited as the
source of the rodent infestation, has since
been demolished. The site has long been
earmarked for construction of the Rox-
borough Administrative Complex.
When Tobago Today visited the area
last week, nearby residents said a sign on
the site detailing the project was the "only
new thing in Roxborough... and the village
had been neglected under successive
"That new sign was put up there earlier
this year or late last year, as the old sign
looked like the rat building next to it," one
resident, who preferred to remain anony-
mous, said, while also announcing his
support for Watson Duke s Progressive
Democratic Patriots party.
"I sure we not getting that building
anytime soon. That is just an election
ploy," he said.
Reminded that the country is facing
dire economic times and the construction
of the facility may take a little longer, the
resident replied, "So when they had money
why did they not construct that building?
Every year, for years, money was allocated
for it but they spent the money elsewhere.
"So what about the police and fire sta-
tions? Ent them was to be constructed
too when they had money? Now they
saying they have an excuse not to construct
those buildings," the resident added.
In December 2015, Chief Secretary
Orville London said the Urban Develop-
ment Company of Trinidad and Tobago
(UDeCOTT) was committed to delivering
nine new projects in Tobago, among them
the Roxborough fire and police stations
and Administrative Complex. London
noted that although financing the projects
were an issue the THA had received a
proposal for funding from the First Citizen
for the complex. The stations are to be
constructed through funds from the Min-
istry of National Security.
Sign at the site of the Roxborough Administrative Complex.
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