Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2013 Contents A5
May 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
"People have to understand that is rubbish
they are buying and what they are doing is
subjecting their body s organs to all sorts of
Khan said many of the herbalists are clueless
of the tablets composition.
He said the Food and Drug Administration
had not approved these herbal medications
and people would have to face their conse-
The minister said people have to take
responsibility for their health.
Trinidade: Control needed
Dr Austin Trinidade, public relations officers
of the T&T Medical Association, also intends
to write the DPP by month s end, since they
have been receiving complaints from medical
practitioners about the effects herbal treat-
ments were having on patients.
On May 1, the association issued an adver-
tisement advising the public that the title
"doctor" before a person s name does not
mean the individual is a medical practitioner.
They also reminded citizens that only medical
practitioners registered with the Medical Board
of T&T (MBTT) are licenced to diagnose and
treat patients, since a number of people were
offering spurious medical advice and dis-
pending therapies of questionable value to
Trinidade said his letter would be the second
in three years, since the MBTT had written
Gaspard s predecessor.
Though nothing was done, Trinidade said
he felt compelled to ask the DPP to inter-
Speaking at his San Fernando office on
Wednesday, Trinidade said they had nothing
against herbal medicine.
"In fact, a lot of our present medication
has come from herbs. What we are against
is their cure claims."
Trinidade said the herbal shop operators
have been hoodwinking patients into buying
expensive therapies to cure a number of ail-
"They are preying on people s illnesses."
Trinidade agreed that the authorities have
taken too long to act.
"We are not going to let it rest. There needs
to be control. We don t want to put anyone
out of business."
Asked if the DPP fails to act what then,
Trinidade replied, "What can I do? We can
also write the Minister of Health."
Trinidade said the MBTT has little power
to prosecute herbalists who are not under its
He said he knows of one herbalist who uses
the "doctor" title.
Even with modern therapies, Trinidade said
doctors do not promise cures.
"We stabilise the patient s condition and
Trinidade said doctors have noticed a trend
in which patients would switch from pre-
scribed medication to herbs.
"We feel what the herbs do is mask their
results. So if you test your urine and blood
it would not give the proper reading. People
may feel good for a little while. It gives you
this false sense of security that you have cured
your disease. Most of these things have no
After time, Trinidade said, the patient s
health starts to deteriorate and they return to
their medical practitioner for help.
"That is what have been worrying us."
Healthcare system in a mess
As a watchdog for the public, Trinidade
said people are turning to therapies because
they are not getting full satisfaction from the
healthcare system, which is in a mess.
Trinidade said the operations of these busi-
nesses send a subliminal message that it was
okay to seek medical help from herbal shops
and gave room for others to come on board.
Some of the natural herbs they offer,
Trinidade said, are laxatives.
By law, Trinidade said, all drugs must be
approved by the Food and Drug Administration
and their side effects known.
He said herbal medicine has remained
untouched because people see it as a food
supplement and not a drug.
At a meeting last week the issue was dis-
cussed by the association s 500 members,
Sayers: They too
farse...they can't stop
Trevor Sayers who opened 13 outlets of
Naturalized Herbs defended his business
on Thursday, stating that herbal remedies
have been around longer than doctors.
Sayers questioned if the authorities
would go all out to stop pastors from healing
people as well.
"Tell them I say how they too farse. And
they can t do nothing...they can t stop
herbal treatment. They have to go in the
market and stop all the chive and celery."
Sayers described the medical profession
"If you don t use herbs, you dead."
Sayers in a Trinidad Guardian article
written by Zahra Gordon last May, refused
to show anyone his degree in natural med-
icine, telling them where he studied or
"If you understand what is the meaning
of a doctor, it s someone who takes care
of the sick. I also studied natural medicine
all over the world," said Sayers.
When asked to specify locations, he sim-
ply repeated "all over the world."
Michael John who manages Mother
Nature feels doctors are threatened by
"They feel you threatening them. When
somebody say they getting well, you think
I does pay people to say those things. You
think I could pay Indian people to lie for
me and fool they own people."
He said hundreds of people had sought
treatment from him.
John said his tablets from China had no
side effects and were cheaper than pre-
If a patient is targeting cancer, John said
his/her week s supply of tablets would cost
He said a patient has to take six weeks
of treatment "to get rid of cancer."
If this was the direction the ministry
intended to take, John said they also needed
to crack down on drugstores as well.
John admitted that "plenty people" were
selling herbs and other businesses were
"Look at how we are dying because of
our diet and lifestyle?...look at the lawyers,
doctors and politicians...look at their bellies,
touching their throats?"
The herbalist said he does not deter any-
one from taking their prescribed medica-
The St James Community
Improvement Committee (St
James CIC) yesterday announced
via a press release that it has decid-
ed to cancel the We Beat Festival
which is due to come off next
month, due to a "lack of financial
support from both levels of Gov-
The organisers said there was no
support from central and municipal
government and the private sector,
"including those from the St James
area, most of whom benefitted
directly from the event."
President of the St James CIC
Earl Crosby said the group had met
with former adviser to the Minister
of Arts and Multiculturalism, Roy
Augustus and was told that he
would advise support for the event.
Crosby said he later met the min-
ister at a symposium hosted by the
National Carnival Commission and
raised the issue. He said he was told
by the minister that the ministry
could not support everyone.
When contacted, Minister Lin-
coln Douglas said it was unfortunate
that the event had to be cancelled,
and he wished the ministry could
have afforded to help.
He added that "the ministry has
a set of strategic goals and objectives
for culture" and thus needed to
direct its resources accordingly.
Asked if he was aware that We
Beat was started on the request of
the Tourism Industrial Development
Corporation (Tidco), now Tourism
Development Company (TDC) and
so was a Government-initiated
event, Douglas said, "then you are
speaking to the wrong minister. Talk
to the Tourism minister." The Cul-
ture Ministry is the ministry which
has been providing some level of
support to the event over the years.
Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee
Sing, who spoke with the Sunday
Guardian from St Lucia, was also
unsympathetic to the We Beat
"Well, poor Earl. I do not care if
We Beat happens or if it does not
happen, it is doing nothing to help
the city," Lee Sing said.
"Why should they be begging for
funds. They have sole responsibility
for the St James Amphitheatre, they
have the keys. And this is the same
group who led the St James busi-
nessmen to protest when I made
attempts to put the vendors in the
St James Amphitheatre to set up a
food court so income could be gen-
erated and the same We Beat may
have benefitted. Those businessmen
are the ones who should support
the event now," Lee Sing said.
No funding...We Beat Festival off this year
Links Archive May 11th 2013 May 13th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page