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Thursday, October 17, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Leader of the Congress of the People (COP)
Prakash Ramadhar plans to raise the Eddie Hart
Savannah project during Cabinet today.
In a statement issued yesterday, Ramadhar said
this latest move comes in the wake of a temporary
halt to the project to allow for additional public
input from residents of the area.
The Sport Company of T&T has been mandated
to carry out the project, which will utilise the lands
from the Eddie Hart Grounds and Golden Grove
Savannah to build a sporting hub.
Residents of Tacarigua and environs, however,
have been demanding a halt to the project to allow
Among their issues with the planned construction
of the facility is the fact that it will take up a huge
chunk of "green space" from the community.
"It has always been the policy of the COP to
empower local communities to make decisions
about local development," Ramadhar said yester-
"In fact, the recognition of community rights
is a foundation stone on which the COP was built."
Ramadhar, who represents the constituency in
which the proposed project is located, requested
a temporary halt to the development to address
local concerns, including the need to preserve green
space, water quality and conservation, and the use
of environmentally friendly construction materi-
als.Ramadhar, who is also the Minister of Legal
Affairs, said: "For the COP, local empowerment
isn t just a slogan, it is a guiding principle.
"Affected communities should have a seat at
the table when it comes to the details of neigh-
In a recent release, the Sport Company said the
hub will include:
• an international standard football field on the
east ground with stadium lighting
• an athletics track on the east ground with
• a 900-seat covered pavilion, with dedicated
changing facilities for players, public toilets and
• an indoor sporting facility building
• an international standard cricket field on the
west ground with stadium lighting
• a dedicated jogging path on the east ground
• two small-goal football courts with lighting
and a children s play park with equipment.
Eddie Hart project
halted as Prakash
Members of the
their portrayal of
Lord Ram and
on a boat after
Ram's exile during
the fourth night of
by the committee
at Green Park,
Felicity, on Tuesday
• From Page A1
"There is protracted loss at
other levels, at the pharmacy (in
The Government allocates
$120 million yearly for the treat-
ment of cancer, reportedly the
second leading cause of death
The T&T Guardian yesterday
spoke to a medical source at the
St James Medical Complex, who
confirmed there is a shortage of
five chemotherapy drugs there.
He said he had also heard about
medical personnel using ficti-
tious documents to acquire can-
"I have heard stories of med-
ical personnel who present these
fictitious prescriptions to the
pharmacists for the cancer drugs
and then take them to private
facilities where patients are
charged exorbitant fees for treat-
He said there has been a rapid
growth in the number of cancer
patients at the institution and,
at one point, there were about
1,000 new patients every year.
The source said there is no
alternative treatment that cancer
patients at the institution can
"They just have to wait until
He said without their treat-
ment, these patients face the
risk of earlier death.
Yesterday, Khan said it is for
this reason that the ministry
wants to introduce the health
card, which contains, in a
microchip, a patient s medical
history and what medication
they are using.
"This will track where the
drugs are going and into who.
A patient will not get the drugs
until he presents the card."
The minister also disputed
charges that the Government
was not buying a sufficient
amount of drugs and that sup-
pliers were not being paid on
Asked how the ministry was
dealing with cancer patients who
did not get their drugs at the St
James Complex, Khan said:
"Once there is a shortage, there
is no substitute.
"As the pharmacy and C-40
request, we buy it, make an
order for more. If it s being pil-
fered, it s like putting water into
a hole. There are always short-
ages and we are always replen-
Head of the T&T Cancer
Society Dr Jacqueline Sabga,
who runs Vitas House Hospice,
a home for dying cancer
patients at the St James com-
plex, said yesterday she was
not aware of a shortage of can-
cer drugs and there is no short-
age for patients at her facili-
ty.But she added, "This doesn t
mean it does not exist."
She said a patient s life would
be in danger if they did not get
Fuad: Health card to
help track down drugs
In a story in yesterday's Guardian (Page A6) it
was reported that Justice Andre des Vignes had
presided over the 2012 trial of three men who
pleaded guilty to the murder of a La Horquetta
taxi driver and were sentenced to life in prison
It was in fact Justice Andre Mon Desir who
presided over the matter. We apologise for the
GETTING IT RIGHT
A cancer patient who was
diagnosed with the disease last
year cried when she went to the
St James Medical Complex,
where she had been receiving
treatment, and was told there
was no medicine for her. This
was around May, she said.
"A nurse handed me a
prescription and said they don't
have any drugs. I sat down and
started to cry. I was scared. I felt
so hurt," she told the T&T
Guardian, asking that her
identity be protected.
"I normally get two sets of
drugs, one to be taken
intravenously and one orally."
She said she returned recently
and was told the same thing.
She related the experiences of
other cancer victims who were
also turned away.
"Avastin, one of the main
drugs we use, is not available at
the hospital," she said.
"There are other types of
drugs missing. Those who have
breast cancer say they are not
getting the medication for their
"When some of them hear
this, they are afraid they will
The source said even simple
drugs which cancer patients use
outside of chemotherapy, like B-
6 pills and creams for their
hands, are not available.
Asked how she fared after the
hospital told her the drugs were
not available, she said: "I went
without it. I didn't feel any major
difference but tests showed that
the lack of treatment had a
negative effect on the disease."
A PATIENT'S ORDEAL
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