Henry Durant clinic opens for the vulnerable in Tobago


dr  Faith BYisrael, THA Secretary for Health, Wellness and Social Protection.  PHOTO COUR TESY OF THA -
dr Faith BYisrael, THA Secretary for Health, Wellness and Social Protection. PHOTO COUR TESY OF THA –

SINCE its inception in April 2021 at 7A, Fitzblackman Drive, Port of Spain, the Henry Durant Clinic has provided free primary health care to over 600 of the country’s vulnerable people.

About 85 percent of those were from the local migrant population, TT Red Cross Society President Jill De Bourg said Saturday at the opening of the clinic’s Tobago facility in Signal Hill.

De Bourg’s comments were recorded in a written address by the Red Cross Society’s crisis management coordinator, Stephan Kishore.

She said the most commonly treated conditions are high blood pressure, diabetes, and issues related to sexual and reproductive health.

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“These numbers clearly illustrate the need for this type of service here at TT. We are encouraged by these statistics and have deepened our resolve as a humanitarian organization to continue our work in this sector,” she said.

De Bourg said the clinic’s goal is to provide community health and well-being to those most in need, regardless of race, religion, nationality, class or political opinions.

She added that the clinic, which is supported by volunteer doctors, nurses and other health professionals, caters to those who may not feel comfortable attending other health care facilities due to language barriers or comorbidities.

Like the Port of Spain clinic, De Bourg said, the Tobago facility will provide mental health support for children and adults, as well as a play area for children.

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For the time being, the Tobago Clinic will only be open on Saturdays between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

De Bourg thanked corporate donors and other Good Samaritans for helping keep the clinic afloat over the past 17 months.

“In addition to funding the projects themselves, public donations keep us running our offices and how we staff them.”

De Bourg specifically mentioned the contributions of the European Union and Nestle to the initiative.

THA Secretary for Health, Wellness and Social Protection, Dr. Faith BYisrael, who is out of the country on official business, said in a video presentation that she is pleased that the Henry Durant Clinic is now established in Tobago.

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Echoing De Bourg’s opinion, BYisrael said that vulnerable people may not want to come to the public health facilities managed by the THA, but may feel more comfortable accessing private medical facilities.

She said the department has been working with some of its international partners to ensure services are delivered to all vulnerable populations on the island, including migrants.

dr Anjello Toussaint, past President of the TT Medical Association (Tobago Branch), also spoke.

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