Henry Durant clinic opens for the vulnerable in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Faith BYisrael, THA Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection. PHOTO COURTESY THA –

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

Of these, approximately 85 per cent were from the local migrant population, president of the TT Red Cross Society Jill De Bourg said on Saturday at the opening of the clinic’s Tobago facility at Signal Hill.

De Bourg’s remarks were carried in a written address delivered by the Red Cross Society’s crisis management coordinator Stephan Kishore.

She said the most commonly treated conditions were hypertension, diabetes, as well as issues relating to sexual and reproductive health.

“These figures are a clear illustration of the need for these types of services right here in TT. We are encouraged by these statistics and have deepened our resolve as a humanitarian organisation to continue the work we do in this sector,” she said.

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

She added the clinic, which is supported by volunteer doctors, nurses and other health specialists, caters to those who may not feel comfortable accessing other health facilities either because of language barriers or comorbidities.

Like the Port of Spain clinic, De Bourg said the Tobago facility will also provide psychosocial support for both children and adults as well as a play space for children.

For now, the Tobago clinic will be opened only on Saturdays between 12 pm- 2pm.

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

“In addition to funding the projects themselves, public giving is how we keep the lights on at our offices and how we staff them.”

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

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

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

She said the division has been working with some of its partners internationally to ensure that services are provided to all of the vulnerable populations on the island, including migrants.

Dr Anjello Toussaint, former president of the TT Medical Association ((Tobago branch), also spoke.