February 16, 2007
Rotary Club of St. Vincent sponsors asthma project

Andre Cadogan, President of the Rotary Club of St. Vincent, announced on Tuesday the initiation of a joint project with the Edina (MN-USA) Noon Rotary Club to enhance the diagnosis, treatment and public awareness of asthma in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Funds for the $50,000 USD project are being provided by the Rotary Club of St. Vincent, the Edina Noon Rotary Club, Rotary District 5950 (USA), and The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

The project will be implemented locally under the direction of Sister Hyacinth Bacchus, FNP, and Dr. Christina Schwindt, Assistant Professor and Director of the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Clinic at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Simeon Norton and Dr. Francois Truchot will be the local SVG Rotary contacts and Dr. Charles Keffer will represent the Edina Rotary Club in providing project coordination.{{more}}

The five-year project will include (1) the set-up of a telecommunications system so that local doctors and nurses can establish a real-time connection to international specialists for patient examination and assessments in the local asthma clinic; (2) establishment of an on-going aerobiology program to assess airborne allergens and their seasonal variation, and to correlate these allergens to specific asthma symptoms; (3) the provision of an uninterrupted supply of medications and pharmaceutical supplies used in the treatment of asthma.

The Ministry of Health and the Environment established the Asthma Clinic in 1999 under the direction of Nurse Bacchus. Since that time, and with the assistance of Dr. Schwindt, the asthmatic population in St. Vincent has been characterized by type and severity of asthma. The population has been determined to have high asthma severity levels and specific allergic triggers have been identified. Most importantly, this analysis has allowed for the determination of the medications needed to control asthma symptoms adequately. The Ministry of Health and the Environment and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. St. Clair Thomas, have expressed their support for this new effort to address the incidence of asthma in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.