News
February 5, 2010
Dr. Jerrol Thompson heads to Haiti

Jerrol Thompson, this country’s Minister of Telecommunications, has embarked on a mission to Haiti to provide humanitarian service to the victims of the January 12, 2010, earthquake.{{more}}

Thompson, a medical doctor, who specializes in internal medicine, left the state yesterday.

He will be using a part of his vacation to do an eight to 10 day stint in Haiti with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The minister, whose sub-specialty is Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, said he is convinced that he can lend assistance in helping a few persons on their way to recovery.

“Each year as ministers, we do have the option of taking some vacation leave. In my period of vacation, I am looking to travel to Haiti and to join a CARICOM team of medical doctors that is arranged by CDEMA to go to Haiti,” said Thompson to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday.

The minister, who also holds a Masters degree in Public Health, said his credentials and a letter indicating his intentions were sent to Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, Deputy Secretary General of CARICOM on Friday, January 29, 2010. In addition to this, Minister Mike Browne, who attended the last sitting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Suriname, notified Dr. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of CARICOM, and other Heads of Government of Thompson’s mission.

Before travelling to Haiti, Thompson will travel to Jamaica, where CDEMA will make arrangements for him and other medical personnel to fly into the quake ravaged country.

“The people who had amputations, the wounds need care. The people whose hands have been injured or suffered bruised skins, all these things need care to prevent infection,” said Thompson.

“I felt that this was a necessary thing to do and it’s really the best that I can do to see how in a very small way the plight of the people in Haiti can be eased,” said Thompson, the area representative for North Leeward.

Before returning to St.Vincent and the Grenadines to embark on his political career, Thompson practiced in New York City as a medical doctor. He disclosed that he had a fairly substantial Haitian clientele.

“Nevertheless, I have also recognized in this post recovery period that the issues that are going to be paramount for the people are going to be those of stress, uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, [and] basic medical problems such as infected wounds.

“I am not going as a politician or wearing any politician’s hat or any ministerial hat. I am going there an as ordinary citizen.”