Methanex Partners with the University of the West Indies to Continue UWI Telehealth
Methanex Trinidad Limited is continuing its partnership with The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus through funding of the UWI Telehealth Programme – a unit within the Faculty of Medical Sciences. The UWI Telehealth Programme assists financially challenged children with complex medical conditions which cannot be diagnosed or treated locally. These include congenital defects of the bowel, heart, nervous system and other organs, developmental problems and conditions such as paediatric cancer and blood disorders.
Methanex Trinidad's investment of US $150,000 (close to TT $1 million) over three years (2014 – 2016) will allow UWI Telehealth to continue its operation which started in 2004. The funds will be used to help support the operations of the facility and the cost of clinical consultations with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada.
Charles Percy, Managing Director & CEO of Methanex Trinidad Limited sees the programme as beneficial on several levels. "We recognised the value of the programme, both from the perspective of helping children and the opportunity for learning that is available to local medical students and professionals, through participation in the consultations. Here was an opportunity to provide financially challenged child patients with access to a world class facility and treatment that is not available locally, while at the same time, support the capacity building of local health professionals. The sustainability element of this programme is commendable. By enhancing medical knowledge and closing capacity gaps, we will, in the long run, strengthen our local health service offering.
Professor Zulaika Ali, Professor of Child Health & Director, Telehealth Programme noted that UWI Telehealth is the oldest and only successful comprehensive videoconferencing facility in the Caribbean region offering the services of clinical consultations, training, research and administration using modern technology. She points to a 100% survival rate of the 19 children who received free surgeries at SickKids Hospital, paid for by the Herbie Fund at an estimated cost of US $1.6 million. They are among the 228 families who have been assisted by UWI Telehealth in the past seven years.