Diabetes project will involve ‘creation of jobs,’ says Steering Committee Chair

Diabetes project will involve ‘creation of jobs,’ says Steering Committee Chair
Dr. Philippe A. Halban
Left to right: Dr. Mirjana Wojtal - Scientific Advisor, WScience; Dr. Phillippe Halban -
Left to right: Dr. Mirjana Wojtal – Scientific Advisor, WScience; Dr. Phillippe Halban – Steering Committee Chairperson for the Global Saint Lucia Diabetes Research Project; Health Minister Alvina Reynolds.

Steering Committee Chairperson for the Global Saint Lucia Diabetes Research Project, Professor Dr. Philippe A. Halban, has said that the initiative will create jobs for locals.

Dr. Halban made this announcement at a joint press conference with the Ministry of Health on Monday.

The diabetes research expert explained that while WScience will be leading the research, the government will be integrally involved, and the steering committee will include representatives from the local medical sector.

Dr. Halban said apart from medical personnel being trained, local companies will also be hired to carry out other components of the project, including carrying out the education campaigns.

The non-profit organisation, which was founded by Dr. Walid Juffali, will help with the initial phase of the project. A budget, he said, has been set aside to help fund the project for the first two years.

“The budget for that two years have been constructed and evaluated very thoroughly. Its a very generous budget and shows to be very adequate for all the activities we have been describing,” he said.

While Dr. Halban did not disclose how much it will cost WScience for the initial phase of the project, he said it will be left up to the Saint Lucian government to sustain, when it is finally set up.

While persons have doubted that Dr. Jufalli’s organisation may not have continued with the diabetes project, given recent reports of his illness and his divorce which has made international headlines, the foreign team has expressed optimism that the project will pull through and a Diabetes Research centre will be eventually established.

“I can assure you that I would not have accepted to chair the steering of an activity that I thought would not prove successful. All eyes are on us, on Saint Lucia. We have to make this successful, not just for the people with diabetes on this island, but to show that this island is able to develop a really, really exciting partnership project, ” Dr. Halban declared.

It was also explained that there will be immediate benefits from the project, especially since WScience will be funding the purchase of diabetes medication, the purchase of a new dialysis machine, and plans to contribute towards the purchase of other machines for diagnosis purposes and support infrastructure.

The Steering Committee Chairperson said this project will place Saint Lucia at a great advantage not only in the Caribbean but internationally, and it may be used as a model for many other countries.

“Typically, public private partnerships focus on communicable diseases and not on chronic disease. So this is a fantastic, unique and special example of government partnering with non profit, to target a non-communicable disease and that is real refreshing news across the world.”

Health Minister, Alvina Reynolds, also underscored the importance of the project, stating that the government will use previous models, such as the one used in the 2005 HIV project, to ensure that the project is sustained.

While she did not disclose how much it will cost government to maintain the centre on an annual basis, Reynolds said: ” You cant put dollars to that. But its just that there are resources from the government that we have to get that project underway.”

The minister said during discussions with the foreign team, the question of research in other areas was raised. However, she said Saint Lucia must first show a high level of commitment and record some level of success with this project, before government can lobby for similar projects this nature to be considered.


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  1. The level of this man work is way beyond the capacity of the state of diabetes in St. Lucia.

    He is steep in academia and research and one wonders what can St. Lucia really benefit from him that we cannot already get from the general scientific world market.

    His operations defy any kind of talent that St. Lucia has except maybe to employ a few secretaries and data collectors, maybe a receptionist and a cleaner In an office.

    The government needs to be honest if at all they understand the level of work the man is involved in. The gains will be highly scientific and likely only to the benefit, at least initially, of the man and his group.

    Govt. Should have been happier to announce more positive and meaninging fulls on the opening of the new hospitals and the still unopened abbatoir. Look we cannot even run a crime lab so which Diabetes centre that?
    I just read a comment inquiring as to whether our police doing fingerprints. Yes that basic necessity would be much more beneficial in this atmosphere of high crime than this work by dr. halban.


    • The first thought that came to mind when I heard creation of jobs was that of secretaries, janitors, data collectors, and maybe a driver and kitchen attendant.


  2. diabetes...hahahaha...jobs ...hahahaha...thats wat the system is about...they dont cure anything..they just treat....why dont they tell the people how to get rid of their diabetes...they wanna create jobs and all that nonsense when people finishing die with their diabetes...98% of what u get in a supermarket is poison..teach the people bout these things.all the hybrid food they eat and think it good...all the carrots and broccoli and garlic and spinach..plus all the flesh and alcohol..teach them..a diabetes center would do nothing to help any body.thats just how the system stay.


  3. What kinda jab a sac mate bringing there? So it will just be a two year program where government still fitting the bill either way.


  4. The project will be left up to the St. Lucian government to sustain. A telling comment by the gentlemen.

    But government strughling and cannot yet open the two hospitals. How they going to maintain those hospitals and that project.

    They cannot finish and open the meat processing plant. How they going to run that and that project.

    We cannot run a crime lab do where we going with that project.

    Facilities are not run by mouth talk. It takes good and strong management and money. Politics and victimization must play no part.

    Election talk and bluff but who going to take up the tab. Right now the government just have an election vaps with projects.


  5. Truth is I don't trust this PM any more. This research center will not get very far with Alvina as Minister of Health, she looks lost in this picture. Also with all the pressure from voters especially those online and even from the opposition in an election year don't you expect the PM to come up with some plan. I will have to see to believe a press conference alone will not convince me. if allegedly Juffali paid to become a diplonat, then it is very possible that he can pay some money to (peanuts to him) and then leave the bulk of the responsibility to the Government, who will not be able to carry through. We already know that Health care is not a priority of this Government so don't expect any serious action in health care after elections if Kenny wins again.


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