President of the St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertension Association, George Eugene, said the island does not have enough dialysis machines as more persons being diagnosed with renal failure.
Eugene described renal failure as a “serious problem” in St. Lucia while pointing out that about 94 persons are being dialyzed. But there is an even bigger problem: there are another 84 persons who do not have a place to be dialyzed.
“In other words there is not enough dialysis machines in this country to dialyze everybody at the same time. So sadly some of these people, young enough, 40 and younger, are dying as a result of not being able to dialyze which is a huge problem. We have to be able to do something about that,” he said
Eugene said St. Lucia, like many other countries in the Caribbean, suffers due to lack of financial resources in the health sector.
“Financially all the countries in the world suffer, especially in the Caribbean. St. Lucia likewise we do not have the kind of resources, the financial resources we need to spend on health. If you don’t have health you cant have wealth, so you must have good health, and if we can’t afford to pay for our health then there is a serious problem, because productivity and everything else are linked to a progressive country. You must have good health. If you don’t have good health there is going to be good problems,” he explained.
But the main problem, Eugene said, are that many persons are not taking care of themselves.
“They rather do what is not good or are not able to do what is is good for their own health, especially the men. The women go to the doctor on a regular basis but the men will tell you ‘I dont need to go to the doctor, I can take care of myself so there is no need for me to go to the doctor’ until things are too late, and by that time things got so bad that they are not able to cope with it. The biggest problem is when a man is sidelined in his home, you can imagine the problems that could create with the children going to school and the family being taken care of. Some of these persons who are suffering are persons who are working, and when they stop working, financially it becomes a huge burden for them and the family.”