UWP candidate sees no ‘immediate need’ for diabetes research centre

UWP candidate sees no ‘immediate need’ for diabetes research centre


Government is being urged to invest in purchasing more equipment to treat persons who are suffering from renal failure, which is often times caused by diabetes, instead of building a research centre.

United Workers Party (UWP) candidate for Vieux Fort South Dr. Ulric Mondesir told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview on Friday, December 16, that there is “no immediate need” for such a facility.

Dr. Mondesir believes that the government should focus on saving lives, since many Saint Lucians suffer daily from the deadly disease. These persons he said also find it difficult to get timely treatment.

The physician admitted that diabetes is a very serious health issue in St. Lucia, but said that more needs to be done to properly treat persons who have developed renal failure and building a research centre will not help to solve the immediate problems.

The UWP candidate said the disease cost many Saint Lucia families great economic burden and in some cases where a person may need three treatments every week, they simply can’t get it done, because of limited resources in the local health care sector. This eventually leads to death.

And according to him, when someone dies of renal failure, in some cases they are sometimes the bread winner for their family, they leave debts behind and an uncertain future for their spouse and children.

He said investing in several dialysis machines at hospitals island-wide will help to reduce the number of deaths that occur as a result of renal failure, arguing that other developed countries are actively involved in diabetes research.

Dr. Mondesir told SNO that even though it has been explained that the centre will be built for free, he said it would still cost government a lot to maintain, because the facility will need top scientists.

Government recently announced that WScience Laboratories Chairman and Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Dr Walid Juffal will provide “generous” technical and financial support to establish the diabetes centre here, the first of its kind in the region.

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony told a recent political rally that nearly every Saint Lucian “has a relative or a loved one would have been suffering from the disease” and said the investment will touch the lives of many citizens.

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed that younger Saint Lucians, including children, are now being diagnosed with diabetes. It was reported that persons 12, 14 and 15 year old are now being diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes which is usually associated with older people.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2014, there were 10,200 reported cases of diabetes in Saint Lucia. Recent statistics shows that over 100 Saint Lucians lost limbs to diabetes in the past two years.

Saint Lucia has one of the highest per capita rate of diabetes in the world.


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  1. Neither should be put on the back burner. We need help in both areas, but we already know some of the causes or factors that help to determine the development of diabetes. Right now Saint Lucia needs
    to come to terms with the inadequate source of treatment for diseases like diabetes and cancer.
    \we are an Independent nation, and this is 2016.

    Does anybody listen, does anybody care?
    Someone needs to step up. Take control of health care. The time is now, and we are nowhere near
    solving the plight of the sick. It is sad, sad, sad. The truth is nobody wants to face the truth and the
    sad reality that even those who can afford it, do not have access to that in Saint Lucia. I feel the urge
    to do something one step further on behalf of Saint Lucia. I just might do that.


  2. I have both seen and heard more absurdities than this one made by this eminent doctor. It is not too long ago there some partisan unrest in Kenya during elections. I am sure we all remember the second term election of George Bush jr and the debacle that occurred in Florida. Closer to home, I’m sure many of us still remember the phrase "It will be all right in the morning". These are examples of how far politicians, ordinary citizens and supporters will go to ensure their man get into office. At what cost however?

    If his eminence can stay in his cocoon and tell me that St Lucia has no present need for the proposed investments of Jufali I ask him what are the circumstances in which such facilities would be needed in St Lucia? This question is of course open to all who agree with his eminence. If his answer is not forthcoming I will view his statement in the same frame as Reagan's when he wanted to make us believe that since the Grenada international airport was being built by the Cubans its purpose was therefore military.

    If the welfare of the people you seek or claim represent is indeed your concern then there are instances when you stop opposing for opposing sake. You should put the needs of your constituents and or the country first. I think this instance is one such instance. Instead of seeing the positives you are only being negative. In so doing you are denying St Lucians jobs; you are denying them the convenience of having important if not life-saving information and technical expertise but that which can greatly improve their standard of life, right on their doorstep. I don’t think it is a responsible thing to do like making a statement like this without offering some explanation to justify your claim. I think we all, even those who seem to agree with you, deserves to know the reasons why you think St Lucia don’t need the proposed facilities at this time.


  3. S...is loaded with pimps from top to bottom. Somebody is always selling the country dressed in a suit and cutting those deals in far-away places.
    S... is all about their 30 pieces of silver. For a very long time, a lot of people could not see that. Today, the are so obvious, and they are so shameless, that they are not even bothering to hide it.


  4. The Minister should have been fired a long time ago, but the Boss
    wouldn't do it; it's too late now. Who has he got?


  5. RESEARCH CENTRE is a solution looking for a problem.

    RENAL MACHINES are solutions to real existing problems existing now, in all mour hospitals and clinics. The more machines we have, the merrier.


  6. when we use our own monies then we can talk! using others monies we have no say we do its called prostituting! seems thats the direction we are taking. the pm knows what is needed but what can he do thats what happens when we sell ourselves!




    • What new is going to be found in diabetes research. Millions and millions of dollars are already being spent by many reputable and long functioning research facilities around the world. Does St. Lucia have a culture of research in medicine? Since there is no cure for diabetes any such cure or treatment will take many years of research and testing BEFORE any drug can be released on the market. In the meantime the value to St. Lucians will be MINIMAL if any at all.

      We all know what causes diabetes and what helps to mitigate against the already existing condition. What is needed in St. Lucia is more education AND treatment.

      Stop wasting people's time with pie in the sky and feel good promises.


  8. Dr. Mondesir is a brilliant and empathic human being. I've known him for years and this about as right as he or anyone can get it. A RESEARCH CENTER FOR WHAT?????? More political bs.


  9. There is already extensive research being done in diabetes in the caribbean ( chronic disease centre cave hill barbados)
    Another centre in st lucia may not be justified but that does not stop the ministry of health conducting research into the local diabetes issues

    More funds/ treatment for renal failure patients is shortsighted. End stage renal failure as bad a prognosis as some cancers.

    The problem starts way before then with inadequate primary health care

    In the past , when Dr Stephen King was chief medical officer, PAHO produced a diabetic care pathway and booklet which was multidisciplinary and utilised the expertise of dieticians, nurse educators , ophthalmologist etc to forge a path forward to improve the care of patients and ultimately stop hospital admissions e.g renal failure
    The government of the day-after commissioning it , filed it away in draw number 12 and it has been collecting dust since


    • Pachyderms in expensive suits travelling from airport to airport, and other country bookies, those having not even one ounce of sensitivity to terminal illness are doing much of the talking here. They should be, as expected, woefully ignorant of about treating people with terminal illness brought on by diabetes.
      Now if you are not acquainted with a modicum of exposure to science and biology, why would you ever stumble on the needs of terminally ill patients, regarding palliative care? That is just too much to ask of our scattered legions of real born and bred Saint Lucian country bucks.


  10. I am aghast at the level of ridicule that is being perpetrated against each other from a simple article. The doctor has expressed a point of view. It is perfectly fine to agree or disagree. But when people start using words like: retards, fools, country bookies, to express a disagreement it is quite evident that there is still a very high level of miseducation existing in St. Lucia. I can disagree with anyone but I must defend that person's right to express an opposing view. Before we start pointing our finger of indignation at someone else let us recognized that this person is also entitled to a point of view.


  11. The proposed diabetic research facility is nothing more than jufalli's white elephant to St.Lucia..just like the new and unused hospital built almost 7 years ago by the chinese.. sitting there with no equipment. this hospital should be use to treat the citizens of this country and let poor victoria who is bursting at the seems rest, but alas, kenny thinks we need a new highway to Gros Islet instead.
    Tunneled vision, certified greedy, egotistical idiots running this country.


  12. Any positive suggestion from a doctor should be appreciated. My only beef is where was the doc all this time we've been having health issues here on the island ? What is in it for the doc ?


  13. Dr. Mondesir is quite correct and has the interest of the people of St.Lucia at heart in comparison to Dr.Kenny Anthony. There is a saying that states that "you have to crawl befofe you walk". Our hospitals are not equiped with basic necessities like cat scan machines and renal machines and you want to build a research center. Apparently the Prime Minister has a brain of a bird or a flee for not being able to recognize as a leader exatly what our priorities are. We have only one Renal Machine which is definately inadequate since so many people suffer with this deadly disease. If someone desires to invest or donate to the medical field the Prime MInister should have asked for the necessary equipment like Renal machines or cat scan machines as oppose to building a research center. The other developed nations are already conducting all the reseach necessaary. Kenny Anthony is incompetent as a leader. He did the same thing by asking the chinese to build a stadium in Vieux-Fort for show which has been under utilized and unmaintained. This is a Prime Minister who continues to fool the people of St.Lucia and must go. Hello!! the people of St.Lucia will not be fooled no more. We have had enough of the Labor Party.


  14. Dr. I have much respect for you but I will say this, you integrity in your profession is getting tainted by your political ambition. We must first express some measure of gratitude before we begin to suggest and demand what kind of help we receive. While I do understand what you are suggesting you and I both know that as it relates to diplomatic and government relations modesty and gratitude ensure the longevity of future aid.


      • I can clearly see your level on understand as it relates to these types of negotiations, simplistic and unprofessional. You lack or professional and business acumen would make my explanation useless.


      • You are thinking like a country bookie. China has a lot of buildings that cost millions upon millions of yuans, the Chinese currency, that are standing idle and empty. North Korea is in a similar boat. There, the roads are have human traffic officers robotically conducting non-existing traffic. There are so few cars.

        We do not have as yet, such a command and control type of political system. Sadly, we seem to be getting there with Comrade Kenny Anthony, which is another reason why capitalist investors are shying away from Saint Lucia as if it has a virulent strain of the ebola disease.

        The only people who want to do business with Kenny are communists or shysters who see how easy it is to get financial and other Saint Lucian assets under the SLP's PM. I do not vote period, for people who are so much more stupid or ignorant than myself.

        Rochamel and Grynberg come to mind. It is like stealing candy from a baby. Don't you think?


  15. The PM is one hell of an insensitive brute! The man has no feelings for the suffering of others. Those sick with the disease, well that is their problem.

    Build and build to let them see people are working even though at the end, Saint Lucia is not be able to pay for the upkeep of this research facility. The limited thinking of country bucks is just incredible!

    Why not lift the profile of the decaying hospitals and put better treatment centres in all of them instead. The ministry of health has been on the decline since Sarah left it. Why not show some mental processing power, by getting solutions to problems instead of just adding more to the existing problems? Where is all the vaunted brain power being used and to what purpose?

    The country bookies that elected the SLP are being replaced with younger and smarter voters. They can get better degrees online than in regular university programmes. Why not show some kind of awareness that you and the SLP are able to recognise this difference for a change?


  16. Diabetes research centre is bluff talk. Will little St. Lucia be able to sustain that kind of facility. Fact: we cannot even maintain and sustain a forensic lab which was doing no reaearch. Fact: our hospitals are so depleted and the two new ones are YET to be comleted and get off the ground. At Victoria and St. Judes patients have to bring their own necessities. So what's with a reaerch centre. None of the medical university islands (Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados) have that and they would be much more of a suitable location


  17. It's a real shame, and I know as a diabetic myself, that your lovely island has supermarkets that regularly run out of diet soda drinks.

    With the high propensity for diabetes in St Lucia, its a shame some politicians don't appreciate the critical need for such centres and the benefits of research into this terrible disease.

    I really hope it hppens


    • Diet soda drinks are carcinogenic. So why would one want to buy one poison and be killed by toxins not being removed from body with renal failure? You need the research for yourself more than we need the facility being imposed on us by our many very shallow and mostly idle SLP shysters.


    • Shame on you Regular London Tourist. As a diabetic yourself, what do you want now? Do you want to know why you are a diabetic? or you want to be treated? We already know when it comes to diabetes, St. Lucia has a very high rate. There is no need to research why this is so at this time. Our immediate need is to try to help those diabetic persons by providing more dialysis machines to ease their pain and suffering. There is a long list of patients waiting for dialysis and do not know when they will get it. Therefore we need Juffali to give us a few dialysis machines immediately and the Research Centre will follow soon after. He should be able to afford that, after what Kenny did for him


  18. Some of you are retards. Do you know how much research has been done on diabetes? Excessive amounts! There is no need for a RESEARCH facility in saint Lucia. Key operative words for you simpering fools : Research. There is no direct need for a research facility. There are enough agencies world wide providing clinical information on the disease. Where as those suffering from renal failure often die here in saint Lucia due to lack of resources. Open your damn minds and read to understand rather than comment. This is the problem with this society on this small rock we are so freaking myopic and love to speak out of turn.


    • Before you attempt to call others fools be sure of what you are suggesting. There are numerous benefits to having a Research facility here in the country. There are other facilities around the world for prostate cancer but the advancement came from a Dr. in Jamaica why cant the same be done for St Lucia. And beside all this I don't think its wise when stretching a hand out that you demand what should be place in there. Can we not allow for a certain measure of latitude before we start making demands and suggestions as to how we are being helped? Its the same lack of understanding and knowledge of business and diplomatic relations that make it hard for us to comprehend or accept the Jaffali appointment in the first place that and the brutal play on the ignorance of the masses by the opposition.