Barbados’ Forgotten Few

There is evidence that the ageing population of Barbados is being disproportionately affected by climate-related illnesses such as dengue fever, respiratory infections, asthma, and heat exhaustion. 

Informed, strategic interventions are however stymied by the fact that there has been little systematic employment of data and targeted research.

According to the experts interviewed for this investigation, an increase in adverse climate events is both worsening health conditions and affecting the delivery of care.

Building From The Ground Up

It was a hot and sunny Tuesday afternoon six years ago when Roy landed at the Piarco International Airport, uncertain about what would happen next. What he knew was that he had to get away. When he left Venezuela on board a chartered Venezolana aircraft on November 14 that year, he had US$450 in his pocket and a dream worth millions in his heart.  

After openly criticising his government and what he considered to be corrupt practices at his workplace, the young Venezuelan student was sure the only choice he had was either to stand and face political persecution or flee. 

When he arrived in Trinidad, Roy enrolled as an English student at the Comprehensive English Centre near Arouca to assist with his communication skills. He was lucky enough to get financial help from his Trinidadian family, whom he barely knew but whom he’d met once before when he was six. Maybe it was luck or fate, but the day Roy arrived in Trinidad & Tobago, he met another Venezuelan, Marlys, who had been in the immigration line.

I Choose Death

The sting of death all around him had Roger in grief and anxious about how he would cope should he contract COVID-19. Watching some of his fellow dialysis patients’ come down with the disease and never return from hospital made him fearful. But fear and anxiety were not enough to make him take the jab. Roger Briggs says he would rather die from COVID-19 than take the vaccines.  Already battling diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease, he was ready to take on the virus. 

Driven by fears over the rapid development of the vaccines, he does not trust that they were tested sufficiently, and believes there isn’t sufficient data or science to ensure their safety. 

A husband and father of four children and eight grandchildren, Roger will not take the vaccine that could protect his life.  “To what end?” he asks.

Domestic Violence Response During Covid

How the Trinidad and Tobago Government Fell Short. Survivors share their stories of lockdown abuse

One of the last times Letty’s husband tried to rape her, she barricaded herself in her daughter’s room. “When he realized he’s not getting that, that’s when he start to threaten me. In the nights, I have to be sleeping in my pants”. “I don’t know how much women been through it, but when you’ve been getting raped in your own house, after you are closing off and say no, and say enough is enough … that’s what was going on with me,” she said. Warning: This story features accounts of domestic violence.