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Defibrilator on Bequia?

London, United...
Level Contributor
60 posts
5 reviews
Defibrilator on Bequia?

When we were last on Bequia earlier this year we were told that there was not a working defibrilator on the island. Moreover, last year a tourist died who may have been saved had there been a defib unit to hand (and someone who could use it). Maybe this is just 'island gossip' but if true this seems really bad, especially when defibs are relatively cheap and some can be operated by anyone following the voice prompts from the unit. If so could one of the funding bodies working on the island like Action Bequia not invest in one or two? Hopefully I've got this wrong and can be reassured!

Port Elizabeth...
Level Contributor
30 posts
1. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

We know of at least three defibrilators on Bequia. One donataed privately about three years ago and at least two more recenty donated by the Bequia Mission.

The problem as ever on Bequia is getting them to be properly used and maintained with suitable ongoing training obviously of great importance.

Efforts are being made to help with this which should result in visible improvemnts to the clinic and facilities over the course of the next six months. Action Bequia will support such efforts when asked but is not playing a leading role.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
804 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

Never really thought about this before because I take it for granted living in the US but is a very important issue when keeping citizens and tourists healthy. Would think whom ever is the appointed person to the government's health and welfare dept should address this issue soon. IMO this is not about donations but something to be taken care of by the government either locally on all the islands or from the mainland.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Bequia, St. Vincent
Level Contributor
1,655 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

It is in fact about donations. St Vincent has a population of about 120,000 people. In general they do not make a lot of money. Very small tax base to fund anything. Total GDP of about $ 1,000,000,000. One billion dollars. Government budget of $85 million. USA 3,803,000 million. Only 20 of 200 countries in the world have less to spend.

What might look like a priority to your eyes may not be as important as keeping schools open and water clean. In a country like SVG donations are seriously important, in particular when they are directed at a tourist market. Yes locals would benefit, but this maybe a luxury. And getting equipment is not the issue. Keeping it operating over the long term is the real challenge. Try and find parts and service person for an outboard motor in SVG let alone a piece of medical equipment. And if you intend to glue shock pads to my chest I would expect the machine to be in good repair.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
804 posts
38 reviews
4. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

dwhopper I've been to the island and SVG numerous times in fact I only returned a week ago and am well aware of the situation. Politics in the islands leave a lot to be desired just as they are in other countries, mine included. I still think it is part of the government's responsibility to provide needed equipment.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Bequia, St. Vincent
Level Contributor
1,655 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

While I agree governments should supply the essentials I would not like to be the one trying to sort out those priorities. Are 5 defibrillators worth one half a teacher or a part of nurse, etc. ? Tough choices. If the main beneficiaries would be tourists trying too hard on vacation, then donations would be a good funding model. It is near and dear to my heart as an overweight tourist on Bequia. A defib might savew my sorry carcass some day so I might be motivated to donate.

Tough balancing act for governments to have to make.

Innisfil, Ontario...
Level Contributor
58 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

I have to agree with dwhopper, I've been going down to St Vincent, Bequia, Mayreau, Mustique, Canuoan and Union Island for many years. When so little money is available to shell out, I wouldn't want to make the decision where it should go. The St Vincent govt, if you listen to the rest of the Grenadines, looks after themselves 1st. Not sure if I agree or not. I have many friends on Bequia and the mainland, so I try and not take sides. I too could loose some pounds as well, but if it's my time to go, what better place than what I consider paradise which is SVG. I know Bequia Mission tries its best to help with donations and helping hands but there is only so much a body can do.

World
Level Contributor
1,021 posts
54 reviews
7. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

As an aside, I find it interesting that an American, the country that is the most resistant to public healthcare, thinks that the Government of a very poor country should buy medical equipment to give peace of mind to those from the richest countries...

Boston
13 posts
8. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

As a regular visitor to Bequia, I find it disturbing that defibrillators are apparently available, but no one, a) maintains them, and/or, b) knows how to use them! Basically, they just need to be charged (w/working batteries) and the pads intact. I will be travelling to Bequia in December and will be happy to help if I can. First question, where are the current defibrillators located? Secondly, can someone provide me with the model/make, or battery and pad requirements. I will try and bring replacement pads/batteries, etc. if I have info.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Bequia, St. Vincent
Level Contributor
1,655 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

Your best bet might be to try and connect with the local Member of Parliament, Mr. Godwin Friday. In my experience he can cut through a lot of red tape in a big hurry. But remember by bringing this stuff with you you deprive a local merchant of a sale or maybe even a repair contract. But then again maybe the government would never spend the $$.

Boston
13 posts
10. Re: Defibrilator on Bequia?

dwhopper, so the debate is... potentially save lives w/ relatively few resources (batteries/pads) that I may or may not be able to provide, vs: deprive a local merchant of a sale ???? Help me understand!

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