Medical Institutions

Image of medical students in St. Lucia.
Image of medical students in St. Lucia.
Medical students in St. Lucia.

THE education system in the Caribbean in fast becoming very diverse. Gone are the days when the islands were blessed only with local institutions, outdated curricula and pedagogy and local instructors. Often, one could hear high school students joking about the number of foreign West Indians in St. Lucia when school breaks emerged.

The UWI and other local community colleges constituted the tertiary world in the region and only students born with a genetic, golden spoon would attend these institutions without show of intellectual prowess. The naturally gifted students who would inevitably win the scholarships were the exception to the rule of course.

Today, a different scenario exists. Many foreign educational institutions have invaded the shores of the Island Neighbours. In St. Lucia, we are blessed with several foreign medical schools as well as institutions which offer broader academic and vocational areas of study. These include Monroe College, Spartan Health Sciences University, American International Medical University, UWI Open Campus and the Spartan College of Arts and Sciences which offers a Pre-Medical Programme.

Dominica is home to the Ross University School of Medicine. This institution, which was founded in 1978, boasts of more than 10,000 alumni with nearly 90 % of its student population from the United States.

Martinique and Guadeloupe are also blessed with many local and foreign institutions which provide a range of areas for study: culinary arts, visual arts, sciences and foreign languages. Have you been to any of these institutions? Tell us on Facebook: Island Neighbours.

Neighbourly GetAways
Before setting off for their vacation to Martinique, travellers should check with their insurance companies to see if their policy covers traveling overseas. Also, don’t forget to bring insurance information such as you insurance I.D. card and claim forms. Many insurance companies don’t provide coverage for their clients while abroad, and if they do, most won’t cover the costs of emergency evacuation from the island.

If your insurance coverage is not valid while you are in Martinique, travellers can purchase supplemental insurance while overseas in case of any illness while on your vacation. For minor health concerns, carry a Travel Medical Kit containing the following items:
• Painkillers including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen;
• Antihistamines;
• Antacids;
• Rubbing alcohol;
• Bandages;
• Thermometer.

If you must bring prescription medication with you, pack them in their clearly labelled original containors. Designed pill boxes may not make it through customs. Additionally, include a prescription slip or note from your physician explaining you need for the medication.

While most vacationers usually remain healthy while vacationing in Martinique, and there are no vaccination requirements to enter the country, there are a few health issues that may affect travellers. Here are some of the most common dangers that tourist face on the island:
• Over-exposure to the sun is one of the greatest dangers to vacationers. Remember to use sunscreen with adequate SPF protection for your skin, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration;
• Insect bites are also a problem for people spending a lot of time outside. Make sure to wear mosquito repellent to keep those pesky bugs away;
• When going barefoot on the beach, or wading in shallow waters be aware of sea urchins and jelly fish that can cause nasty injuries to your feet;
• Travellers should be up to date on common vaccinations like Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and measles boosters, before travelling to foreign countries.

While enjoying your vacation in Martinique, be sure to remember these medical and safety tips in order to stay healthy while soaking up the sun on your island getaway.

Let’s go Shopping!
Calling all shopaholics! Off the counter at the pharmacy you can pick a number of just-in-case items for your trip: a pair of readers, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sanitary napkins, condoms, vitamins. All this can be done on your one-day shopping spree to Martinique. Take a friend and make the experience a worthwhile experience. Shop a little!

Historical note! Health care in Guadeloupe is rated good, there are five modern hospitals and approximately 23 clinics. Getto know your neighbours!
A bit of the French for the Visitor
A la pharmacie
Expiry date – la date d’expiration
Pill – la pilul
Skincare – les soins pour la peau
Syrup – le sirop
Dosage – la posologie
Syringe– le seringue
SanitaryNapkin – la Serviette hygiènique
Panty liner – Le protége-slip
SideEffects – les effets secondaires
Painkiller – l’analgésique
TravelSicknessPills – Le cachet antiaupathique
Dental Care – les soins dentaires
Vitamines – les vitamines
Capsule – le gélule
Ointment – la pommade
Drops – les gouttes

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