Ferguson appointed regent of regional body
Former health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson has been installed as the new regent for the Caribbean by the International College of Dentists (ICD), which is the world's oldest and largest honour society for dentists.
Ferguson, who is a vice-president of the opposition People's National Party (PNP) replaces Nigeria-born, naturalised Jamaican, Dr Christopher Ogunsalu, who served in the prestigious position for 10 years.
"I am humbled by this opportunity to serve as regent of the Caribbean ... . The ICD is a very important institution ... . It has been in existence for 88 years and it has more than 12,000 members," said Ferguson, who has been a dental surgeon since 1978. "I am looking forward to serving well."
Dr Ken Judy, the co-chairman of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a clinical professor in the Department of Implant Dentistry in New York University College of Dentistry, said that based on the foundation work done by his predecessor, Ogunsalu, he believes everything is in place for Ferguson to excel.
RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB
"Chris (Ogunsalu) did an excellent job in getting the organisation to open up and embrace changes, so the platform is now set for Ferguson to make significant ground in expanding the scope of the organisation," said Judy. "Based on his vast experience, I am really looking forward to seeing him make his mark on the ICD."
In his comments, Ogunsalu said that 10 years at the helm of an organisation should be enough for any one individual. He expressed satisfaction that he would be replaced by Ferguson, noting that his successor had the right pedigree for the position.
"I know many countries wanted this position, but I am happy Dr Ferguson got it as he is definitely the right man with the right amount of experience in terms of being a long-standing dental surgeon and a former minister of health," said Ogunsalu. "It should also be noted that Dr Ferguson had the distinction of being inducted as Fellow of the International College of Dentists for his excellent contribution to dentistry and for highlighting dentistry through his political position while he was the minister of health."
Despite being dogged by the so-called dead babies scandal towards the end of his tenure as minister of health, Ferguson had many important accomplishments to include the promulgation of the Tobacco Regulations 2013, which saw the implementation of a ban on public smoking.
"I believe I did well as the minister of health in terms of the work I did on reducing HIV, the tobacco ban, primary health care, and so many other things," said Ferguson. "I am excited about this new challenge."