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FISH was a dream thatstayed afloat - Professor

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Anton Thompson (left), interim executive director of FISH, with honourees Dr Joyce Robinson and Father Louis Grenier at the FISH 25th anniversary dinner held at The Jamaica Pegasus on March 24. - contributed

The Foundation for the International Self Help Development (Ja) Limited (FISH), has been hailed by University of the West Indies professor emeritus Hugh Wynter as the realisation of a larger-than-life ambition.

Speaking at the 25th anniversary dinner of FISH held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Wednesday last week, Wynter recalled the "humble beginnings of FISH in an old Jolly Joseph bus".

"It was a dream of a man of vision, a dream with an aim - an aim of service, not personal success," he declared as he acknowledged the founder of FISH, the late Dr Louis Strathmore Grant.

Many accomplishments

Noting Grant's many accomplishments, including his work as a microbiologist with immense local and international impact, particularly relating to the study/management and treatment of tuberculosis, leptospirosis, equine encephalitis and dengue fever. Wynter said that the success of FISH over the past 25 years, was because of Grant and early volunteers like Dr Joyce Robinson and Fr Louis Grenier, honourees at the dinner.

He noted that, with a staff of 60 persons - physicians, dentists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, nurses, administrative, technical and clerical personnel - FISH had had outstanding results.

In 2008, the FISH clinic accommodated 17,969 eye visits, 6,732 medical, 3,396 dental and 13,382 pharmaceutical.

"It is wonderful that in spite of the economic crunch and rising costs, FISH has kept its fees affordable to accommodate the lower-income bracket and, in many cases, services are offered free of cost," Wynter added.