On Friday, the Saint Lucia Freedom Coalition held a demonstration in Constitution Park, Castries, as part of the group’s activities to raise public awareness of its opposition to vaccine mandates and the organisation’s quest to obtain a voice in managing this country’s COVID-19 situation.
Freedom Coalition leader, Fremont Lawrence, said it was essential to maintain momentum after the group held a press conference on Saturday at Derek Walcott Square.
He denied that the activity constituted a march for which the organisers needed permission from the authorities.
“This is not a march. It’s just a few of us here and we are just holding up our posters just like people are walking around. So I don’t think that we are in any way violating the protocols, except that I am speaking without a mask,” he told reporters.
Lawrence said the country must hear the public’s voice, and the coalition intends to remind people of things about which they may be unaware.
He explained that the coalition would welcome an opportunity for dialogue with the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) to address several issues.
Lawrence observed that despite intense campaigning by the SLMDA, people are not coming forward to get vaccinated because they don’t trust what they are hearing.
He repeated concerns over the absence of an effective system for monitoring adverse effects from the vaccine. He declared that although people are suffering, there are no reports about their situation.
Lawrence has supported the use of the drug, Ivermectin in treating COVID-19 and its use by Saint Lucia Dermatologist, Herbalist, and Integrative Health Care Specialist, Dr. Gilbertha St Rose in the treatment of COVID-19.
St Rose, who was present at Friday’s Constitution Park demonstration, told reporters that she is a member of the Freedom Coalition.
She disclosed that membership also includes representatives of the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR) and the National Green Party (NGP).
Last month, St Rose appeared before the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Council to respond to charges of ‘professional acts of misconduct’ relating to prescribing and using Ivermectin to treat patients.
The council wanted her to show cause why disciplinary action, including the suspension or cancellation of her registration, should not be taken against her.
“They are calling me to sit with them again on the 30th of November,” the physician said.
She added that the council had sent her a seventeen-page document, but St Rose vowed to continue using Ivermectin.
“Ivermectin to me is a Godsend. I will not abandon it. I will not neglect Ivermectin. My patients are waiting for it,” St Rose declared. She said the council could not document any adverse effects from her use of the drug.
And she said that the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Council could not take away her licence.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current evidence on the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive.
” Until more data is available, WHO recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials,” the organisation says.