THE executive board of the Trinidad and Tobago Emergency Medicine Association (TTEMA) is expressing sadness after the death of founding member Dr Dhiyan Mahabir.
Mahabir, an emergency medicine specialist at the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), died at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) on Tuesday morning. He was diagnosed with covid19.
In a release, TTEMA, whose president is Dr Ian Sammy, said Mahabir was among the first cohort of doctors to be trained in emergency medicine in TT.
“He first got his master’s degree then his full speciality DM degree in 2010. Dr Mahabir was an active member of the TTEMA, providing mentorship, training and guidance to many junior doctors, nurses, and paramedics.
“We want to say thanks to Dr Mahabir for his inclusivity, his holistic and unique thinking style, and the immeasurable contribution to the entire population of TT and the entire Caribbean.
“It is with deep sadness that we, his emergency medicine colleagues from south, north, east, west and Tobago, say goodbye.
“We extend our condolences to his work family at SWRHA and his personal family and relatives at this difficult time.”
Another colleague, Dr Lackram Bodoe, also sent condolences to Mahabir’s family, friends and colleagues.
Bodoe, MP for Fyzabad, recalled that while he served as chairman of the SWRHA during 2010 to 2015, “I had the privilege and pleasure of engaging with him as part of the Accident and Emergency team at the SFGH that sought to better the care offered at the institution.”
Bodoe said Mahabir was a dedicated, compassionate and hardworking doctor who put service before self.
“He will be missed by the medical fraternity and his patients. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Mahabir, who came from a family of doctors, was 56 and operated a thriving private practice in his hometown of Debe where he treated many of his patients without charge.
Colleagues said, three weeks ago he did not show up for work and when they checked on him they found him ailing.
He was taken to the SFGH where he was diagnosed with covid19. He was admitted to the high dependency unit (HDU) and later transferred to the ICU where he died on Tuesday morning. He is the third doctor to have died from the coronavirus.
In May, two other doctors died from covid19. Dr Shival Sieunarine, 33, died at the A&E department of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope. Well-known Rio Claro physician Dr Maniram Rampaul, who also often treated his patients without charging a fee, owing to the level of poverty in his community, also died from the virus.
Mahabir was not vaccinated against the virus at the time of his death.