Last update: 18-Dec-2013 7:04 am
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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De Coteau warns colleagues: Take care of your health
Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Clifton De Coteau says his recent hospitalisation was a message to his government colleagues to get their lives in order. A high-spirited De Coteau spoke at his Princes Town home yesterday, showing members of the media and acting Prime Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal that he has regained his mobility after being admitted to hospital last Wednesday. He was reported to have had a stroke.
“There was no bleeding in the head as such,” he said, “but it was a wake-up call to all my colleagues. Sometimes we have to slow down because pressure is a silent killer. “We have to keep monitoring our health because our health is our wealth and as I said in Parliament, at the end of the day we are not indispensable,” he said.
“The point is, how many of us, my colleagues, miss meals? They do not have their meals on time, they don’t take any exercise—but we go out there and say, ‘Fight the fat and be healthy,’ and we can articulate with authority. “We can articulate for everybody but not for ourselves.” He said his colleagues should tell themselves, “You see what happened to De Coteau? Let us not let that happen to us.” He said his illness was the result of stress, which caused his blood pressure level to rise dangerously.
Blaming poor eating habits and a lack of exercise, he said monitoring his salt intake and regular workouts would have to fit into his lifestyle. However, this will not affect his career as he said he had no plans to bow out of the political arena any time soon. “I will bow out when the Lord tells me to, because I am guided by him. What I am doing, I am on a mission, this is my role in life now, to really help those communities, to bring them up to a level that they would like to be.” He added that medical services should be introduced for MPs.
Although he has been granted 14 days’ leave and told to rest by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, he said he was still involved in organising local government election activities for the electoral districts in his constituency. “I am supposed to claim 14 days, but as I told you, I was out yesterday, I am going out again tomorrow, and Monday I will be up in the office,” De Coteau said. “Right now I am still co-ordinating the activities of the four electoral districts that fall within my constituency.”
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