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‘There was just too much stress related to the job and it began to affect my health’

The Communications Coordinator of the National AIDS Secretariat Deborah Rodney has resigned effective today, Friday August 11, bringing to an end seven months of what sources within the Ministry of Health described as a tumultuous relationship.

Rodney confirmed that she had in fact resigned, but insists that there weren’t any personal conflicts that led to her decision. The American communications personnel who has been living in St. Vincent for two-and-a-half years, told SEARCHLIGHT that it was a matter of expectations not being met that led to this decision.{{more}}

She stressed that she cares about the fight against HIV/AIDS in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and didn’t want her resignation to jeopardize the work that was being done. SEARCHLIGHT however understands from Health Ministry sources that Rodney had in fact threatened on numerous occasions to resign since assuming the post, but this was the first time she followed through on those threats. Our sources also suggested that Rodney had not tried to foster a proper working relationship with her local colleagues during her tenure.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke to Health Minister Douglas Slater, he said that his Ministry is exploring all options, stressing the importance of having someone to fill the vacated position. He confirmed that he had tried to get Rodney to hold on for a while but was unsuccessful, and now the Ministry’s position is to get someone on the job as quickly as possible.

“There was just too much stress related to the job and it began to affect my health,” said Rodney as she sought to explain why she could not accept the Health Minister’s offer.

Dr. Dell Hamilton, Director of the National AIDS Secretariat refused to comment, only to say that the relevant authorities are dealing with the matter. Meanwhile, Rodney told SEARCHLIGHT that she doesn’t plan to leave St.Vincent and the Grenadines any time soon and is in fact planning to do some voluntary work in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention.