Professor Rex Nettleford hospitalised after collapse

WASHINGTON, United States, January 29, 2010 – One of the Caribbean’s top academics, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies Professor Rex Nettleford, remains hospitalised in the United States after collapsing in his hotel room late Wednesday.

The 76-year-old Jamaican is reported to be in the Intensive Care Unit of the Washington Hospital and up to late last night was still unconscious.

The nature of his illness has not been revealed.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding and several other senior officials have expressed concern about Professor Nettleford’s hospitalisation and have called for the nation to pray for his speedy recovery.

“Our prayers and best wishes are with him at this time,” Golding said in a brief statement.

Another government release said that Jamaica’s ambassador to the US, Anthony Johnson, paid Nettleford a brief visit while Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr Kenneth Baugh spoke with a member of the medical team assigned to him.

Professor Nettleford was in Washington DC to attend a fundraising gala for the university.

He previously served as the vice-chancellor of UWI’s Mona Campus in Jamaica from 1996 to 2004 and has received several awards, including Jamaica’s third highest honour, the Order of Merit; and the Order of the Caribbean Community in 2008.

He founded the National Dance Theatre Company in 1962 and is also a cultural advisor to the prime minister.

Professor Nettleford has also written several books, including ‘Manley and The New Jamaica’, ‘Mirror Mirror’ and ‘Caribbean Cultural Identity: The Case of Jamaica’.