News Releases

UWI Mourns the passing of Haematology Stalwart, Dr Waveney Charles

For Release Upon Receipt - April 7, 2020

St. Augustine

It is with great sadness that the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) notes the passing of Dr. Waveney Charles, former Faculty member in the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the first registered haematologist in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Waveney Charles pioneered the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders in this country and, as Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service, transformed and internationalized Trinidad and Tobago’s blood banking service. She established a paediatric haematology programme that resulted in a decreased mortality rate among children with Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Anaemia, and Haemophilia. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago presented Dr Charles with the Chaconia Medal (GOLD) in September 2018 for her contributions to the country.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland, extended condolences on behalf of the Campus Community. “We have lost a friend, a member of our extended family, a woman whose life work positively affected thousands of families. Words cannot express the thanks we owe for her service to The UWI and to Trinidad and Tobago.”




About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)