SVG’s Minister of Health addresses  Vincentians in NY
March 11, 2011

SVG’s Minister of Health addresses Vincentians in NY

by Maxwell Haywood 11.MAR.11

Cecil Mckie, Minister of Health, Wellness, and the Environment, delivered a well-received public presentation to Vincentians living in New York on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, Inc.{{more}}

Mckie gave a comprehensive view of the national affairs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). He started his presentation by recognizing the importance of the Diaspora to the development of SVG, especially in the field of health. He then outlined the difficult global economic context facing SVG. He shared with the audience the progress and positive developments made despite the global difficulties. Furthermore, he outlined the challenges facing the nation in every major sector of the country.

Mckie stressed the capacity building needs of SVG. He reminded those present that the government is doing a tremendous amount of work to develop the country. He highlighted the government’s efforts in building the capacity of individual Vincentians and institutions in order to effectively plan, implement, and sustain the development policies, programmes and projects of the government. He reminded Vincentians in the Diaspora of their role in building the capacity of the nation for development purposes.

Vincentians who attended the meeting participated actively in the discussion. They expressed many ideas and made recommendations for the development of SVG. Concern was expressed about the need for improvements in the health services, including psychiatric care and other mental health issues. The issue of food security and medical marijuana were raised as areas in need of attention. In addition, sexual abuse of young girls was highlighted, and the call was made for the jailing of those who commit these crimes against young girls.

This meeting continued the call by Vincentians for the creation and development of a Diaspora Database as a way for the government and people of SVG to communicate quickly with the Diaspora and vice versa. Furthermore, it was expressed that Vincentians abroad get involved in contributing to the construction of the Argyle International Airport.

Other major recommendations include, but were not limited to:

  • The need for investigations to be carried out to see if SVG is negatively impacted by emissions from the increase in the number of vehicles on the road.
  • The need to revive communities by getting young people to become positively involved in community development activities.
  • The problem of underutilization of community parks should be corrected.
  • Policies must be developed to make medicine a national priority with the input from all Vincentians, including those in the Diaspora

After the meeting, those who attended expressed the view that they were very impressed with Mckie’s presentation, especially the thorough nature of his speech. The view was also expressed that when representatives from political parties in SVG visit New York or any other state where Vincentians reside they should make an effort to meet and discuss issues with them.