Editor: From a newspaper article of October 21, 2016, I learnt that our Minister of Health, Wellness, and the Environment Luke Browne assumed the chairmanship of three important regional organizations, on October 1, 2016.
They are Caricomâs Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD); the Executive Board of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA); and the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).
The article informed that COHSOD was established by Article 17 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramus, and one of its principle functions is the development and organization of efficient and affordable health care services in the Caribbean.
Readers were also informed that as chair of the CARPHA Executive Board, âMinister Browne, will provide strategic direction for this organization which is charged with addressing regional public health priorities, such as environmental health issues and matters to do with the prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases.â
Considering the foregoing, and taking into account our pressing needs here in SVG, it would be good if Mr Browne could be induced to accept the chairmanship of the Kingstown Town Board, so that he will also provide for our city, âthe strategic direction in the addressing of the public health priorities,â which are seemingly overwhelming us at this time.
A few of the areas which may be considered for Mr Browneâs immediate attention, as chief officer of the Kingstown Town Board, are:
(1)The removal of that derelict container, which has for years been rotting in the foreground of the Public Health Department, head office. Certainly that picture of wanton neglect is not an exhibition of pride and decency.
(2) That plot of land adjacent to the property of the Kingstown Town Board in Paulâs Avenue has been crying out for attention for over a year.
The excuse has been made that the particular plot of land referred to is private property.
But in fact, the perpetrators of this exhibition of ânaked witlessnessâ are not the owners of the property, but other citizens.
I am finding it difficult to understand why in this age, the Public Health Department seems powerless to address matters, which in the 1940âs would not have been tolerated. Mr Browneâs chairmanship of the Kingstown Town Board should hopefully enhance his capacity as chair of the Executive Board of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), âto provide strategic direction for the addressing of regional public health priorities such as environmental health issues and matters to do with the prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseasesâ.
That Paulâs Avenue, Town Board, Public Health issue falls neatly into that mandate.
(3) Another area where the approach of our administrators and technocrats is baffling is the seeming assignment of the former British American Insurance office site, as a garbage dump. This has been evident for years! On that âgarbage sitesâ, also, there has been a rotting 30ft container for years, not far away from the office of the Ministry of Health.
It almost seems as though the Ministry of Health could be identified with ârotting containersâ.
Thatâs a shame!
One can imagine that we could be faced with a major environmental problem, even before this Carnival season is ended. The leadership of Mr Browne will certainly be tested. The Ministry of Health, on the 19th October 2016, pledged their support to Mr Browne âin all his related endeavoursâ. He will certainly need that!
If the foregoing observations and suggestions are acted upon in good faith, we could well be avoiding ugly embarrassment if Mr Browne, as Minister of Health, is called on to be host to his distinguished Caribbean colleagues of those important regional bodies, of which he is now the chair.
Responsibility does not rest only on the shoulders of Mr Browne, the Minister of Health, to act with firmness and expedition in the correction of this âprimitive wutlessnessâ. Those of us who consider ourselves to be responsible citizens also have a duty to act in harmony with decency, in the protection of the environment, âOUR ENVIRONMENTâ.