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An apology from Farley urged

Nothing less than an unqualified apology!

This is what Permanent Secretary in the

Ministry of Health, Tennyson Springer, said he was

willing to accept from principal of the Graydon

Sealy Secondary school, Matthew Farley, for

comments he made recently in another section of

the Press.

The comments were with reference to the

Ministry of Health’s decision to administer

the human papillomavirus vaccine to all first

formers in the island as a prevention method

against cervical cancer.

This evening through a release from the

Barbados Government Information

Service, Springer scolded the veteran educator

for what he deemed as the disrespect for the

professionalism and integrity of the ministry’s


“Mr Farley owes nothing less than an apology

to the health care team,” he said. “Consequently,

to write that ‘. . . since my three daughters will

not be among the guinea pigs . . .’ is insulting to

the professionals in the Ministry of Health and

the tremendous research and effort expended

to make a safe offer to counter a disease that

threatens our women.

“Our women deserve every chance to live long

and healthy lives. They deserve to have the choice

not to worry about being a statistic among the 30

to 40 females who contract preventable cancer

of the cervix annually and the hundreds who

contract genital warts.”

Moreover Springer stressed: “Mr Farley

must not forget to be responsible and he should

recognize his tremendous influence on members

of this society. Just as he has been making

submissions for the improvement of education,

which is his area of expertise, the Ministry of

Health has offered an alternative to the public to

reduce the high incidence of cervical cancer.

“Like all Barbadians, Mr Farley has the right

to disagree with the offer; however, he does not

have the right to disrespect the professionalism

and integrity of the staff of the Ministry of Health

who have over the years worked to raise the life

expectancy of males to 75 years and females to 78

years. These statistics are comparable to those of

developed countries.”

Springer further stated that over the years, the

Ministry of Health has introduced several vaccines

that have served Barbados to reduce morbidity

and mortality. These improvements in health,

he said, have seen the eradication of small pox

and the control of measles, mumps and rubella

to insignificant levels whilst tuberculosis in the

Barbadian population is now at very low levels.

“Vaccines, introduced by these same health

professionals have made our children safe and

free from death and crippling diseases. The HPV .

. . is one more on the list of preventable disease

which the health care system seeks to control,”

he added.


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