Empowering families to build a nation

The post-colonial experience of Barbados has been one long struggle to come to terms with our history of slavery, exploitation and oppression. The institution of slavery has left an indelible stain on our nation’s soul. These undesirable circumstances left the citizens of Barbados resolute; we  want to build the best society possible, so we have embarked on a project of nation building. Giving birth to a nation is much like giving birth to a human.

New parents will experience challenges caring for and nurturing a newborn; likewise, any new nation will experience challenges caring for its people. The health and wellbeing of the mother and father, the condition of the womb and sperm prior to conception, and the proper treatment of family, will impact the health and wellbeing of the child.

A child’s proper growth and development is linked to the diet, lifestyle, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of its parents. There is a sacred bond between the baby and parents, and if that bond is interrupted, disease steps in.

This is the same for the people and the nation. A continuous bond must be maintained for the people and the nation to develop in good health.

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is therefore focused on the health of the people as a key mechanism of empowerment. The UPP will concentrate on building our citizens to help repair the damage, and give birth to a new generation of fully developed beings enfranchised to realize their full potential.

In preparing for a healthy emergence from the womb, we should ensure the mother is nurtured, protected, loved and supported. She must have the best food. We must ensure the condition of the womb supports the growing fetus. Daddy should be steadfast in his nurturing. He has to UPP de ting. Community supports daddy and mummy so they can support and prepare for the child. I’m reminded of the saying it takes a village to raise a child — and I’ll add, it takes a nation to raise a village. We must raise villages.

Citizens leading healthy lifestyles are essential components of vibrant and productive villages. The UPP Ministry of Health and Wellness will ensure that we lead this sector with fresh pioneering eyes. We will work to reduce and eliminate non-communicable diseases and negative health outcomes from conception (not just cradle) to the grave. We depend on the wellbeing of the village to ensure our sustainable future. Children who are nurtured, guided, and nourished well excel emotionally, physically, and academically.

The ability to create a citizenry that is well nurtured and nourished, positively feeds back into the development of the country. The resources currently spent on repairing health will be channeled into preventative care and significantly reduced. There will be more value in the return for the expenditure.

Good governance of health care is one of the first steps to fixing the failing economy and a community hamstrung by non-communicable diseases. Our public health service will be retrained to offer first-class service to those in need of health care. Many of the practices such as prescription of medicines will be addressed and guided by the need to advance human life and wellbeing, instead of profit.

As we recreate our bond, we will repatriate our medicine by investing in research and clinical trials of the traditional medicines of our ancestors. Much of the time, medicines are developed and prescibed to us but we have no research to support the idea that it works with our bodies, lifestyle, and climate; often to the detriment of the citizens. This situation must not continue.

Our goal is to reduce the demand on the public health care institutions with the support of our NGO community. We hope to create a special bond with these organizations to ensure that messages are properly impacting the lives of every Barbadian citizen.

To achieve this, a UPP administration will promote and support community gardens where food is grown using safe practices. The Ministries of Agriculture and Education will ensure this project is swiftly and thoughtfully implemented, providing seeds and support to the community groups, thus reducing our dependency on imports to feed our people.

The broken bond will be repaired by this Progressive government, where proper nurturing will begin with governance and permeate throughout society. Repairing the health and wellbeing of our people is an essential step in repairing our economy.

Source: Everton Holligan voteupp@uppbarbados.org; www.uppbarbados.org

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