Ah want to congratulate Lyndon James, Chief Instructor of “Be Fit” fitness club for raising funds and providing ah supply of testing material foh Die-or-be-tease in children. Yet it was painful to face de facts dat Die-or-be-tease is not merely ah serious medical problem in SVG, but in particular de high rate of incidence among our children.
Look how things and times have changed. As ah youth Die-or-be-tease in children? Never! Was either dey never tested infants foh Die-or-be-tease and Pressure in those days, or medical officials were too preoccupied fighting death threatening diseases like “DTP” Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough); or de more common “MMR” as in Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measels). But Die-or-be-tease was set aside foh ole people. Amputees were few and far. In my village ah remember two persons with one leg: “half-ah-foot ”Tommy and “half-ah-foot” Duncan. And dey was de famous cart-man Montalga, very popular character in de town.
So what kept us children immune from Die-or-be-tease? Activity and Diet! It was common foh just about every child to walk to school, down to school, home foh lunch, back to afternoon session and finally to home. Show me ah child who walks to school today? And of course dey was de disciplines sports like cricket and football, netball, rounders, swimming, to name some, not all.
But our Diet was superior, cheap and in abundance. Fruits and more Fruits, in fact dey was ah season foh every fruit: Mango, Golden Apple, Guava, Plums, Plum Rose, Java Plum, Tamarind, Damsel. Sour Sop was all year round; Ah doh know de nutritional value in ripe Cocoa Beans, but we used to suck de creamy layer and spit out de beans. What is eye-run-ache is dat poor people who could not afford de bacon and eggs and cereal to feed dey children, had fruits and more fruits. And dat explains why most of our star athletes and sportsmen were from poor families.
Today, I am over-joyed when ah read dat one after de other, our fruits dat kept us healthy, live and strong, is now topping de Charts as cures foh serious diseases: Sour Sop foh Cancer; Guava and Tamarind foh Sugar and pressure; all de Vitamin C and D in de fruit juices and even de skin… tremendous. Would yuh believe dat ah writing bout poor people food and fruits, and ah inadvertently left out de king of dem all, His Majesty King Breadfruit de First. Google states 15 Breadfruit Nutritional Value, top of de list is its high fibrous content good foh Die-or-be-tease. However dey omitted to say it good foh Men-tall-at-tea.
So after all de testing and diagnosis in de kids, what next? We go back to de beginning. Get de kids in all forms of exercises and physical activities at schools, Shelve some ah dem dead subjects dat serve lickle or no use and put de kids in de sun-light to sweat. And not PE once ah week either, PE every day. Yes and PTA(s) along wid Go-venom-mint please ensure dat an adequate supply of fruits get to every school every day. Every child must get ah ripe Banana and any of de other, mango, plumrose or whatever; but two fruits ah day. At home we de parents have our role to play. Doh leave it up to de Go-venom-mint, not if it is about Hell’t. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.