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More initiative needed for better health care in SVG

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Editor: I took some time off to visit the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital last weekend. This is something more Vincentians should engage in. Many Vincentians sit in their comfort zones and think that everything is irie.{{more}}

During my visit to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, I met with numerous Vincentians with several different illnesses. Many of these persons I met with complained about diabetes. I then asked myself why are so many Vincentians plagued with diabetes? I guess we are what we eat!

Some readers may blame heredity for the illness of diabetes, but I strongly disagree. I think we should blame irresponsible eating practices. I am not a medical person but I have common sense and experience.

Many Vincentians age 17 to 30 are complaining about being diabetic. Why are we having this problem? First, let’s admit it’s our fault. Poor choice of foods, the way in which the food is prepared, limited use of water in our diet and seeking taste rather than health.

Parenting is essential and we must ensure our children are healthy and find ways in which we can present the healthier foods to our children in a manner that is appealing to them. Let them know the importance of eating quality foods to ensure health. Various schools across the island participate in feeding programmes. A visit to the Belair Primary School last week caused me to realize that they are serving healthy foods to the children at that school.

I am encouraging the Ministry of Education to ensure all schools serve more healthy foods to the children. It is key that we train them at a young age to ensure a healthy future for our children.

Why are we struggling with diabetes? As one who is struggling with diabetes, I am writing from experience. Quality food is very expensive and there is a lack of quality information from the Ministry of Health.

I am hoping that non-governmental organizations, the community churches, parent-teacher associations and Vincentians in general take the initiative to take their health seriously and pay diligent attention to what they eat. There are some questions that Vincentians need to ask: Are we properly informed by the Ministry of Health? What can the authorities do to ensure quality foods for reasonable prices? Should the authorities restrict certain foods and beverages?

Providing proper health care is very essential. While the ministry is trying their best with limited resources at their disposal, I strongly believe prevention is far better, and prevention should be our watchword. We need to stop the consumption of genetically modified foods and we will have a better, healthier country for all.

Kingsley DeFreitas

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