United Workers Party (UWP) candidate for the Salybia constituency, Dermatologist, Dr. Worrel Sanford has stated that he is deeply appalled and worried by what he says is the blatant disrespect shown by the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the government with regard to a human resource development activity which was recently undertaken in the Kalinago Territory.
Dr Sanford has accused the named authorities of snubbing and undermining “the effort of one of their inspiring Kalinago women in taking the lead to contribute to the development of the human resource capital of the communities and more so, the empowering of Kalinago women.”
Sanford explained in a release that Anette Thomas-Sanford, a nurse by profession, recognizing the need for trained health care providers and the inability of the state mechanism to respond in a timely manner, conceptualized a health-care providers training programme with the input of the then Dean of Health Sciences at the Dominica State College (DSC), Denise Edwards. The course was offered in the Kalinago Territory.
“Despite several attempts to engage the Ministry of Health and Kalinago Affairs, they made absolutely no effort to get involved, to advice, support or to endorse the programme,” Sanford stated. “Not even the Salybia Health Center; the state did not spend one cent in constructing, did they want to make available for the six (6) month programme.”
He continued, “Thanks to the Kalinago Chief for his tenacity! At the end, 18 young women graduated from the programme despite the calculated barriers set by the very same people who profess on political platforms and selected forums that they are pro-women independence and people empowerment and no one loves the Kalinago people more than they do.”
Sanford contends that one is left with no choice but to “discard in the trash bins, the pronouncements made by some of us in leadership positions as it relates to the socio-economic development of our people and in particular our indigenous Kalinago women.”
He said as a medical professional, he fully endorsed “this outstanding initiative” by Nurse Thomas-Sanford and vowed, under a UWP led government, to explore all possible avenues for the further development of this programme, given its dire need.
“The double standard, snubbing and politicizing of all good efforts by our people cannot continue to go unabated if we truly want to see a better society tomorrow,” he remarked. “Such calculated actions are tantamount to building walls and not bridges.”
Sanford insists that the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs must be and will be run as a state entity which facilitates the development of the Kalinago people not as a DLP outpost, “with a sole mandate to thwart the progress of our communities by keeping our people in a state of perpetual dependence.”
He strongly denounced what he described as “pathetic, short sighted and irresponsible approach to the betterment of our people at a time when our communities and nation need us more than ever.”
He congratulated Thomas-Sanford on her “bold” initiative as well as the course participants who despite the odds, completed the programme.
Certification will be done by the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies and participants will receive a Caribbean Vocational Qualification certificate (CVQ) to be issued by the Grenada National Training Authority ably facilitated by Abraham Durand.