PS in Barbados Health Ministry demands apology from Educator

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

Permanent Secretary in the Barbados Ministry of Health, Mr. Tennyson Springer is calling on Principal of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School to apologise to  Ministry of Health officials.

According to reports in the Barbadian press, PS Tennyson Springer of the Ministry of Health said he will accept nothing less than an “unqualified apology” from Mathew Farley, an outspoken educator who made comments in another section of the press about the upcoming HPV programme for girls 11-14 yrs. old.

“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”, said PS Springer.

Barbados is launching its Human Papillomavirus (HPV) campaign this month in an effort to protect young girls from developing deadly cervical cancer later in life. It is not mandatory and must be done with the consent of parents according to the Ministry of Health.

Through a release from the Barbados Government Information Service, Springer chided the veteran educator for what he said was “the disrespect for the professionalism and integrity” of the Ministry of Health’s officials.

“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. 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.

He indicated that while Mr. Farley is entitled to disagree, he should 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.”

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