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Opposition spokesperson on health, Daniel Cummings says there are no contraceptives at public healthcare centres in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He linked the alleged situation to the recent call by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for Vincentian women, especially those aged 25 to 35, to have at least two children to maintain the nation’s population.

“I want you to imagine this. I am reliably informed today that there is not a single clinic in this country that has any contraceptives,” Cummings, who is MP for West Kingstown, told a New Democratic Party (NDP) village meeting in Diamond. 

“There is not a single clinic in this country that even has condoms,” the NDP chairman further said.

“So you want to know why massa telling you to mek pickney? He done start to mek sure that you have to mek pickney. That is how they running the country,” he further stated in the Vincentian vernacular.

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“The clinics don’t have any contraceptives. They don’t even have condoms. Listen to me, my people. This thing about having children is something we must pay attention to. These people are not focused on what is good for you,” Cummings further said. 

“What drives them is what makes them look good. They don’t care that in all the constituencies, parents can’t send their children to school, parents can’t feed their children. That is what they should be dealing with. Why they want you to mek mo pickney if you can’t look after the ones you have?

“Only criminals think like that. No wonder the country is in the state it is. That is the biggest insult that they’re doing to us as a people.”

Cummings, who is into his third consecutive term as MP for West Kingstown, said that the NDP is “committed to a cause that is driven by you, the people of this country. 

“We want your family overseas, to want to come back to this country with the resources and the skills to make life better for you and for them.

“When we travel to North America, we are inundated by people who are expressing the need to come back to this country. We have professionals in almost every field of endeavor, doing well around the world.”

Cummings said that SVG needs “a culture that they can feel comfortable coming back home”.

He said he knows many Vincentian doctors who return to the country and leave after six months.

“… they say, ‘I can’t take it. I can’t take it. I have to pack up and go.’ 

“We will create the environment that makes them want to come back and contribute to this land.

Cummings urged listeners to register for the next general elections, saying that it will be called in “a few months”. 

The opposition MP urged parents to guide the way their children vote.

“Get rid of the blight off this land. Get rid of the destructive forces on this land. Let us move St Vincent further, better for all of us.”

The Unity Labour Party will seek a sixth consecutive term in office in general elections that are widely expected by the end of 2025, ahead of the February 2026 constitutional deadline.

Last month, Gonsalves said that a minority of males tending towards criminality and women having too few children were two of the “internally-sourced” problems in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

He told a press conference that the birth rate is too low and needs to increase to about 2.1 children per woman aged 25 to 35 to sustain the population.

The government is currently conducting a census, a decade after enumerators found that the population of SVG was 109,434, made up of 55,551 males and 53,637 females.

This compared to a population of 107,835 in 2001, 106,499 in 1991, and 97,845 in 1980.

The census said there was an average of 1,806 live births over the three years 2012 to 2014.

Over 60% of total registered births during this period were to women with no occupation.

During the same period, births to teenage girls as a percentage of total births declined marginally from 17.8% in 2012 to 17.5% in 2014.

In each of the three years, more than half of the total registered births were to women aged 20-29.

Births to unmarried women — so-called “Illegitimate births” — accounted for the largest percentage of total births.

In 2012, 2013 and 2014, “illegitimate births” accounted for 84.7%, 82.9% and 84.4% of total births respectively, the census report said.

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3 Comments

  1. Take warning says:

    Ah so many things not in those health institutions. It is alleged that the suppliers are not being paid, even the local suppliers are also not paid and refuses to give supplies. remember the dotish people love me than their health.

    Reply

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