Assistant Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Sonny Craig gets his blood pressure checked in Scarborough on Wednesday. –
Director of Nursing at the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) Karen Moore-Nicholson is calling on the nursing fraternity to embrace this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme and treat patients with fairness.
Moore-Nicholson was speaking during a celebration hosted by the THA Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection and the TRHA at the Scarborough Esplanade on Wednesday.
IWD is celebrated annually on March 8. This year the theme is Embrace Equity – the focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
Moore-Nicholson said: “The theme should mean a lot to us. Firstly, we must acknowledge that there is not always a level playing field that we operate in, because we all come from different backgrounds, different educational strengths and also experiences. Therefore, we must make adjustments to these imbalances.
“To embrace equity, it requires us to be fair, even and just when dealing with others; and as healthcare providers, we ask that you always give individualised special care and equal attention to everyone who presents themselves before you.”
Assistant Secretary in the division Sonny Craig said IWD has been held for more than 100 years and added, “When I was researching to see if I was worthy to speak to you – because I have to be careful, I’m speaking about an entity that men take a long time to understand, so I have to be very careful – it seems as though the struggle for equality has been a long, hard struggle for women.”
Craig said even though today things are not not where they should be, women are much better off than ten, 15 or 100 years ago.
“There was a time when women couldn’t vote, women couldn’t do business, women couldn’t discuss politics. Men were of the view that all women could do was to make children, mind them, manage the home and keep the men happy.
“Nonetheless, the women got up and said no, they are worthy of a lot more than that.”
Noting the female leaders across the world, he said there is “no stop” in the movement of women in the society and around the world, adding that “as the journey progresses, the women will keep getting more and more bold and brave.”
“You all have heart. I want you to press forward, keep your heads high, because in many of our societies, when the men are not doing everything that they should be doing, the women are there keeping the standards high.”
The day continued with lectures on physical health, mental health and nutrition, exercise techniques for busy women, vaccine administration, tips on breast care, overall wellness education and an aerobics burnout.
The division and TRHA have a full week of activities to celebrate, including Pap smears and HIV rapid testing at various health centres. On Thursday, the focus will be on the Buccoo Health Centre. On Friday, attention will turn to the TRHA’s internal stakeholders, so that day has been set aside for screening staff.
On Saturday, Tobago will join the rest of the country ina national day of screening at the Scarborough, Canaan and Roxborough Health Centres, and the Tobago Health Promotion Clinic. These health facilities will be offering Pap smears, breast exams, HIV testing, blood pressure and glucose checks, BMI assessments, health and nutrition education and immunisation (HPV and flu), from 9 am-3 pm.