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Hold Gov’t 'accountable' rather than just 'complain'– Cromwell Smith

Hold Gov’t 'accountable' rather than just 'complain'– Cromwell Smith

Latest Virgin Islands (BVI) News on local community, politics, finance/business, culture and sports.

Mr Smith was at the time speaking on his show ‘Umoja’ on ZBVI 780 AM on November 15, 2022. His guest was Dr Sharlon Lewis and the topic was diabetic awareness and the need for policies to prevent chronic diseases.

The talk show host said within VI’s national strategic plan of 2012, there were policies that put health at the forefront with the aim of preventing chronic diseases.

“There is something in that plan called a Health in All Policies {HiAP], and part of that Health in All Policies was to have persons designated in each department, that whenever something was happening, infrastructure was being built, it would be built in such a way to accommodate exercise.”

“So you would have bike lanes in the streets and you would have trees on the sidewalks,” he said.


Mr Cromwell Smith, left, with guest Dr Sharlon Lewis on ‘Umoja’ on November 15, 2022.

'Enforcement & accountability often lacking'- Dr Sharlon Lewis

Dr Lewis pointed out; however, that people might not be aware of how everything impacts health.

“We need to understand how everything impacts health, so when plans are being approved for certain buildings, all of these things need to be taken into consideration and we need to have the fortitude to enforce them because that's the other thing.”

Dr Lewis added that while some plan might be there in policy, enforcement and accountability are often lacking.

“We as a people need to hold ourselves accountable. You can't rely on the government [to] always do everything and spoon-feed you,” she said.

'We just continue to complain'- Smith

Smith remarked, “We ain’t organising ourselves to hold government accountable. We just continue to complain all the time, because this policy been in place from… 2012,” he said.

Dr Lewis added that moving forward, the VI needs another plan since the existing plan will expire in two months, given 2022 only has another month left.

She added that the VI now needs to do an analysis of why the previous policy didn’t work, including "who dropped the ball" and why the plan didn’t work as well as come up with another plan that would cater to new challenges like COVID-19.
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