By Hudson George
Recently three medical doctors died from natural causes weeks apart in Grenada, and naturally, Grenadians are concerned because doctors are considered as citizens of higher social status than ordinary people. The doctors died during their active years of work highly professional in their field of work.
Now there is a loud cry about the high rate of death among middle-aged citizens. Therefore, it seems the death of three doctors raised the alarm about middle-aged citizens’ lifespan.
And while we the ordinary people in society were complaining for many years about the increase in cancer death among middle-aged citizens, due to soil contamination in the rural communities, our cry went unheard by those in authority who always tend to ignore our complaints.
Basically, on this planet earth where we live as human beings, in what we consider to be mostly civilised societies, there is a hierarchy of social class. Political leaders, monarchies and tribal chiefs hold the highest social status as earthly gods.
However, even though we are aware that death is no respecter of person, we still believe that when those people of a higher social class status die presumable ‘unexpectedly’, we must openly show how much we are dissatisfied and hurt about their passing. Some of us will keep asking the question: Why are these professional people perishing when society needs them?
I remember during my years of studies a lecturer said human beings are male and female from a gender perspective but based on society‘s structure, people are labeled according to their social class.
For example, if a man or a woman committed a crime and convicted by a court of law to serve time in jail as a prisoner, the prison institution considered them ‘a body or just another number’. They lost their social status as a free human being. Prison officers referred to them as body counts during the random checklist.
Furthermore, it is a known fact society cares more about rich people and professionals. So, whenever ordinary citizens in mostly rural farming communities die of certain illness, those in authority pay little attention to what causes these poor people to die at an early age.
The ministry of agriculture with the influence of foreign companies who purchase our agriculture products are perhaps the culprits in the increase of cancer deaths in Grenada. They are the ones who introduced and encourage farmers to use pesticides in the soil and pollute the environment in order to produce ‘quality produce’ to distribute on the international market.
Now that we have lost three medical doctors in a short space of time and people of all different social classes are calling radio and television programmes, saying that they believe too many middle-aged citizens are dying from cancer; have raised the alarm.
However, those of us who were born and raised in rural communities are not dumb. For many years we were begging for health experts and scientists to come and visit the villages and farmlands to examine the dangers of pesticides. We were aware that the environment is polluted with pesticides for over 50 years and the air that we breathe is polluted and the food from the land that we eat is polluted.
Basically, it is time that those who are in authority within the ministry of health and the ministry of agriculture do some serious research into a high increase of death among middle-aged citizens, regardless of their social class. It is time to clean up the environment. It is time the authorities get professional help to test the soil and water in the middle belt farming areas because death is no respecter of persons based on social strata.