St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The federation’s former Chief Medical Officer has been commenting on the US decision to stop funding the United Nations Population Fund.
Dr Patrick Martin tells WINN FM the move is not likely to affect St Kitts and Nevis as much as it may a few other Caribbean states and other nations of the world.
“The UN Population Fund is designed to help women to have a safe and healthy lifestyle, I think that we are doing pretty well on local resources. The Population Fund is directed at having safe pregnancies, making sure that women have the right to choose and have control over their bodies, I think we could handle that with local funds. The family planning unit was very active back in the 70’s, 80’s and probably 90’s but I think since then, government and other agencies have been doing the necessary work. In other countries around the world the pulling of the United States support will affect UN programmes.”
WINN FM asked if the rest of the Caribbean would be affected.
“Probably places like Haiti and other parts of CARICOM like Guyana pops into my mind where the United Nations family programmes are very active. That’s not to say that we don’t need any support because support comes in technical ways in terms of research and documentation but some countries need direct financial support and the loss of that should see a rise in more women dying in pregnancy, more unintended pregnancies, botched abortions and that kind of stuff.”
WINN also asked Dr Martin to comment on the policies of the Trump administration regarding this aspect.
Dr Martin replied that “There are persons in the Trump administration who do not believe that women are equal to men and that women should not have control over their reproduction, that is very clear.”