Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo

If Barbados is to reduce the prevalence of risky behaviour which can lead to the HIV virus in the 15 to 24 age group, then ???all hands need to be on deck???.

That is the message from Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who stressed that all persons must make an effort to change or improve attitudes, conduct and practices of sexual behaviour. ???If we do,??? she said, ???Barbados will become a safer, healthier and more productive country.???

Dr. Byer Suckoo made the comments today at the two-day CARICOM Secretariat???s Health and Family Life Education School Youth Workshop which was held in the conference room of the Ministry of Education, Elsie Payne Complex.

She told the gathering that young people had many challenges which they had to overcome, stating that today???s tests seemed greater than in the past. ???Youth are now being led captive to foreign devices and vices. In some instances, the benefits are far too few, but we can acknowledge that strides have been made in areas such as music, craft, poetry and dance.

???However, the drawbacks are also evident: the pornography, the changing identity and values, and at times, the scoffing at things that are uniquely Caribbean. One result is that we have a people who are faced with many health, social and emotional challenges,??? she pointed out.

Minister Byer Suckoo was adamant that the cries for a return to what Barbadians held as sacred, namely, their health, must be heeded. She added that the community must rise to the challenges that cause families to be divided, their financial stronghold to be removed and individual dreams not realised.


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