Today, we in Barbados are faced with one of the most challenging times in our recent history. As we join the world in overcoming the challenges presented to our social and economic fabric due to COVID-19, Barbados recognizes May 20 as World Metrology Day. The Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) along with Metrology Institutes all around the globe, celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875. This treaty provides the basis for a worldwide coherent measurement system that underpins scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade.
As Metrology is the science of measurement, this year’s theme is ‘Measurement for Health’, where it is understood that the role of metrology is critical in the effectiveness of a country’s health care system, specifically in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
A country’s Quality Infrastructure (QI) is a system contributing to governmental policy objectives in areas including industrial development, trade competitiveness in global markets, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, health, the environment and climate change.
The Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) has responsibility for the development of the country’s quality infrastructure, which is required for the effective operation of domestic markets, and its international recognition.
Such recognition is of critical importance to enable access to foreign markets at a time when Barbados is repositioning to increase the exports of goods and services. This is a critical element in promoting and sustaining economic development, as well as environmental and social wellbeing.
The global recognition of measurements taken using medical devices is made possible by achieving the highest precision standards. Metrology ensures that the results attained by various instruments are accepted nationally and globally.
Global recognition of measurements helps in making health assessments of the worldwide population, which gives valuable data used in decision making. Daily, we can observe the success of accurate measurements made in Barbados, which allow us to make determinations on managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We rely on accurate determinations on the number of new positive cases, which is closely matched to the resources deployed across our isolation facilities. Similarly, we rely on accurate determinations of the number of successful vaccinations administered as this information feeds into the effective planning and management of our overall health-care system.
It is clear that a sound quality infrastructure is critical to keeping us safe and at the same time facilitating trade and investment. The Barbados National Standards Institution remains committed in the development of our country’s national quality infrastructure and looks forward to the enactment and implementation of the proposed ‘Barbados National Metrology Act’, which will represent comprehensive metrology legislation, embracing all aspects of metrology, thereby harmonizing Barbados’ legislative and strategic plans with those in the international arena. This will provide the legal framework for the development of Barbados’ metrology system.
As our wonderful country develops strategies to restructure our businesses and our systems post Covid-19, to build a more competitive and sustainable society, I join with the management and staff of the Barbados National Standards Institution in celebrating World Metrology Day, 2021 and the relevance of metrology to our health and livelihoods.
Chairman, Barbados National Standards Institution