Antigua and Barbuda’s Chief Health Inspector has been bestowed the prestigious award of ‘Outstanding Woman’ by the United Progressive Party (UPP).
Sharon Martin is one of the most familiar faces on the forefront of the Covid fight, and for the last 12 months, she has quietly gone about her duties which include helping keep the nation safe from the coronavirus with little complaint or acknowledgement.
The award was conferred on the Health Inspector for her outstanding contribution to the public health industry for the past 40 years.
The opposition party said that Martin “made ‘her-story’ as the first female public-health inspector and has risen to become Antigua and Barbuda’s first female Chief Health Inspector, with a Master’s degree in public health under her belt.
They therefore saluted her “for her fearlessness in executing her duties as the guardian of public health under circumstances that this country, literally, has never before faced.”
“She has conducted her work without fear, seeking no favour, and, too often, with little acknowledgment or appreciation of the role that she plays in safeguarding the Nation,” the party added.
Martin told Observer that she was elated to receive such an honour.
“This is the first time in 40 years of working in the field of public health that I have received such an award. I know that Observer radio would have given me an award earlier this year, but this is a major one, and I would like to say thanks a million for being considered as such a prestigious person for this award,” she said emphatically.
She also spoke about the difficulties experienced by herself and the Central Board of Health team over the last year.
She said: “… it has been very challenging, especially now in this global pandemic, because during my 40 years of working in public health, the country has never been faced with a global pandemic. We’ve had outbreaks like food borne disease outbreak and on a lesser scale, water borne, but never anything like this. It brings a lot of headache; it takes up a lot of my time, but I’ve learned to manage it.”
The accolade was bestowed in keeping with International Women’s Day 2021 at the UPP’s inaugural virtual public meeting on Monday. And it is the party’s intention to repeat it annually on March 8.