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300,000 Students To Benefit From School Feeding Project

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KINGSTON, Sept. 10 (JIS): Over 300,000 students are expected to benefit from an integrated school feeding project, to be implemented by the Government. Titled: ‘Strengthening of School Feeding Programmes in the Framework of Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger 2025 Initiative’, the project involves collaboration among the Ministries of Health; Agriculture and Fisheries; and Education.

It aims to strengthen the Government’s existing school feeding programme by, among other things: ensuring adequate nutrition for students through increased access to affordable nutritious, safe, and quality foods in schools; and establishing and maintaining a comprehensive school feeding national policy, plan, and legislation.
This integrated school feeding project model has recorded significant success in Brazil, where it has been undertaken over the past 50 years. Brazil’s government, along with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are partnering with Jamaica to implement the initiative, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing the arrangement, is to be signed by the major stakeholders.

At the launch on Tuesday (September 9), at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) New Kingston offices, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said its implementation will ensure that children, particularly at the early childhood level, have access to adequate nutritious meals each day, thereby fortifying their development.

“We know that in that first 1,000 days (of a child’s life), and beyond, to perhaps grade eight, is the time of brain formation, or personality development, when nutrition plays a tremendously important role,” he said.

He stated that the “knowledge… of the Brazil model of school feeding will be of inestimable opportunity for us in Jamaica. This is exactly the kind of cooperation we need for Jamaica, and I trust that the information that will be purveyed, will not only be a fillip to the local economy, but, also, be a tremendous strength to the process of education.”

In his remarks, Acting Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the initiative is integral to “our holistic drive for the National Food Security and Nutrition Programme.”
“If we wish to have a nation that is healthy, then we must ensure that our young children are properly fed and, from the earliest stages, be involved in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, our educational, health, and agricultural policies and programmes must be crafted and implemented in such a way as to enhance convergence and collaboration to ensure the best outcomes,” he stated.

“It is for this reason that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is fully committed to ensuring the supply of more nutritious and locally grown foods throughout the nation, specifically in the school feeding programme,” Mr. Kellier assured.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, gave the Ministry’s commitment to playing its part to achieve the goals that have been outlined in the (project) MoU.”
In his remarks, FAO’s representatives to Jamaica, Belize, and the Bahamas,
Dr. Jerome Thomas, said that school feeding programmes are important in promoting food and nutrition security in countries where they exist.

“They also impact on the implementation of public policies for the achievement of the right to food. For these reasons, school feeding programmes are, therefore, recommended as one of the major strategies for addressing long-term sustainable development,” he added.

PIOJ Director General, Colin Bullock, said the project represents an important partnership between regional governments and the Government of Brazil, supported by the FAO, while Charge d’Affaires at the Brazilian Embassy in Jamaica, Alfonso Nery, said his Government welcomes the opportunity to share the key components of its school feeding programme with Jamaica.

Key among the project’s initial engagements is a two-day workshop, being conducted by visiting Brazilian school feeding experts, for 45 participants from several government ministries, departments, and agencies, at the PIOJ, which commenced on September 8.

The workshop’s participants also include representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Lucia, where similar programmes are slated for implementation.

Following the workshop, the participants will receive additional training, which will run until December 16.
Brazil boasts one of the world’s most successful school feeding programmes in the world. Managed by the National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE), Brazil’s programme currently provides nutritious food to more than 45 million children across the South American nation, through integrated public policy development and implementation with other government sectors.

Brazil’s involvement in Jamaica’s project forms part of the Government’s commitment to South-South cooperation, particularly with Caribbean countries.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Germany Enter Agreement to Facilitate Direct Airlift

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#TheBahamas, December 4, 2021 – The governments of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and of the Federal Republic of Germany entered into a technical bilateral Heads of Agreement aimed at fostering closer ties between both countries.  A central feature is an Air Traffic Agreement to facilitate direct flights from Germany to The Bahamas, which would in turn facilitate movement of goods and services, ease of direct shipment as opposed to going through a third country, among other things.

The HOA was signed during a ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.  The Hon Alfred Sears, who served as Acting Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, and His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas signed the agreement.  Also present were: Permanent Secretary Reginald Saunders, Ministry of Tourism Investment & Aviation; Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works & Utilities; Bacchus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works & Utilities; Melanie Roach, Director of Public Works; and Carl Christian Illing, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bahamas.

Mr. Sears said it was a pleasure both countries entered into such an agreement, which he deemed would bring together, two peoples.

The Bahamas and Germany formed diplomatic ties in 1974 and have enjoyed successes in commercial enterprise, tourism and family ties as many Bahamians live in Germany.

“This relationship has been growing and this (agreement) represents the ease of travel, business and social interaction between our two countries,” Mr. Sears said, adding that Bahamians consume and use German products namely vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other items.

In other areas, Mr. Sears noted that The Bahamas is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world susceptible to effects of global warming. He thanked Germany for its role in the recent COP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland, during which that country pledged some twenty million Euros for disaster risk reduction initiatives.

He recalled Hurricane Dorian, which struck Abaco and Grand Bahama from September 1-3, 2019 and, as a result, residents in the path experienced storm surges 20 feet high, many lives were lost, clinics, other public buildings and infrastructure were damaged and/or destroyed, and The Bahamas lost a large portion of its GDP.

“The commitment of Germany resonates with us,” Mr. Sears said, “as we rebuild and build the infrastructure stronger.”

The minister shared the possibility of acquiring more vehicles from Germany, targeting more stopover visitors from there with projection of higher spend and enjoyment of more cultural activities.  Permanent Secretary Saunders supported this, by confirming that direct air travel is being facilitated through the agreement.

Ambassador Keil too acknowledged the close relationship between both countries, and that the technical agreement will further strengthen those ties.

 

By Lindsay Thompson

BIS

Photo Caption: Photos show Minister Sears and Ambassador Keil during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities, November 30, 2021.

(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

 

 

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Caribbean News

DIGICEL+ GIVES CUSTOMERS THE GIFT OF MORE SPEED THIS CHRISTMAS

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The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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Bahamas News

Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!

 

November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”

 

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