Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 19, 2016 – Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government remains committed to providing affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans in order to eliminate squatting.
He said there are some 750 informal settlements across the island, with a population of just over one million. “We have to begin the development of communities at a rate and speed that will prevent the emergence of these informal settlements,” he said, noting that there is an immediate need for between 10,000 and 15,000 housing solutions per year.
Dr. Chang was addressing the open house and launch of the first 80 housing units in The Vistas at Runaway Bay housing project in St. Ann on Sunday (December 18). The two-bedroom units, comprising 30 bungalows and 50 town houses, come with solar panels, a solar water heater and solar grid-tied system. Amenities include a clubhouse with pool and gym, and jogging trail, among others. The units are being sold at a starting price of $13 million.
A total of 250 housing solutions are to be delivered under the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) project. Dr. Chang said The Vistas of Runaway Bay project is expected to go a far way in addressing the housing needs in the parish, particularly among hotel workers.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of Jamaica, I want to congratulate the (HAJ) on this new development. It’s a welcome and much-needed addition to the housing stock,” he said. “This entire scheme was conceived to be for hotel workers and the service providers to the hotel sector,” Dr. Chang added.
15 World Travel Award WINNERS for the Turks and Caicos Islands
#TurksandCaicos, October 22, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, the exclusive tourism authority for the Turks and Caicos Islands, is pleased to announce that the destination has been named a winner in seven categories at the 28th annual World Travel Awards. The World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, it is the leading authority that recognizes the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence, globally. The full list of the prestigious regional awards won by the Turks and Caicos Islands and its tourism partners include:
- Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination 2021 – Turks & Caicos Islands
- Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination 2021 – Turks & Caicos Islands
- Caribbean’s Leading All Suite Hotel 2021 – The Palms Turks & Caicos
- Caribbean’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort 2021 – Beaches Turks & Caicos
- Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Resort 2021 – Sailrock Resort, Turks & Caicos
- Caribbean’s Leading New Resort 2021 – The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos
- Caribbean’s Leading Private Island Resort 2021 – Pine Cay, The Meridian Club, Turks & Caicos
As a destination, the Turks and Caicos Islands has consecutively won the award for the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination. These awards come as no surprise as the Islands are renowned for its pristine beaches and breathtaking turquoise waters and are considered the ideal destination for honeymoons and weddings.
Minister of Tourism, Honorable Josephine Connolly, stated, “We are thrilled to have continuously won in these categories of the World Travel Awards, as this is testament to our continued commitment in ensuring the Turks and Caicos Islands is the leading tourism destination in the region. The Ministry of Tourism’s team and industry partners all play an equally important part in promoting the destination and strengthening the brand of the destination. The awards are a cumulative effort of all tourism partners inclusive of the Ministry of Health, who have guided us throughout this pandemic and implemented protocols that not only keep the local population safe but have allowed the tourism industry to thrive. We are grateful to our team, partners and all persons in the industry for the various roles they play in continuing to make our destination a leader in the industry.”
Director of Tourism, Pamela Ewing, stated, “My team and I are ecstatic to receive the awards for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board has continued to promote the destination through strategic marketing and promotions plans as both a ‘Beautiful by Nature’ destination and as the leading destination for honeymoons and weddings.” The World Travel Awards also recognized and awarded some of the best tourism related agencies within the Turks and Caicos Islands, as follows:
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Boutique Hotel 2021 – Windsong Resort
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Car Rental Company 2021 – Avis
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Destination Management Company 2021 – Olympia Destination Management Company
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Hotel 2021 – The Palms Turks & Caicos
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Hotel Suite 2021 – Four Bedroom Oceanfront Penthouse @ Windsong Resort
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Resort 2021 – Amanyara Villas
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Tour Operator 2021 – Caicos Dream Tours
- Turks & Caicos’ Leading Travel Agency 2021 – Turks & Caicos Reservations
Traditionally, the World Travel Awards host a Gala Ceremony where top industry leaders and high-level tourism professionals from across the Caribbean region gather. However, given the ongoing global challenges, they have now opted to host a virtual day of celebrations in lieu of a physical ceremony.
Today, we virtually celebrate the World Travel Awards Winners for the Caribbean & North America.
Photo Credit: Brilliant Photography
TCI Health Launches COVID Booster Shot program
#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands launches its COVID-19 vaccine booster programme commencing on Monday 4th October 2021. This comes following the approval by Cabinet, of the COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Strategy which was submitted by the Ministry of Health for consideration.
Members of Cabinet including the Governor, Deputy Governor, Honorable Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health were in strong support of the vaccine booster strategy which will provide greater protection to those vulnerable individuals within the country who had previously been fully vaccinated more than six months ago and who are most at risk of severe effects of the disease.
1) Chronic non-communicable diseases clients
2) Elderly – Adults 50 years and over
3) Health care and frontline workers
4) Caregivers of the vulnerable
All persons in the groups listed above would have to have completed the two-dose series more than 6 months ago to be eligible for the booster dose of the vaccine. Eligible persons should reach out to their health care providers to schedule their booster dose.
The booster vaccine programme rolled out in the UK on 20.9.2021 and in the USA on 24.9.2021. On 9th September, Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), which regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK, issued the following statement; “We know that a person’s immunity may decline over time after their first vaccine course. I am pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination programme, which has saved thousands of lives so far. The regulatory decision followed a careful review of available data on safety and effectiveness of booster or supplementary vaccine doses by the MHRA and the independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), which advises the government.”
The TCI is currently progressing on its fifth tranche of the vaccine which was received from the UK and anticipates the receipt of additional doses of the vaccine to support the ongoing roll out of the vaccine to all eligible residents as well as the booster programme.
The vaccine is critical to the ongoing national response to the COVID19 pandemic. The vaccines are safe and can prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization. All eligible persons are encouraged to get vaccinated to continue protecting themselves, their loved ones and the wider community. All eligible persons who are unvaccinated are encouraged to take the vaccine.
JAMAICA: Bustamante Hospital for Children Gets Specialty Beds From Chase Fund
#Kingston, September 28, 2021 – A bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture in any healthcare facility and forms a large part of patient care and recovery. The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, through a generous donation of $4.4 million, has gifted the island’s only public children’s hospital, the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), with 15 specialty beds.
“Those beds were used a day after they were delivered and have helped BHC tremendously, because they came when we started to see an increase in the patients,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BHC, Camile Wallen-Panton, tells JIS News.
“The BHC, unlike other hospitals, has not been badly impacted by the patient load due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but at the same time we have seen a rise in other illnesses,” she added.
Mrs. Wallen-Panton points out that the beds were allocated to the various wards and explains how they met the required bed specifications.
“The beds that we received were the right specifications. They have the required two-side rail that can be adjusted, and they also have safety wheels that can be locked to make the bed immobile. The beds are outfitted with an Intravenous (IV) stand and are beautifully coloured, which brightens the ward,” she notes.
The CEO shares that the donation was greatly welcomed by staff, patients and parents.
“It is very important that our local hospitals are fitted with adequate beds. You can see the added stress on the patients, parents and caregivers whenever there is a shortage of beds,” Mrs. Wallen-Panton says.
“Our patient load is always growing, and from time to time, furniture and equipment outlive their useful time and they must be taken out, so when an institution such as the CHASE Fund answers our needs, patient, parents and staff salute them. They have made a huge difference in how we serve,” she adds.
Mrs. Wallen-Panton highlights that the hospital administration believes continual improvements in patient care are crucial and welcomes partnerships and collaborations to achieve this.
“As the only dedicated children’s hospital that serves Jamaica and the other English-speaking Caribbean islands, the BHC has to be prepared at all times to accept referrals that require secondary care,” she explains.
“The hospital currently has 23 services, including emergency, medical and surgical, and the social services that cater to the holistic needs of the patients we serve, and we are always trying to find ways to improve on our service delivery,” she notes.
The CEO reiterates her appreciation of the CHASE Fund’s investment in the healthcare sector and wishes the entity success in all its current and future projects.
Acquisition of the beds for the BHC forms part of a larger project by CHASE Fund, valued at $110 million, to purchase beds for secondary-care institutions within the South-East Region.
The facilities include Kingston Public, Victoria Jubilee, Spanish Town, Linstead, Princess Margaret and National Chest Hospitals, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, and Hope Institute.
Meanwhile, CEO of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, tells JIS News that the donation of beds to hospitals, including the BHC, falls under the CHASE Fund’s Health mandate.
“In funding health projects, we are always mindful of how many people a project will benefit, whether it will improve access to healthcare and will result in better healthcare delivery and how our intervention can improve efficiency and the overall health system in Jamaica,” Mr. Heaven says.
He notes that the CHASE Fund is pleased to have aided the operation of the only specialist paediatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean, which sees approximately 70,000 patients per year, catering to children from birth to 12 years of age.
By: Colleen Dawkins
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