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309 girls in four schools receive HPV vaccine

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#Jamaica, October 5, 2017 – Kingston – Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has informed that 309 girls in four schools across Kingston and St. Andrew, and Portland have received the humanpapilloma virus (HPV) vaccine since the programme started.   The four schools are Oberlin and Papine High in Kingston and St. Andrew, and Titchfield and Happy Grove in Portland.

Speaking at today’s (October 4) post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr. Tufton said 21 girls opted out of the process.

“So, you are looking at well above the 80 percentile, close to 90 per cent participation rate, which is in keeping with the averages that we expect.   So, those are the latest figures that I have; and, again, those institutions, based on the targets that were set and what was actually done, were obviously prepared for the administration of the process,” he said.

The programme, which started on Monday (October 2), will be administered to girls in grade seven, between ages nine and 14 years, free of cost. The vaccine is not mandatory.   The target is approximately 22,500 girls, and each girl will need two doses given six months apart for full protection.   The initiative falls under a $100-million programme and is being carried out by the administration as a move to protect girls against cervical cancer, which takes the lives of hundreds of women in the country per year and hundreds of thousands more worldwide.

In the meantime, Dr. Tufton said his Ministry will be collaborating with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to ensure that all stakeholders, including school administrators and parents, have adequate information about the programme.

“Where we discern, either because of an expression of concern by a school administrator, principal or parents… that the communication needs to be beefed up (and that) they need greater clarity, then in those instances related to those institutions, we would have… to delay the process.   In fact, we have pushed back some of the proposed dates for some institutions,” he noted.

He said the delay may result from the unavailability of medical practitioner(s) or inability of the school to facilitate the health authorities on the proposed dates for the administration.   Clarifying media reports regarding the status of the initiative, Dr. Tufton said the Government will continue with the roll-out.

Meanwhile, Acting Director, Family Health Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Melody Ennis, said countries that have introduced the vaccine more than 10 years have been recording successes.

“The numbers of precancerous lesions have decreased by some 20 to 30 per cent in some of those countries.   So, there is some amount of success with the administration of this vaccine, and the data continues to come in,” she said.

In excess of 200 million doses of the vaccine have been applied to patients worldwide.   More than 70 countries, including over 20 in Latin America and the Caribbean, have already introduced the HPV vaccine.   The Ministry of Health will be ramping up the public education campaign on its initiative to prevent cervical cancer through the introduction of the HPV vaccine programme.

Members of the public can call the Ministry’s toll-free line 1-888-ONE LOVE or 1-888-663-5683 to clarify concerns, or email the Ministry at hpvinfo@moh.gov.jm. Additional information is available at www.moh.gov.jm.

Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Jamaica, and remains a significant public health concern.   Current estimates indicate that every year, 392 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer; 185 die from the disease, with the majority of deaths occurring in women between 40 and 64 years of age.

Release: JIS

 

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Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival

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#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.

 

Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo

 

Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York

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New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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