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BAHAMAS: DPM encouraged Tabernacle Falcon champions to focus on books as well



#Bahamas, April 23, 2018 – Grand Bahama – Tabernacle Baptist Academy, the 2018 National High School Basketball Champion and the Hugh Campbell Basketball Champion, was on Monday praised for its athletic success and encouraged to continue to strive for that success.   However, its winning team members, the Tabernacle Falcons, were urged to also focus on their academics.

The Falcons, accompanied by their principal Edward Johnson, as well as the coaching staff of the basketball team, made a courtesy call on Acting Prime Minister (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, at the Office of the Prime Minister.

While congratulating the group on their success, the group was reminded that exams are near and it is now time to focus on their books.  “I want to encourage you to continue to focus on making yourselves better.  Nothing happens without hard work and sacrifice.  There are many roads to success and some of them are easy, others take time and commitment.  The easy ones, are normally short lived. Instant success.  But you also have instant failure because you have not built and honed your craft and skill, such that it takes you through the hard times.  You have made the sacrifice that’s necessary to build that character that takes you through the disappointing times.

“I want to encourage you to put in the work.  Don’t mind people who have early success, because a lot of them don’t make it to the end.  Those who persevere. Even in academics, you know.  You see people who are doing well in high school early, and a lot of them don’t follow through.  They don’t learn how to study, they don’t learn how to apply themselves because it comes easy.  They can read a book and they can regurgitate it.  But that only takes you so far.

“If you don’t have that commitment, you don’t know how to discipline yourself to focus and you will fall.  This can be devastating to some.  So I want to encourage you again to put in the hard work. Understand that nothing comes without sacrifice.  There are no instants in this life.  No instants.  You have to work.”

Also present was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Iram Lewis. As a former Olympian, he was able to give advice from a personal standpoint.  He noted the very talented athletes, likening them to players on NBA teams like the Detroit Pistons and LA Lakers.

“You’ve made Grand Bahama proud.  I want to urge you to remain focused, dedicated to the cause.  I recognize that you realize you are a student-athlete first. Stay focused in your academics. What is done in the classroom is what will carry you at the end.  Stay in the classroom and get your diploma, get your degree, get your professional qualification.  Always have basketball as something to fall back on.”

In closing, Mr. Lewis reminded the young men that while their names were on the back of their jerseys, they represented their school, their community and as such, were ambassadors of their country.


By: Robyn Adderley



COURTESY CALL – The Tabernacle Falcons Basketball Champions made a courtesy call on the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, on Monday in celebration of their recent championship win at the Hugh Campbell Basketball Championship. Shown with the team from left are: Ronald Woodside, Assistant Coach; Iram Lewis, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works; Edward Johnson, principal, Tabernacle Baptist Academy; Minister Turnquest; Kevin Clarke, coach; and Marisol Jones, supervisor at Pizza Hut. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)


PRESENTATION – Following a courtesy call on Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest (second from right), and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works — students of Tabernacle Baptist Academy (second from left) made t-shirt presentations. The group celebrates their championship wins at the 2018 National High School Basketball Championship and the Hugh Campbell Basketball Championship. Alfredo Brown, head boy and Desmond Butler, team captain, are seen making the presentation. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)


WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT – During a courtesy call made by the Tabernacle Baptist Academy basketball team on Monday, April 16, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest gave the young men words of encouragement. He said that while they were good athletes, it was important that they focused on their education as well. Also present during the courtesy call was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Iram Lewis. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)


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CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases



October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at:

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes



Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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Bahamas News

RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 



#TheBahamas, October 13, 2021 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force congratulates Commodore Retired Leon Livingstone Smith, who was a recipient of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021. 

During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.

Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.

Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.

Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.


Header:  Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)


(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website:, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 




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