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BAHAMAS: DPM says new dorms at UB North will help Government fulfill one of its promises

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#Bahamas, May 09, 2018 – Grand Bahama – The Official Opening Ceremony and Plaque Unveiling for Hawksbill Hall at the University of The Bahamas’ Northern Campus will assist the government in fulfilling one of its promises.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest told invited guests gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new dormitories on UB’s campus on Monday morning, May 7, 2018 that during the campaign trail and following the Free National Movement’s victory at the polls the government made some promises in regards to tertiary education.

One of those objectives was the offer of free tuition to every student throughout the country, but more particularly to Family Island students, so that they were not limited by their circumstances.  In Nassau, as well, the Government recently approved a Private/Public partnership that will see a significant number of dormitories being constructed at the campus in the capital.  The overall aim is to offer tertiary education to all deserving students.

Minister Turnquest noted that the development of the University of The Bahamas in every aspect is important, not just for the development of Grand Bahama, but for the development of the people of The Bahamas.

He explained that the development of UB’s Northern campus on East Grand Bahama Highway will give the university an opportunity to expand its offerings, diversify the economy and the skills available.  He said that in order to meet the needs of the island’s growing population, there is the need to significantly accelerate the country’s GDP growth: “The only way we can do that is to further deepen our economy and sectors of the economy that we have. And in order to do that — to attract the talent and investment that we need – we need to have trained persons.  So as we develop this campus and as the university expands its offerings, we look forward to the growth that will happen as a result.”

Minister Turnquest congratulated the university for such a momentous step in Grand Bahama, as they make every effort to extend the academic system:

“That is a very significant point to recognize, that the University of The Bahamas is developing into a system of campuses and programs, while fulfilling its mandate to assist in the development of the Bahamian people and the entire country.”

“It’s something for us to be very proud of as we move on in our independence and development as a country.  Because we know that in order for us to achieve the level of true independence that we seek, to develop the skills and the talents that we need, in order to take advantage of all that this country has to offer, we need skilled individuals who are born and bred right here, whose loyalties are right here and whose interests are right here.

“So, this is a very significant evolution in the University of the Bahamas system. And we are certainly very proud.”

Minister Turnquest suggested that the University of The Bahamas in Grand Bahama has a particularly important opportunity to assist in the development of Grand Bahama as a whole.  He noted that Grand Bahama is one of the most diversified economies in the country, because of its ability to be proficient in the industrial and the tourism sectors at the same time.

However, he said that as the country grows, development in other aspects of the economy will become critical. Other aspects, like the technology sector.

“The need to establish the Tech Hub here in Grand Bahama becomes critical because the world is getting more and more competitive, where it is not so much about what you produce, but about the knowledge that you produce and export to the world.”

Minister Turnquest noted that the Bahamas is about to enter the final stretch of negotiations with respect to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and this will necessitate some significant changes in the way the government does business.

“It will also necessitate our ability and the need to be more innovative and to be more efficient in what we do,” said Minister Turnquest. “The Government of the Bahamas has engaged upon a modernization exercise in the way we do business and the way we interact with the citizens of the country.

“We are looking at creating a one-stop shop portal so that citizens will be able to access services from the government – corporate citizens or individual (private) citizens, so that we make the process seamless and efficient, but we also reduce the opportunities for corruption and inefficiencies.”

Hawksbill Hall at the UB-North campus is the result of a generous $3 million gift from the Grand Bahama Port Authority and is named in recognition of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, which established a free trade zone as an economic stimulus for Grand Bahama.

The new student residential facility accommodates approximately 80 students in comfortable accommodations.  Amenities at the facility include cafeteria, laundry facilities, student lounge, Wi-Fi access, gym, computer laboratory and 24-hour security.

 

By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)

Photo Captions:

Header: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest (fourth right), President of the University of the Bahamas Dr. Rodney Smith, and Grand Bahama Port Authority Vice-Chairman Sarah St. George (third right) cut the ribbon along with other government and Port Authority officials to mark the opening of Hawksbill Hall, the new dormitories at UB North, following a special ceremony on Monday, May 7, 2018.

First insert: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest was the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony for Hawksbill Hall on Monday, May 7, 2018. The new facility will allow students to live on campus, while attending the University.  Minister Turnquest said this will be extremely beneficial to Family Island students.

Second insert: The official opening ceremony for Hawksbill Hall was well attended by a cross section of the Grand Bahamian society. Among the special guests were (seated from left) Senator Kay Forbes-Smith (Senate President); Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister; Iram Lewis, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works; Fredrick McAlpine, MP for Pineridge; Harcourt Brown, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (GB) and Rev. Robert Lockhart, President of the Grand Bahama Christian Council.

 

BIS Photos/Lisa Davis

 

 

 

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

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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: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

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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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RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 

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#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: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 

-rbdf- 

#GuardOurHeritage 

#MarlinSpike 

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