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BAHAMAS: IDB Team Views Quakoo Street Community Centre’s Role in Citizen Security and Justice Initiative

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#Bahamas, May 15, 2018 – Nassau – Implementation of the government’s expansive multi-agency Citizen Security & Justice Program continues with the objective to reduce crime, and increase safety and security.  The Citizen Security and Justice Program (CSJP) continues to be a top priority for the government and the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames, whose ministry is responsible for overseeing its operation.

An Inter-American Development Bank Portfolio Review Mission Team and CSJP, in meeting with various stakeholders, recently viewed ongoing initiatives of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and role it plays in CSJP.  They saw first-hand the Fresh Start refresher and Mentorship Training initiatives that are operating in the Quakoo Street Community Centre as a part of the Citizen Security & Justice Program.  CSJP is funded by an IDB loan as in investment in addressing the problem of crime in The Bahamas.

Key stakeholders of this far-reaching initiative include: the Office of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Department of Labour, National Training Agency, Office of the Attorney General, The Chief Justice (Acting), Registrar of Courts, The Department of Public Prosecution, The Bahamas Department of Corrections, Ministry of Social Services, Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services, Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution (BTVI), the Ministry of Finance, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Citizen Security and Justice Program may be one of the largest, concerted efforts to address the social and systemic challenges that contribute to crime within local communities.  It attacks crime from a different angle, being driven by strengthening the capacity of various institutions, and improving mindset and skillset of members in the communities.

The first of four components is designed to addresses behavior modification and social re-engineering needed to equip young persons to resolve conflict in a non-violent manner.  Led by the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Education, plans are underway to open fully programmed Youth Centers and Community Centres throughout various districts in New Providence over the next three years.  In addition to Sports and Culture, programs will focus on gender-based violence, parenting, against sexual assault training, violence interrupters, job readiness, youth empowerment, safe dating and conflict resolution within the school system.

The second component of the program will empower the young adult population through soft skills and technical training with a view towards improving their prospects of employment.  The Ministry of Labour and Department of Labor have partnered with the National Training Agency to implement the training programs designed to prepare some 2,600 young persons for the workforce.  The capacity of the NTA will also be strengthened through training of its personnel.  The Citizen Security and Justice Program has financed the upgrade of the Electronic Labour Exhange Platform (ELE), operated by the Department of Labour.  The ELE is a web-based tool that will help expand and enhance the Public Employment Services offered to employers and prospective job seekers.

There is a strong effort to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.  Under review is a major investment to implement a robust Integrated Case Management System to improve, court scheduling, electronic case management, court recording and reporting.  Once implemented, along with other judicial reforms, the anticipated benefit is a reduction in the backlog of cases and more efficient processing of court cases.

The final component to this massive program is spearheaded by the Department of Corrections and includes plans to continue the reformation of the prison from a penal to correctional institution.  The chief output is the implementation of a rehabilitative model and case management systems for the incarcerated adults and juveniles.  The model and case management system will provide a structured program of rehabilitation throughout an inmate’s/juvenile’s stay.  An exciting partnership is being fostered with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution to provide certifications for inmates.  This will assist with reintegration of offenders into the community upon release.  The goal is to reduce the rate of recidivism.

Undergirding this effort is a Project Implementation Unit in the Ministry of National Security and an active Steering Committee comprised of Permanent Secretaries throughout the various government agencies.

 

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Members of the IDB’s Mission Team and officials of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture at the Quakoo Street Community Centre.  In front row, l-r: Joel Korn (IDB), Alex Veyrat-Pontet (IDB), Silvana Fitzpatrick (IDB), Nicole Campbell, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr. Dorcas Cox, Project Manager, Citizen Security & Justice Program, Natalie Bethel (IDB), Inga Carey (IDB), K. Darron Turnquest, Director of Youth/Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, Tonika Stubbs, Project Administrator, Citizen Security & Justice Program.  Back row, l-r: Eugene Poitier, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security and Dr. Valerie Knowles, Component IV Coordinator, Citizen Security and Justice Program.

(BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

 

 

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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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