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BAHAMAS: National Security Minister “excited” about the opening of GB’s new fire station

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#Freeport, GB, August 24, 2018 – Bahamas – After a long wait, firefighters in Grand Bahama will soon be moving into their new home – a state-of-the-art fire station that can also house law enforcement officers.  According to Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames, the firefighters could move into their new facility by mid-September.

Minister Dames, while on Grand Bahama Wednesday, August 22, 2018, took a tour of the new facility as local officers prepared to have their personal assets transferred to the new building.  While this was not the Minister’s first time looking at the facility, it was the first time that the Minister was seeing the fire station with all of its equipment in place.

“We’re very pleased with what we’ve seen,” said Minister Dames, following a walkthrough of the facility, along with Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson.

“We’re on target to open this facility in about two to three weeks and the Prime Minister is set to perform the official opening. We are very excited with the fact that we have gotten to this point. It has been a long time, waiting.”

Although completed a year ago, the fire station was left sitting unoccupied, as they awaited furniture for the building.  There had been a breakdown in communication on the ordering of the furniture. However, Minister Dames pointed out that the long wait to open the fire station had nothing to do with his government.

He noted that the building will be dual purpose, accommodating police and firefighters.  “We feel that this station is big enough to accommodate both entities, which will help to better serve this community, and by extension, the island of Grand Bahama,” said Minister Dames.

“Fire fighters in Grand Bahama are very excited about the opening of this building.  I can recall as the officer in charge of the island of Grand Bahama back in 2011 that we had started the initial planning around this building; and to be standing here outside the finished product, it lets me know that we have come a long way.

“Fire officers on the island, since their initial fire station was destroyed, had been living and working in sub-standard conditions. As I said, it was while under the Hubert Ingraham Administration, the planning of this new station had begun. Our goal was to do what we could to improve the living and working conditions of the fire officers and police officers on Grand Bahama.”

Minister Dames noted that presently there are some 30 officers who are in training to become firefighters, comprising young men and women from around The Bahamas. He said that Grand Bahama has been made the epi-center for the training of fire officers.  The National Security Minister thanked Minister Thompson and his staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, along with law enforcement officials, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the new station was completed, properly furnished and ready for occupation.

“The Minister of State for Grand Bahama, the Deputy Prime Minister and the other members of Parliament for the island of Grand Bahama have all been pushing, checking and ensuring that we are all on schedule,” added Minister Dames.

“Because of them we are where we’re at with this new station and we are all excited to open this building so that it can properly service the residents of Grand Bahama.”

Minister Thompson said that the opening of the new fire station is really a victory for the people of Grand Bahama, in light of the fact that they have waited so long to have a fully equipped, state-of-the-art facility on the island.

“It’s also a victory for those officers who have endured for a very long time having to live and work in sub-standard conditions,” said Minister Thompson.  “The good thing is that in spite of those conditions our firefighters have been working and performing their jobs without complaint. They should be congratulated because they have performed.

“So, I’m glad to see that we have gotten to this point and that in short order this building will finally be opened,” said Minister Thompson.  “I know that Grand Bahamians have waited a long time for this and so we are all excited about this dream finally coming to fruition.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

 

BIS Photos/Andrew Coakley

 

 

OUTSIDE NEW STATION – Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames (centre) and Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson (centre left), along with senior police officials stand outside the new fire station on Settler’s Way in Grand Bahama, before starting a tour of the facility on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

 

SLEEPING QUARTERS – National Security Minister, the Hon. Marvin Dames and Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson are shown one of the sleeping quarters in the new fire station in Grand Bahama. Minister Dames toured the new facility to take a look at the new furniture which was recently placed in the building, as it gets set to be occupied by local firefighters, as well as law enforcement officers.

 

CHECKS OUT POLE – National Security Minister Marvin Dames checks out the pole, which fire fighters will use once the new fire station in Grand Bahama opens in early September.

 

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Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell

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#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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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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