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BAHAMAS: Senior Technical Officers of IDB-Funded Projects Meet to Discuss and Share Knowledge



#Nassau, September 20, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – Senior technical officers of all projects funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) met during an IDB Projects Workshop to discuss and share knowledge on effective measures to achieve the objectives of each project.  The workshop took place at Melia Nassau Beach resort, September 19, 2018.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest said at the workshop that it is worth noting that subsequent to becoming a member of IDB, in 1973, the total amount of loans and guarantees that The Bahamas received from the Bank is approximately, $925,000,000.

DPM Turnquest explained that these investment loans encompass various sectors, for example — Transport, Energy and Water, Aviation, the Environment, and Public Policy.

He stated: “As the Bank is considered an important development partner in The Bahamas, I have no doubt that the relationship between the Government of The Bahamas and the Bank will continue to be fruitful in addressing the current and future development challenges of the country.”

The DPM affirmed the relevance of each of the subject matters being discussed at the workshop, namely: a commitment to breaking silos to achieve results, lessons from experience when dealing with IDB projects, procurement, and financial management and reporting.  He said in going forward, project managers and focal stakeholders must be mindful of past experiences, some of which were positive, while others were negative and may have contributed to projects incurring cost overruns, extending beyond deadlines, or not achieving key performance indicators.

He continued, “During the execution of each project we must foster an approach, where stakeholders, among other things, develop a penchant to minimize bottlenecks in favour of achieving targets in prescribed timeframes.”

DPM Turnquest said considering the need to promote transparency, information sharing and standards, the common thread in every project should be knowledge sharing and embracing best practices.  Undoubtedly, he added, projects will differ in scope and to some degree the required skill sets but, nevertheless, the underlying processes in achieving the goals of projects remain the same.  And with the abundance of technology on project management, the success stories and failures must be communicated to the body of project stakeholders.

“Working in a vacuum will not achieve, in a comprehensive manner, desired results, especially when considering most IDB assignments are inextricably linked.”

He highlighted the workshop’s topic on procurement, saying that it is an issue this current government administration regards as salient.

“With the development of a Department of Public Procurement and new procurement legislation to govern the purchasing of goods and services in the entire public service, the government intends to transform the culture of procurement to make it more fair, transparent and efficient.”

He said the current legislation is insufficient when compared to international standards, particularly as it relates to addressing breaches in procurement procedures.   “In short-order, a new Procurement Bill will be tabled in Parliament and I can assure you that Procurement in the Public Service will be comparable to international best practices.”

He said greater emphasis will be placed on transparency, as reporting on procurement activities will be publicized and the Chief Accounting Officer or the Permanent Secretary in every procuring entity, under the proposed procurement framework, will assume greater responsibility to ensure that the rules governing procurement activities are adhered to.

DPM Turnquest noted, “I have no doubt that in a new procurement environment, where there is constant training in procurement practices, and purchasing advance technology to assist all officers assigned to procurement units — there will be cost savings arising from reduction in the application of corrupt and abusive procurement practices.”

He told Project Managers and Stakeholders with direct involvement in the execution of IDB assignments to undertake every effort to ensure that projects within their sphere of responsibility or connected to their assignment are aligned with achieving objectives in a timely manner, as failures in project management can be costly.


By Llonella Gilbert

Release: BIS

Photo Caption:  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest addressed the IDB Projects Workshop at Melia Nassau Beach resort, Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

(Photos/Courtesy Ministry of Finance)


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Bahamas News

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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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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