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Grand Lucayan one step closer to full operation; Gov’t. aims to restore Grand Bahama’s Economy



#Nassau, September 21, 2018 – Bahamas – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Mininis in his Contribution to the House of Assembly Debate on a Resolution to Guarantee the Purchase of the Grand Lucayan, September 20, 2018 stated,

“I rise in support of this Resolution, a necessary and critical step in the rescue and renewal of Grand Bahama.”

He said, “The redevelopment of Grand Bahama is essential for the ongoing economic recovery and development of the economy of The Bahamas.”  During his Contribution he spoke at length of the benefits of purchase of the resort, versus the trickle down dismal impact of not doing so.

Giving details of the purchase, the Prime Minister said: “Here is how the payments are structured. The Government of The Bahamas financed the initial $30 million of the Purchase Price for the Grand Lucayan properties, by an advance from the Contingency Fund authorized by the Minister of Finance pursuant to Article 133 of The Constitution.”

The Resolution “authorizes the Government of The Bahamas to guarantee the loan to Lucayan Renewal Holdings Ltd., in the said sum of Thirty-Five Million Dollars ($35,000,000.00) for the purpose of paying the balance of the Purchase Price of the Properties pursuant to the Sales Purchase Agreement…,” the Prime Minister said.

The Grand Lucayan includes three distinct hotel properties: Memories, the Lighthouse Point and Breakers Cay. The assets of the Grand Lucayan that are being purchased includes approximately 1,270 hotel rooms and suites, several restaurants and lounges, several meeting rooms, pools, a golf course, casino and a spa.

To clarify any misunderstanding there may be in the public domain, the Prime Miniser noted that The Lighthouse Point property is currently open.  Often speaking of the common good, the Prime Minister said it means acting in the interest of all Bahamians, not just the interests of the residents of New Providence.

“We must be equally committed to the needs of our Family Islands and the needs of Grand Bahamians, who are an integral part of our Commonwealth,” he said.

The Prime Minister also noted the sentiments of Michelle Dorsett of the Commonwealth Union of Hotel Services and Allied Workers who represents the line staff at the Grand Lucayan, who said of the government’s stance on the Grand Lucayan: “We have to pull together, we cannot be divided.”  She went on to say: “We have suffered for too long and I thank the government from the bottom of my heart for what they have done”

According to the Prime Minister: “Under no circumstance could this FNM Government in good conscience allow Freeport or Grand Bahama to sink economically.”

He then stressed, “Let me make this point clear, the effects of the full closure of Grand Lucayan would be catastrophic, with a severe effect on Port Lucaya Marketplace and Marina and over 50 businesses located in Port Lucaya.

“Millions of dollars would be lost from the economy of Freeport and Grand Bahama with the full closure of the Grand Lucayan property.”  This would include economic displacement and loss for taxi drivers, straw vendors, restaurant owners and the many ancillary businesses that rely on the hotel, the Prime Minister pointed out.

“This Government is acting to secure these employees and these small business owners, the future of their children, and the future of Freeport and Grand Bahama,” he said.

The Prime Minister then said to all the employees, businesses, taxi drivers, straw venders and to the entire island of Grand Bahama that, “a new day is truly beginning in Grand Bahama.”


By Lindsay Thompson

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis in his Contribution to the House of Assembly Debate on a Resolution to Guarantee the Purchase of the Grand Lucayan, September 20, 2018.

(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)



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Bahamas News

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



#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



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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