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JAMAICA: Breastfeeding Best Investment in Long-Term Health of Infant



#Mandeville, October 30, 2018 – Jamaica – Consultant in Paediatrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Donna-Marie Gray-Henry, says breast milk is the ideal food for babies, and that breastfeeding is the best investment in the long-term health of an infant.

Speaking at the official launch of the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative e-Learning Portal and the opening of the Breastfeeding Training Room at the Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester on October 26, she pointed out that breastfeeding reduces the incidence of infant morbidity illnesses and the incidence of infant deaths.

“This will ensure more healthy babies and fewer coming to the emergency rooms,” Dr. Gray-Henry said.

“Breastfeeding halves the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), childhood malignancy, reduces the risk of maternal illnesses, breast cancer, and post-partum haemorrhage – the global cause of maternal death,” she said.

Dr. Gray-Henry argued that one of the “dragons” fighting against breastfeeding is the fast-growing multibillion-dollar baby formula industry, the fastest growing packaged food industry.

“With that kind of capital backing advertising and flooding the market, how will we protect our moms and babies?” Dr. Gray-Henry questioned.

She encouraged mothers to do so by continuing to breastfeed and be part of the baby-friendly hospital initiative, which aims to deliver the global gold standard of patient care.

“It is customer-friendly and will be certified, and involved the team completing 20 hours of training to be ready to deliver the service to mothers,” Dr. Gray-Henry said.

To further enhance the process, the e-Learning platform has been developed and can be easily accessed on all hand-held devices. When it goes live, persons can log into a virtual classroom for the theory. This is the first application of this particular curriculum in this format in the world, and will teach mothers the rudiments of breastfeeding online.

An audio version, as well as tutors, will also be available online. Medical practitioners (doctors, nurses and midwives) who complete the course will also get Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours upon completion of the course.

First-time mothers and members of the public who want to support the breastfeeding initiative are also welcome to do the course.

Meanwhile, Regional Director of the SRHA, Michael Bent, lauded the e-Learning platform and promised a massive launch when it is ready to be rolled out.

“In the region, we continue to utilise initiative from the staff to show the world that we take healthcare seriously and we want to do things differently. We want to ensure that all persons concerned use this platform and get used to this method of training, because we have to ensure there is investment in the human resources at SRHA going forward,”  Mr. Bent said, adding that he looks forward to Mandeville Regional Hospital being certified as a baby-friendly facility.


Release: JIS

Contact: Barbara Ellington


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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package



#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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