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United States-Based Jamaican Gives Back Through Medical Mission



Montego Bay, July 3, 2019 – Jamaica – Scores of St. James residents converged at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre to take advantage of the services that were provided by the Feed the Fight Breast Cancer Charity’s International Cancer and Medical Mission Health Fair.

The event, which was held on June 28, enabled persons to access several key services.  These included paediatric care, eye care, blood pressure checks, pap smears, mammograms, prostate screenings, and physical checks for the elderly.

The organisation’s founder, Yvonne Dunkley, who is a Jamaican based in the United States (US) city of Atlanta, says the mission resulted from a need identified to administer mammograms and other medical services to persons who were unable to afford them.

Ms. Dunkley, a breast cancer survivor, says consequent on her experience with the illness, she wanted to give back to the people of her home country.  She notes that during her illness, she reflected on her fellow Jamaicans having a similar experience, and wondered how they were coping. This, she adds, paved the way for the organisation’s genesis.

“I wanted to help others, especially in my country. So I came home in 2013 and started to sensitize persons [about breast cancer] in the rural areas, because I noticed that they were the persons who did not have as much information as they should; and so I started a charity here,” Ms. Dunkley tells JIS News.

She informs that the organisation comprises volunteers from Jamaica, the US and United Kingdom (UK), adding that the group includes her four daughters.  She further says that the charity initiates medical missions in other Caribbean countries as well the UK.

Ms. Dunkley notes that several women attending the fair, who sought to access mammogram services, did so with referrals from their doctors.  This, she adds, was mainly due to their inability to afford the ultrasound, pointing out that these persons were sent directly to the surgeon for the requisite procedures, where necessary.  

Mammograms were conducted for a small fee, which goes towards raising funds for future missions and purchasing medical supplies. All other services were delivered free of cost.

General Surgeon, Dr. Karlene Sinclair, who was tasked with conducting onsite biopsies, tells JIS News that volunteering with the mission was her way of giving back to her country.

“I am a Jamaican by birth; I lived here until I went off to college [overseas]. My aim is to do what I can… for my fellow countrymen and -women,” she says.

Meanwhile, patrons of the health fair have lauded the organisers of the initiative, citing it as a necessity.

Repeat patron, Rosalee Barrett, who has had hypertension-related health issues, says through the initiative, “I was able to get my mammogram and other [tests] done and I am thankful”.

“I have known Ms. Dunkley for many years and the work that she is doing is wonderful [as it] helps people like me and many others,” she tells JIS News.

Another patron, Laurell Scott, says the fair is providing a “good service in Montego Bay”, as many persons unable to afford the offerings are able to access them.

Icilda Anson, another beneficiary, describes the fair as “a good thing” that was staged in a good location.

A similar health fair was held in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, from June 30 to July 1.  The medical mission, which is the third such to the island, catered to some 500 persons.  It is financed through fundraisers held in the US and UK, as well as the support of several sponsors.

By: Serena Grant

Release: JIS

Photo Captions:

Patrons of the Feed the Fight Breast Cancer Charity’s International Cancer and Medical Mission Health Fair wait to take advantage of several medical services offered. The fair was held at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre on June 28 .

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Feed the Fight Breast Cancer Charity volunteer, Rosene Hamilton (right), does a blood pressure check on patron Amelda Irving, during the entity’s health fair at the Montego Bay Culture Centre, St. James, on Friday June 28.

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Scores of St. James residents being registered by Feed the Fight Breast Cancer Charity volunteers during the entity’s health fair, which was held at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in St. James on June 28.

Serena Grant Photos

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: PM Announces New State of Public Emergency



#Kingston, December 7, 2022 – States of Public Emergency (SOEs) have been declared in several parishes and police divisions islandwide to address an increase in criminal activities and ensure public order.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning (December 6).

The parishes are St. Ann, Clarendon, St. Catherine, specified areas in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover.

Mr. Holness said that the Government, after careful consideration of the recommendations of the security chiefs, decided to advise the Governor General that it was necessary and appropriate to declare the SOEs.

“Since the end of the last SOE, we have seen, unfortunately, an increase in criminal activities in these areas and, indeed, a threat to property and in some instances public disorder,” he said.

He noted that the security measure is also aimed at protecting lives and property during the Christmas period.

“This will be the first Christmas season since the ending of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) [which imposed COVID-19 restrictions] and already we are seeing and projecting an increase in activities, including entertainment and commercial [events].

“We are already seeing a demand, a stretch on the resources, and we have to guarantee our citizens that they will be able to go about their business in a safe and secure manner,” he said.

SOEs were previously imposed in several of the areas on November 15 but ended on November 29 after the resolutions to facilitate the extensions failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in the Senate.


Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Detained Canadian airline Crew Back in Canada



Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Canada, December 7, 2022 – After being detained in the Dominican Republic for eight months and ‘living a nightmare,’ the crew of a Canadian airline, Pivot Airlines has finally returned home to Canada.

The announcement was made by Pivot Airlines in a statement, which revealed that the five-person crew landed in Toronto on Thursday, December 1.

“Earlier this evening, the heroic Pivot Airlines crew arrived safely in Toronto and were reunited with their loved ones.

“The crew has demonstrated incredible courage and resilience throughout the harrowing ordeal which saw them wrongly detained in the Dominican Republic for nearly eight months.  Their steadfast commitment to public safety and the rule of law is a testament to the professionalism of all Canadian air crew,” the company’s statement read.

The airline also noted that it was grateful to everyone who advocated for its crew.

“Pivot Airlines is tremendously grateful to all those who advocated on our crew’s behalf, including CUPE, ALPA, Unifor, Senator David Wells, as well as our government partners,” Pivot Airlines said.

The crew was detained in April of this year after a strange bag was found aboard the aircraft they were on, and they reported it to authorities.  Local police said they eventually found more than 200 kilograms of cocaine aboard the jet.

According to Canadian authorities, the five individuals, two pilots, two flight attendants and one part-time maintenance engineer “were arbitrarily detained, threatened and prosecuted” by Dominican authorities “despite following Transport Canada protocols and international laws.”

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Bahamas News

COP 15 begins; Turks & Caicos delegation and objectives unknown…



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2022 – Will the Turks and Caicos be in the room when the ‘massive moment for nature’ unfurls in Montreal, Canada?  There is expected to be, in the end, a deal to protect animals and their habitats.

COP15 on Biodiversity begins today, Wednesday December 7th and while it was confirmed a TCI Delegation will be attending the event there’s no word yet who is making up that delegation or the objectives for the country, at this edition of the Conference of the Parties.

Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism with responsibility for environment had confirmed to Magnetic Media, weeks ago, that she was scheduled to attend the meeting.

The Biodiversity Conference is the third UN Conference this year pulling together a Conference of the Parties (a gathering of the supreme governing body of any international convention) the first two being COP 15 on Desertification in May and COP 27 in November.

The Biodiversity Conference is has three main objectives it is aiming to fulfil:

  •  the conservation of biodiversity;
  • the sustainable use of its components and
  • the fair sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The Turks and Caicos islands have taken significant initiative this year to protect its Biodiversity, becoming the first Caribbean country to join the United Kingdom’s Blue Belt Program and hosting the Turks and Caicos’ first ever Climate Change Summit and continued partnerships with the Royal Botanical Gardens in the UK.

The Conference which will run until December 19th will also look at the implementation of the protocols of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that deal with the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of nature, and the safe transport, handling and labelling of Living Modified Organisms.

It is to be carried live:

COP15, like COP27 will open an avenue for funding to further biodiversity protection initiatives through negotiating with larger nations.

More than 190 countries will come together to hash out a plan to halt the decline of ecosystemswildlife, and the life-supporting services they provide.


Photo Caption: The United Nations Biodiversity Conference’s Ceremonial Opening Day press conference.  At the head table, Andersen Inger from UN Environment Programme, Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema, Huang Runqiu — COP15 chair, Steven Guilbeault — H.E Canadian Minister of Environment, and David Ainsworth, our Head of Comms.

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