Connect with us

Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Government Crafting Infection Prevention and Control Strategy



#Kingston, October 16, 2019 – Jamaica – The Ministry of Health and Wellness is working to develop a National Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) strategy as part of a comprehensive approach to strengthening healthcare safety and quality and improving health outcomes.

Key personnel from the Ministry, the regional health authorities and members of hospital IPC teams, are participating in a two-day National Strategic Workshop for Infection Prevention and Control, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.

The aim of the workshop, which started on Tuesday (October 15), is to garner stakeholder input for a draft strategy.  Speaking at the workshop’s opening ceremony, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said data from a 2015 audit conducted at a number of facilities within the south-east health region found a number of gaps.

These include a lack of general knowledge among the various categories of staff regarding the principles of IPC; lack of compliance with good hand hygiene practices and knowledge about proper use of personal protective equipment; improper cleaning techniques and storage of chemicals; and improper management of waste.

Monitoring and evaluation supply chain issues, as well as the need for infrastructure repair and upgrade, were also listed among the challenges to the sector.

“These deficiencies are fuel for infections acquired in healthcare settings, which are the most frequent adverse events in healthcare delivery worldwide,” Minister Tufton noted.

He said that the Ministry, with support from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO), has been taking action to remedy the situation.

This includes training of IPC nurses in all government hospitals using the PAHO/WHO methodology, to enhance their knowledge in the prevention, surveillance and control of hospital acquired infections; training neonatal intensive care unit teams in the prevention of neonatal sepsis; training of selected specialists in the prevention, surveillance and control of hospital acquired infections; and review and adaptation of IPC documents and guidelines.

Dr. Tufton said the Ministry is on a path to safeguarding access to equitable, comprehensive and quality healthcare for Jamaicans and to bolster its stewardship capacity in order to achieve universal access to health and health coverage.

“If we are to succeed, then IPC has to be prioritised and it is up to us to make that a reality. The workshop is helping to give shape to that as we work together to ensure a safe environment and healthcare practices that give our patients the best chance at optimal health outcomes,” he said.

Contact: Rochelle Williams

Release: JIS

Photo Captions:

Header: Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (centre) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi (right), peruse documents at the opening ceremony of the National Strategic Workshop for Infection Prevention and Control on Tuesday (October 15), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston. Looking on is Chief of the National Infection Prevention Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Chile, Dr. Fernando Otaiza. The two-day workshop concludes October 16.

Insert: Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (left), speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day National Strategic Workshop for Infection Prevention and Control on Tuesday (October 15), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston. Also pictured are Chief of the National Infection Prevention Control Programme, Ministry of Health, Chile, Dr. Fernando Otaiza (second right); and Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)/World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi.

Dave Reid Photos

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading