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Children in Jamaica benefit from Cardiac procedures



Paediatric Cardiologist at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr. Sharonne Forrester (right), listens to singer Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell in the Cardiac Unit at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Mr. Burrell’s Make a Difference Foundation was one of the major funders of the Biplane Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at the hospital’s Cardiac Unit.

#KINGSTON, Feb. 18 (JIS): Twelve children at the Bustamante Hospital for Children have benefited from minimally invasive life-saving cardiac procedures, at the facility’s state-of-the Cardiac Centre.

The one-week cardiac catheterisation mission, which took place from January 20 to 24, was sponsored by the United Kingdom-based charity, Chain of Hope.                                     

In an interview with JIS News, Paediatric Cardiologist at the hospital, Dr. Sharonne Forrester, explained the impact of the mission on the hospital’s operations.      “Having this mission assists us, because our local team works along with the visiting team, consisting of a cardiologist, radiographer, physiologist and nurses,” she said.                                                                                                         

“They pass on their knowledge, so it’s a continuous learning process for us. It helps us in improving our skills looking after our more complex patients,” Dr. Forrester added.

She pointed out that although there is a waiting list, the lab has been operational for just over a year and that missions have helped to get patients served in a timely manner.

“Since the opening of the lab, we have been having cardiac supporting missions almost every other month in the past year, and so this has helped us to whittle away at our list,” she informed.                                                                                                                                             Dr. Forrester noted that prior to the construction of the biplane cardiac catheterisation lab, patients had to be transported to the University Hospital of the West Indies.

She pointed out that having the lab on site makes it easier in terms of logistics as well as for the training of the local team.  


Dr. Forrester advised that all children are chosen from the cardiology clinic using input from the entire cardiac team.  

“That includes the cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. We discuss the management of all patients and what kind of intervention is necessary,” she explained.          She added that in the cardiac catheterisation lab, both diagnostic and interventional procedures are done.

“For the interventional procedures, we close small vessels or small holes that would otherwise have had to be done via surgery, so by using this method, we decrease hospital stay. They can go home the following day. They have shortened hospitalisation time and they are not left with a scar on the chest,” she noted.   

Dr. Forrester pointed out that when there is no overseas mission, members of the local team continue to do cases.

“Every week we do cases on our own, so the lab is still being used between missions, and this helps us to keep our skills going,” she said, adding that the missions assist the local team with sharpening their skills to continue the programme on their own.                           

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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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