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More than 130,000 Students Across the Caribbean to Benefit from Virtual Learning Platform

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CWCF provides Flow Study Program FREE for ALL students until June 15 in response to COVID-19

#Caribbean – April 2, 2020 — Over 130,000 kindergarten, primary and secondary school students across the Caribbean will benefit from the Flow Study program FREE of charge from now through June 15.  The Cable and Wireless Charitable Foundation (CWCF) in partnership with Flow and One on One Educational Services Limited joined forces to provide access to the comprehensive virtual education platform, which offers a wide array of educational content enabling students to continue their studies at home during the COVID-19 crisis.  Students in Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos will benefit from this initiative. 

The Flow Study program powered by One on One is available to all students across the Caribbean regardless of their network operator. Inge Smidts, CEO of C&W Communications, operator of the Flow brand, and Chairperson of the CWCF, said, “during these times of crisis we must join forces to ensure that our children, families and communities are supported. 

Given that parents are now faced with the reality of homeschooling their kids, we wanted to find a way to support them despite which network they subscribe to.”  Smidts added, “our primary concern is to ensure that students across the region continue to have access to the education they deserve and that there is minimal disruption to their learning.” 

In Turks and Caicos alone, over 7,000 students will be impacted by this initiative.

“Our students, like those from across the region, will be able to access user-friendly material to support their learning during and possibly beyond the curfew period. This initiative is a clear indication of Flow TCI and the CWCF’s partnership with the Ministry’s in our goal to create an environment where each learner can be successful. I express gratitude to the management and staff of Flow TCI and to the CWCF for coming alongside us during these extraordinary times,” stated Minister of Education, Youth, Culture & Library Services, Hon. Karen Malcolm.

Hon. Malcolm added: “Children in public and private schools will benefit from access to the e-learning platform without having to concern themselves about a costly data package. Students who are sharing devices at home will not be at a disadvantage because they can log on the platform at any time and continue with their learning tasks. The platform also represents a potential goldmine of digital instructional resources for teachers.”

Students age 5 to 18 will have access to the curriculum used in their schools.  Access is available via Flow Study e-Learning services through the Flow Study mobile apps (Android), https://flowstudy.co/registration and Flow EVO – Flow on Demand. 

The ability to continue with classes is even more critical for students who are preparing for CSEC and CAPE. For instruction on how to sign up click here.   Flow Study offers:

  • Over 500 video lessons spanning the CSEC curriculum
  • Access to digital courses for the K – 8 curriculum
  • Question bank and solutions with over 40,000 exam style questions and solutions for 35 subjects
  • 10 years of past paper solutions for over 17 subjects
  • Digital encyclopaedia with over 9,500 digital animations and simulations for four subject areas
  • Virtual science labs with more than 500 digital laboratory simulations for science subjects and skills gap testing for over 30 subjects.
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CEO of One on One, Ricardo Allen, commented on the partnership with the CWCF and Flow stating, “Education is a right and not a privilege.  This is an important and strategic partnership for One on One and we are happy that the CWCF has stepped up once again to provide the funds needed to ensure that our students can continue to have access to their education. This is a platform developed by some of the best Caribbean teachers for Caribbean nationals. Our platform has the capacity to facilitate all students to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere and from any device. It is in times like these that we are reminded of the importance of having choices for access to education and the value of e-learning.”

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

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

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#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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Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

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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: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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Bahamas News

World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

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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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