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Lenny Kravitz donates $100,000 in Food Vouchers to Bahamas

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#NASSAU, The Bahamas – June 24, 2020 –Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, commended Rock Legend Lenny Kravitz for Mr. Kravitz’s recent donation of $100,000 worth of food vouchers. The Department of Social Services, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, was tasked with distributing the food vouchers.

Minister Campbell said it was his hope that the donation would inspire others “with the means to do so”– within The Bahamas and the wider Bahamian Diaspora around the globe — to follow suit.

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An award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and actor, Mr. Kravitz made an initial donation of $50,000 in food vouchers to be distributed among persons in need in New Providence and Grand Bahama. The donation was made through Mr. Kravitz’s Let Love Rule Foundation.

Ms. Kim Sawyer, Deputy Director, Department of Social Services, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, spearheaded oversight of the distribution process. Ms. Sawyer said officials focused on the most vulnerable populations — the elderly, persons from the community of persons with disabilities and persons with chronic, non-communicable illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease – as they require special diets.

Consultations were done in collaboration with the Senior Citizens Division, Disability Affairs Division, Community Support Services Division, Health Social Services and the Urban Renewal Commission, the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. Officials also consulted with counterparts at the Cancer Society.

Requests from certain groups operating Soup Kitchens that, because of the Emergency Orders relative to Curfews and Lock Downs could not operate in their usual manner, were also facilitated.

The Rock Legend made a second donation of $50,000 in food vouchers to be equally distributed between “persons in need” in New Providence and those in his “beloved” Eleuthera.

“The Bahamas is proud of Lenny’s many accomplishments, but we are even more proud of the fact that with all that he has accomplished, he has not forgotten his origin; that he still takes time out to champion causes in The Bahamas; that he still takes time out to ensure that our tourism product gets the attention that is necessary to cause our numbers to increase,” Minister Campbell said.

“But that is not enough for him. He helps not just with his talents, but also with his time and treasure and that deserves our appreciation. It is our hope that this would inspire persons at home who are able to, and others in the Diaspora around the globe, to come back home, to look back home, to send back home any sort of assistance that will lighten the burden on some, and that will inspire others to be the best that they can be.”

Minister Campbell said another fascinating aspect of Mr. Kravitz’s “amazing philanthropy” was the fact that the Rock Legend was hesitant about receiving publicity surrounding the multiple donations.

“As a matter of fact, we had to almost force him to allow us to thank him publicly because he did not want to receive any kind of public accolades, but the Bahamian people needed to know that he is helping in more ways than one. On behalf of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, on behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas, on behalf of all of the persons that would have directly benefited from the donation, we wish to applaud his generosity,” Minister Campbell added.

Mr. Kravitz has officially served as the Ministry of Tourism’s Brand Ambassador since 2019, creatively collaborating and starring in The Ministry’s ‘Fly Away’, ‘Still Rockin’ and ‘From The Bahamas With Love’ campaigns. Tourism officials say his contributions to these campaigns have helped reveal the authentic spirit of The Bahamas as a destination of adventure and discovery. Both campaigns were well received globally.

The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation assisted with the coordination and logistics of the exercise. A statement issued by the Ministry said: “Mr. Kravitz is a true philanthropist and most of his charitable initiatives go unrecognized. He has been there for The Bahamas in our darkest hour. Lenny used star power to bring awareness of the dire situation in Grand Bahama and The Abacos immediately following Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.

“In addition, for many years through his Let Love Rule Foundation and the GLO Good Foundation, Lenny carried out a marathon dental service mission in the community of Gregory Town, Eleuthera, providing oral health care, education and tools to adults and children in need in order to provide the gift of a healthy smile.

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“The Ministry of Tourism was delighted to assist in coordinating the logistics of this exercise which resulted in the Ministry simply handing over the vouchers to the Department of Social Services to carry out their critical work at this time.”

Deputy Director Sawyer said individuals and families benefited from the Kravitz donation “to be as fair and equitable as possible.” She too applauded Mr. Kravitz and his Foundation for their support, adding that the fall-out from the COVID-19 Pandemic has created new scenarios for both regular and new clients.

“It was a big help,” Ms. Sawyer said. “The three basic needs of mankind are: food, shelter and clothing, but food is the priority particularly when you have children or you have medical challenges and have to be placed a special diet. This donation, along with the assistance we were providing, allowed us to continue to address the immediate needs of those persons in need.”

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.

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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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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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RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 

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#TheBahamas, October 13, 2021 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force congratulates Commodore Retired Leon Livingstone Smith, who was a recipient of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021. 

During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.

Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.

Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.

Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.

 

Header:  Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)

 

(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 

-rbdf- 

#GuardOurHeritage 

#MarlinSpike 

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