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PHA receives a $150k PPE donation from the State of Qatar



PRESS RELEASE (February 13, 2021): The State of Qatar making a significant donation to the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas yesterday. The donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000.00) was tagged as a demonstration of the Qatar Government’s deep appreciation for those who serve on the front lines of the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic, and its commitment to provide assistance to those in need.

Qatar Donation Presentation 2021

Highlighting the long-held belief that success in the fight against COVID-19 rests with recognizing that human capital is the greatest resource we have, His Excellency Tony S. Joudi, Bahamas Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and The State of Qatar said, “This pandemic has really brought people closer to one another, it requires social distancing, but really it has brought people closer to one another.  One country is asking for help from another country and another country is providing this help, so we are grateful to the State of Qatar and to the Emir himself who has shown great interest in the state of the country and has had his nephew visit the Bahamas to show solidarity with the country (The Bahamas).”

The PPE supplies which were purchased from Bahamian medical supplies vendor, Ports International, will be distributed to frontline health workers across the public health system. Ambassador Joudi publicly expressed thanks to Permanent Secretary Carl Smith of the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, for his efforts to source the PPE supplies locally, as investing in Bahamian companies was a priority for the Government of Qatar.  

Joudi summarized the donation by saying, “ So we are here today in this PHA warehouse and we are looking at this product that came imported from the US, via, a Bahamian company, Ports International; and we were able to get the donation via the State of Qatar through their Embassy in Cuba.”

Qatar Donation Presentation 2021

PS Smith noted that the donation resulted from a collaboration between the Ministry of

Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its partner the Public Hospitals Authority through the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). He recalled, “Ambassador Joudi reached out to me and asked how we could assist the State of Qatar’s desire to reach out and assist the Bahamas.  I collaborated with Ministry of Health officials to say that the State of Qatar had this offer and how they would like this offer to be expended, because they had provided $150,000.” 

Officially receiving the supplies on behalf of the PHA was Deputy Director of the Supplies Management Agency, Audley Bain who expressed appreciation on behalf of the Public Hospitals Authority,  “This product that we have received from the State of Qatar, it is top quality, so we are really grateful to the people of Qatar, and this is just a great day for us.  As we continue to fight the pandemic, these items will go a long way in helping us to do what we need to do.  We know 3M, it is great product, it has been around for years, so we say thank you, thank you, thank you.”

The Supplies Management Agency (SMA) of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) took possession of the PPE at the PHA’s warehouse on Bacardi Road on Wednesday,  February 10th during a very brief handover ceremony. 

Photo Caption:

Header: L-R: Ms. Judy Terrell -Director of Communications, Public Hospitals Authority; Mr. Carl Smith – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction; His Excellency Tony S. Joudi – Bahamas Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates & The State of Qatar;  Mr. Audley Bain – Deputy Director Supplies Management Agency, Public Hospitals Authority;  Mr. Ivan Thompson – Senior Executive Officer attached to the Protocol Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Release: PHA


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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY



#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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Bahamas News

Back to the Bush, Traditional Remedies make a Come-back



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer



You may know it as the Wild Hyssop; American blue verbena, mosquito plant, holy herb or simpler’s joy. You may even know it because of its rich purple colour or its tiny and delicate leaves and five-petaled blossoms. But what you really need to know is that Vervain has several healing properties; it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

Among its purported benefits, vervain is used to treat headaches, other aches and pain, insomnia, digestive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and upper respiratory tract infections.

This means it’s perfect for the time we live in now as the coronavirus infamously attacks respiratory systems.



Neem – the tree for solving global problems grows “almost anywhere” in the lowland tropics.

So, if you don’t already have the broad-leaved evergreens in your backyard, it’s not too late to start growing it.

Every part of the Neem tree is beneficial: the bark, leaves, seed, fruit, and twigs. It has over 130 biologically active compounds that can keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

Yes, it is bitter and has a garlic, nutty aroma but that is a sign that it is good for your body but not so good if you are trying to become pregnant, according to experts on the plant.

Neem is “A” class, which means it is antiviral (inhibits the growth of viruses), antifungal (inhibits the growth of fungi), antibacterial (destroys the growth of bacteria), analgesic (provides pain relief), anti-inflammatory (reduces certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness), antimicrobial (destroys the growth of microorganisms) and it is age-defying.



As everyone is in survival mode, Moringa, the survival food, which contains all the nutritional elements may be just what you need.

moringa leaf and powder capsule on a wooden background

Moringa has protein, calcium, eight of the nine essential amino acids, iron, Vitamin C and A minerals and more. The best part is that all parts of the Moringa plant have their unique health properties and you have different ways to use the plant.

Moringa leaves can be dried and grounded in powder form or as supplements. You can also use it to make an essential oil as well as a delicious drink from fresh leaves.

To improve both health, cure digestive disorders, protect your heart and cardiovascular system, reduce blood sugar levels, boost energy levels and immunity, try Moringa.



“Go home Elena, go home Elena, go boil Cerasee fi yuh belly” – This Caribbean folk song was loved more than the plant itself. But if your grandmother could not convince you enough, COVID-19 is here to remind you that your body needs to remain healthy and Cerasee can add to your body that renewed look and feel. The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the bitter melon plant have medicinal properties and are used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world. The herb is a natural detoxifier, containing vitamins A and C, as well as phosphorus and iron.

It is mostly used to make a hot beverage to calm symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, liver problems, fever, and constipation.



Miracles still happen and if you do not believe, have a nice warm tea or a cool blended drink made from the Leaf of Life. You can also enjoy the raw plant. The tall, erect, succulent perennial herb is native to Madagascar and has become naturalised in tropical and subtropical areas.

It is used as a herbal remedy to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, shortness of breath and bronchitis. The Life plant has several health and beauty benefits and the good news is, you can even have it as a houseplant.



Aloe for the hair, aloe for the skin, and aloe is also for the immune system.

The Aloe Vera plant is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, just what you need now to strengthen your body and build resistance against harmful bacteria and viruses. Along with being used in cosmetics, the thick, short-stemmed plant has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity and helps improve blood sugar management, so if you are diabetic, it is good to add Aloe Vera to your medicinal list.



A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, another booster for your immune system.

Papaya trees are almost everywhere on the island, so you have no excuses. Moreover, the nutrition filled fruit is not only a healthy choice, it’s a tasty one too.

Add papaya to your fruit salad, scoop the raw fruit with a spoon, blend the seeds into a creamy salad dressing and don’t forget to add the green fruit to your meat pot.

As you enjoy the juiciness and freshness of the fruit, it will help your body to reduce stress, prevent cholesterol build-up, arthritis, and ageing.  The leaves are also proven to be helpful in preventing cancer.

Papaya is also one of nature’s natural contraceptives, they say.



This tall grass-like herb has a fresh, clean, lemony scent.

Lemongrass or Fever grass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

It contains substances that can relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and it has antioxidant properties.

A hot cup of lemongrass tea every morning can significantly improve your health.

Also, the leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. So what better way to enjoy the benefits of this herb than to grab it fresh from your backyard and enjoy the pure scent and the soothing taste?


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