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CARPHA is the New Chair for the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)

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March 22, 2021 – In 2019 CARPHA became an active member of the international network for the GHSA Action Package for Biosafety and Biosecurity (Action Package Prevent 3).  On request of the previous Chair – Portugal, CARPHA assumed responsibilities as the Chair of the GHSA APP3 for the period October 2020 to September 2021. The agency is the only participating organisation to assume this status.

According to Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director, “CARPHA as the Secretariat of the Regional Mechanism on Health Security (RCM-HS) is driving regional multi-sectoral coordination to prepare, detect and respond to public health threats. So, this opportunity as the Chair has seen CARPHA connecting to the Global Health Security Agenda and supporting Member States in improving their national capacities across the various IHR requirements including Biosafety and Biosecurity; and National Laboratory Systems.  Biosafety and Biosecurity is considered a pillar for regional health security in the Caribbean and our new role as Chair of this global network allows us to share our experiences and advocate for sustainable systems which are appropriate to the regional and national communities we serve.”

During this period, CARPHA represented by Ms. Sacha Wallace-Sankarsingh, Biorisk Manager will work with over 150 professionals from thirty countries and international organisations to take collective action to improve biosafety and biosecurity indicators and achieve the target set by the GHSA 2024 framework.

As Chair, CARPHA will advance global biosafety and biosecurity initiatives in countries who have committed to improve their Joint External Evaluation (JEE) scores and support international and regional activities which accelerate the translation of these commitments to national actions that result in measurable improvements in biosecurity and biosafety capacity.

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CUBAN MIGRANTS DETAINED ALONG EXUMA CHAIN

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Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence.  All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.

(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at www.rbdf.gov.bs. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).

RBDF

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CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe

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#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.

Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.

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Beloved Bahamian Obie Wilchcombe dies; shocking, heartbreaking loss for The Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#TheBahamas, September 26, 2023 – The Bahamas’ Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe made headlines in a completely unexpected way on Monday September 25; the veteran broadcaster and long-time politician, who passed away suddenly in his home island, Grand Bahama.

Reports to our newsroom were that Wilchcombe was found unresponsive and rushed to the Rand Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Reports say the Minister passed due to heart failure at 64 years old.

The Office of the Prime Minister informed the prime minister would immediately travel to Freeport, Grand Bahama to be with loved ones of his Cabinet colleague.

The office offered this:  Expressing condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and colleagues of Minister Wilchcombe, a true patriot, visionary leader and his cherished friend, the nation’s leader, in his official statement, said he was doing so with the heaviest of hearts.

“Obie’s untimely passing is very shocking and very sad. Even though he has achieved much in his many years of public service, he still had so much more to offer,” Prime Minister Davis said.

The Minister, affectionately called Obie Wilchcombe, was a fierce Member of Parliament  who has been serving in politics for about 28 years, starting in 1994, according to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

Not only did he serve as Senator and Cabinet Minister, but he was also the former Minister of Tourism and a National Chairman of the PLP.

“Our party is reeling this morning,” said Minister Fred Mitchell, current PLP National Chairman in a statement, “The party joins in those expressions.  We have a deep sense of loss from one we have known over the decades of public life.

On behalf of the PLP, our leader and the entire team, supporters and friends, we can extend condolences to his family.”

Former prime minister and PLP party leader, Rt Hon Perry Christie said, “Obie served with distinction as Minister of Tourism.  He was a dedicated servant of the people and a chief steward of our nation’s number one industry for some ten years.  Any student of the tourism industry for the period of Obie’s ministerial tenure will be left in no doubt as to the magnitude and importance of his numerous accomplishments in relation to the growth and development of Bahamian tourism.”

In fact, as Tourism Minister, his notable accomplishments, according to party leader and prime minister, Davis included the introduction of sports tourism and the creation of a policy which helped to cement The Bahamas as an ideal film destination; two of the top three films of 2006 were shot in The Bahamas.

Additionally, the late Minister was a sportsman.

Wilchcombe served as former President of the Grand Bahama Basketball Association and the Commonwealth American Football League (CAFL).

His career in journalism is legendary.  Having worked with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas as a reporter, anchorman and eventually taking on leadership roles including Deputy General Manager.  At the time of his death, Minister Wilchcombe was holder of the Information and Broadcast portfolios of the Davis Administration.

“This is a very sad occasion for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as you’d be aware one of our Frontline soldiers who would have labored very long in the public service Vineyard had passed, we learned early this morning the Honorable Obie Wilchcombe  passed away the free national movement wishes is to extend condolences to his immediate and extended family and to members of the Progressive Liberal Party and to members of the journalism fraternity, having lost someone who has played an integral role in the development of this country,” said Michael Pintard, fellow Grand Bahamian and Leader of the Official Opposition, Free National Movement.

From the region, there is also reflection and condolences. From the Caribbean Tourism Organization:  The CTO deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

“The Premier and Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands sends its condolences to the family, friends, government, and people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on the sudden passing of the late Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, MP.

May his soul rest in peace,” said Hon Washington Misick, TCI Premier.

The death of Minister Obediah Wilchcombe is the first; a cabinet minister dying while still in office has no place in recent memory for many.  It will mean a by-election for The Bahamas and a mournful experience when parliament reopens on October 4; Hon Wilchcombe with his vast experience and eloquence was also the Government Leader of Business in the House of Assembly, which is currently prorogued.

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