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Assassinated: Haitian President Jovenel Moïse cut down by mercenaries in his prime

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#Haiti, July 8, 2021 – First Lady Matine Moise has survived the attack on her home which killed her husband, the 58th president of the Republic of Haiti, Jovenel Moise. 

In a story which is heartbreaking, horrifying, angering, confusing and still developing there are many questions including how the assailants managed to infiltrate the usually heavy security surrounding the president.  Security Forces are layers thick; placed in his neighbourhood, on the compound of his home and within the house.  Yet, around 1 a.m. on Wednesday the commandoes got into the private home and gunned down 53-year-old Moïse, his wife was also struck by bullets. 

Now, the first lady is airlifted to medical care in South Florida and prayers are launched in hopes she will pull through despite having sustained critical injuries. 

Weeping has been reported to Magnetic Media… those who loved the president are mortified by the news.

Others who know of the volatility of Haiti which has erupted several times in politically driven protests said it was hot on the ground, and his assassination is not a huge surprise. 

Haiti has in recent years, under the leadership of Moïse has seen controversial and unpopular decisions made.  Old friends like Venezuela, disappointed.  A relationship with China abandoned in favour of Taiwan. New strategies to end food dependency and boost agriculture drawing warnings from the Dominican Republic; allegedly exploitive contracts and policies ended, which have offended the ‘Boujwazee’ and the Church.

Moïse was seen as a maverick, who did what other country leaders had failed to do, but his political naiveté may have cost him his life. President Moïse was also seen as a dictator who refused to demit office and hold a general election as constitutionally mandated.  The confirmation of the assassination came early this morning from the interim PM of Haiti, Claude Joseph. 

Joseph locked down the country; closing sea and air ports.  He barricaded the capital Port Au Prince; not allowing motor vehicles in or out.  Many guess that it must be in an attempt to capture the killers and they were right.  The border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti was closed following the attack. 

Haiti now also facing a possible conundrum as it is unclear how the country proceeds in terms of national leadership.  The acting Prime Minister, because he is “acting” may not be able to assume the role of President. There is no parliament, because constitutionally it had to be dissolved since January 2020 and the Supreme Court Justice, in recent month died, reportedly after contracting the coronavirus. 

On Monday, before his murder, President Moïse announced that he had identified a medical doctor – Ariel Henry – to take on the role of Prime Minister of Haiti.  A move he justified as necessary to guide Haiti through the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Henry would have been the seventh prime minister in four years and would have taken over as Prime Minister of Haiti at the end of this week.

Our news organization was informed there is no such thing as a vice president in Haiti; a change Moïse had hoped to bring if re-elected along with other constitutional changes which had been promoted in a referendum. Some of those amendments were criticised for seeking to give too much power to the executive. An election was announced for September in Haiti. 

Prime Minister Joseph has informed media that he is in charge of Haiti now. 

As for video circulating where you can hear the order to “stand down”, it is legitimate and it is said dark blue trucks pulled into the compound, men posing as United States D.E.A. officers came in and they were the ones who gunned down Moïse. 

“Barbaric”, “cowardly”, “worrisome”, and “atrocious” are among the descriptions of the way Jovenel Moïse met his untimely demise, coming from leaders around the region and around the world.

Turks and Caicos Premier, Washington Misick said it is horrific and “My prayer is that the perpetrators are found and held accountable for their malicious actions and that peaceful resolve and good order can arise from such a horrible tragedy.”   

The murder of Moïse is particularly shocking because civilized countries of the world have come a long way from times when assassination is the way to make the point or win an argument.

From our media house (Magnetic Media) which has spent decades covering the people, places and plans of Haiti, we extend our deepest condolences.

See pages 21, 22 and 23 in our photo tribute to the slain President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse.

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 Medical Council of Jamaica Announces more CME hours for Doctors

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KINGSTON, September 19, 2023 (JIS) – Medical doctors will be required to complete two additional hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) specifically dedicated to mental health and wellness in order to renew their practising certificates come January 2024.

The Medical Council of Jamaica (MCJ) noted that this critical update forms part of its commitment to advancing the healthcare system and ensuring doctors are well-equipped to meet the prevailing mental health demands.

“This increase moves the total required CME hours from 20 to 22, enhancing doctors’ ability to address the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The decision to introduce these additional CME hours is driven by the Medical Council of Jamaica’s commitment to prioritise the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals,” the MCJ stated.

The Council reasoned that COVID-19 has highlighted the pressing need for mental health support, with healthcare workers facing unprecedented challenges, experiencing increased stress and witnessing the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on patients.

To support doctors in meeting the new CME requirement, MCJ Registrar, Professor Howard Spencer, shared that the Council will provide access to a range of accredited providers and resources offering relevant mental health and wellness courses.

“The Medical Council of Jamaica encourages all doctors to proactively engage in these additional CME hours well in advance of the renewal deadline in early 2024, to ensure a seamless continuation of their practice,” he emphasised.

The Council added that the focus on mental health and wellness will empower doctors with the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to patients experiencing challenges in this area.

Commenting on the new requirement, Consultant Psychiatrist and Public Health Specialist, Dr. Earl Wright, underscored that the additional CME hours are a win-win for doctors.

“It’s not only enhancing the doctors’ care of the patient but doctors need to take care of themselves also. This will help to prevent doctor burnout. Doctors are sometimes under severe stress for long periods of time. So enhancing the doctors’ ability to take care of themselves, they’re also enhancing their ability to take care of all their patients,” he remarked.

For more information about the new CME requirement, visit www.jamaicamedicalcouncil.org.

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Prime Minister Holness opens Maypen to Williamsfield Leg of Southern Coastal Highway

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#Kingston, September 19, 2023 – The May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (September 14).

The thoroughfare, which represents part A of the SCHIP, now significantly reduced travel time between the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and will offer a multitude of economic and social benefits to users.

Speaking during the segment’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister Holness hailed the development as “a step in improving the general quality of life for all Jamaicans”.

“[It is] a step in improving the productivity of all Jamaicans. You can easily measure the productivity gained of this road by the productivity lost in traffic, discomfort and the aggression it creates in driving on some of the other bad roads,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that some of the anticipated benefits of the new roadway include connecting workers to jobs, improving the response time of the security forces, and improving and lowering the cost for delivering agricultural outputs to market.

“In so many ways, building your infrastructure improves well-being,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister also announced that the highway’s usage will be at no cost to motorists until the end of the calendar year, on December 31, 2023. After this period, toll rates will be applied.

Mr. Holness further pointed out that the scope of work for the highway included a new four-lane bridge across the Rio Minho to increase the area’s resilience to weather events.

The project also features a two-year defects liability phase, the Prime Minister said, while noting that, “during this phase, the contractor will have to fix any project-related defects”.

The project was funded by a loan from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, with the contractors being China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

It was implemented by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

For his part, NROCC Managing Director, Stephen Edwards, described the highway’s opening as “a momentous occasion in infrastructure development in Jamaica”.

Dubbing the project as a “giant leap forward for the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and for all Jamaicans”, Mr. Edwards informed that the contract’s implementation commenced in 2019.

He detailed that the development features a 23-kilometre four-lane highway with adiamond interchange and Florida-T at May Pen, a separated interchange at Toll Gate, an interchange at Melrose, four bridges, 17 concrete box crossings, upgrading of approximately five kilometres of roadway along the Melrose Bypass to a four-lane dual carriageway, a police post at Toll Gate, safety fences, concrete median barriers, and the installation and expansion of fibre optics.

“We believe… we have delivered a modern highway that the people of Jamaica can be proud of,” Mr. Edwards added.

Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in his remarks, said the highway’s opening is “a pivotal junction in our nation’s transportation history”.

“This remarkable highway will undoubtedly reshape this side of the island and its network and elevate collective journeys towards progress. This occasion is also a testament to the dedication in providing safer roads and enhanced connectivity for all Jamaicans,” Mr. Vaz stated.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, also spoke highly of the road development.

He expressed that the new leg of the country’s highway network represents “more than just concrete, steel and asphalt”.

“It signifies development, connectivity, and the promise of a brighter future for all those who traverse the south coast of this country,” Mr. Warmington said.

He added that a well-planned, efficient transportation network is the backbone of any thriving nation, as it connects people, fosters economic growth and enhances the quality of life for citizens.

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Multi Pronged  Approach in St. Ann to Tackle Dengue

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Montego Bay September 19 (JIS) – The St. Ann Health Department has adopted a multipronged approach in the fight against dengue fever as the parish reports an increase in suspected cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

Addressing the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation on September 14, Medical Officer of Health for St. Ann, Dr. Tamika Henry, said although the country is not currently in outbreak mode, the parish is on high alert due to the endemic nature of dengue in Jamaica.

She explained that the multipronged strategy includes surveillance, case management, health education, human resource reinforcement, larvicidal and adulticidal activities, source reduction, external stakeholder engagement, and continuous monitoring and evaluation.

Active and passive surveillance methods are being employed to detect suspected cases early. This involves healthcare personnel actively searching for symptoms at hospitals and health centres, ensuring prompt intervention when necessary.

“We have a nurse that is stationed at the hospital; she’s our hospital active surveillance nurse. She goes from ward to ward, as well as in the outpatient department, accident and emergency, looking to see if there’s anybody who matches the case definition for dengue because, of course, we want to pick up things very early,” Dr. Henry said.

She noted that the health department has bolstered its human resources, employing 26 permanent vector control workers across its five health districts.

To manage the situation effectively, high-risk communities have been identified and targeted for intervention by workers, including larvicidal activities aimed at mosquito breeding sites.

Dr. Henry outlined that health education and promotion efforts are widespread, involving various public health nurses, public health inspectors and community health aides.

“We have public health nurses going out. Public health inspectors are in their zonal areas on a day-to-day basis; they, too, do health education. We have our Community Health Aides, who have been doing house-to-house visits, reminding persons about searching and destroying,” she said.

Dr. Henry noted that the Ministry of Education and Youth is also engaged, with dengue lesson plans being implemented in schools.

“One of our age groups of concern is five to 14. So, we engage with them [Ministry] and they have again rolled out their dengue lesson plan in the schools, and the children are doing their search-and-destroy activity during their activity session,” she added.

Since the start of 2023, St. Ann has received 17 notifications of suspected dengue cases. One case has been confirmed that involves a 13-year-old male who presented with fever, headache, eye pain, and nausea.

Dr. Henry disclosed that nearly half of these cases, approximately 48 per cent, match the case definition for dengue, a significant increase compared to 2022.

In 2022, the parish had 10 reported cases with only one being confirmed as dengue fever.

“More males are being reported than females in 2023, and we recognise that there are two particular age groups of concern – 5 to 14 age group, that is our primary school going up to our high school, as well as our 24 to 44 age group,” Dr. Henry shared.

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