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JAMAICA: PAHO Member Countries Urged to Leverage ‘One Health’ Policy



#Jamaica, October 8, 2021 – Member countries of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) are being encouraged to leverage PAHO’s new ‘One Health’ Policy to reduce the risk of a new pandemic.

The policy, approved by regional ministers of health at PAHO’s recent Directing Council meeting, outlines a blueprint for countries to bring together experts and officials from varying sectors to address some of the most challenging issues, including zoonotic diseases, food safety, anti-microbial resistance, and climate change.

This coordination aims to improve the prevention and preparedness for future health threats arising from the interconnection between humans, animals, and the environment.

Speaking during PAHO’s weekly COVID-19 digital briefing on Wednesday (October 6), the entity’s Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne, said the policy comes against the background of emerging pathogens that have the potential for public health risk.  She noted that “almost all of these are either zoonotic, meaning they can transmit from animals to people, or [are] common to humans and animals”.

Dr. Etienne said that as climate change impacts ecosystems and people come into closer contact with animals via urbanisation and deforestation, the potential for a spillover of existing and emerging pathogens “is increasing”.

“We have seen that diseases that spill from animals to people can have severe impacts. The health sector plays a critical role in managing this risk; but it can’t do it alone. That’s why it’s crucial that pandemic plans and policies reflect the expertise and recommendations of public health, animal health and environmental sectors,” the Director noted.  She said that this is especially critical in the Americas, which has tropical zones “with high potential to harbour new diseases”.

In addition, she pointed out that with the economies of many member countries being heavily reliant on agricultural production and exportation, the threat of animal diseases has the potential to impact multiple industries and national development.

Dr. Etienne said the ‘One Health’ approach has long been a priority for PAHO, noting that it expands on a strategy developed by the entity in the late 1990s for strengthening surveillance of emerging infectious diseases, inclusive of human-animal interface.

She noted that the integrated surveillance approach under the policy leverages animal health institutes to monitor animal and human diseases, conduct joint risk assessments, and host workshops and training on issues like yellow fever.

“We need countries to ensure that animal, agricultural and environmental partners are brought to the table to build more robust surveillance systems that can detect risks faster, prioritise investments in research and development for high-risk pathogens, and establish pandemic responses that build on the strengths of these diverse areas of expertise,” the Director added.

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic causing loss of some US$4 trillion in global gross domestic product (GDP), to date, Dr. Etienne is urging countries, as they revisit their health budgets over the ensuring months, to rethink how they deliver healthcare and engage in global efforts to prevent the next pandemic.

“We [PAHO] want to urge everyone to build on this ‘One Health’ approach as the smartest, most cost-effective way to protect ourselves from the next crisis that can lead to a global pandemic.”


Release: JIS

Contact: Douglas McIntosh




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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.


Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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Caribbean News

Soca Boss honoured as Trinidad & Tobago marks 50 Years



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Trinidad&Tobago, October 1, 2022 – Machel Montano, the Soca Boss, was on Saturday, September 24, awarded the Hummingbird Gold National Award as Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its 46th anniversary of becoming a republic.

The Hummingbird medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field or acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.

Montano, who is celebrating 40 years in soca music, expressed his gratitude for the award in a statement on his social media pages.

The Soca Monarch expressed gratitude to his family, who he said have always supported him throughout his journey.

“I am humbled and wish to dedicate this honor to my family, my parents, Elizabeth and Winston Montano, who set me on this path and without whom I would not stand proud here in this moment. Their love, guidance and support throughout the years have absolutely been my foundation,” Montano said.

Adding that: “My brother Marcus for igniting my musical spark and always being there up to this day, someone I can call on anytime for any task. My wife, my children, in-laws, sister-in-law, nieces, aunts, cousins and loved ones who have all steered and cheered me on.”

He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to his musical family, friends and fans.

“Over my 40-year journey in music my family has grown into a Famalay…sprawling all over the globe, all my musical friends; writers, producers, musicians, managers, dancers, collaborators, creators, techs, teachers, assistants, dedicated staff, friends and FANS 🙌… everyone who has ever contributed to anything I’ve done, it’s always been fun and I thank you all,” he said.

Montano said he hopes his award will inspire other entertainers and encourage them to keep working hard and aspiring.

Congratulations to the Soca Monarch and Boss on this major milestone.

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