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Jamaica’s Capacity to Produce Medical-Grade Oxygen Gets Big Boost

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#Jamaica, March 18, 2022 – Jamaica’s ability to produce medical-grade oxygen has been further bolstered with the commissioning of IGL Limited’s pressure swing absorption (PSA) plant at Ferry, St. Catherine. The plant was developed at a cost of nearly $100 million.

The facility was formally commissioned into service by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, who represented Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony on Wednesday (March 16).

The plant’s development will boost IGL’s production capacity for oxygen by more than 40 per cent.

Its introduction will reduce the risk of supply disruptions previously occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection surges and serve to mitigate similar occurrences in the event of other high-demand situations.

The new plant complements the existing air separation unit that manufactures liquid oxygen and nitrogen, which was built in 2018.

This expansion now positions IGL to be an exporter of medical-grade oxygen, among other industrial gases, and a net earner of foreign exchange for Jamaica.

Senator Hill, who was the keynote speaker, lauded IGL’s management, led by Managing Director, Peter Graham, noting that “our health sector and economy will undoubtedly benefit from this investment”.

Senator Hill pointed out that prior to IGL making oxygen available, Jamaica relied on imports to supply the commodity, particularly to hospitals.

He posited that the full value of having the commodity available locally was amplified during the pandemic, “as the global supply diminished and many countries scrambled to fill the very heightened demand occasioned by the virus”.

“As our nation grappled with the coronavirus and oxygen was needed to save our lives… IGL stepped up. Your responsive leadership and dedicated service was noticed and appreciated by many, many Jamaicans… .  I would dare to say, all Jamaicans,” the Minister added.

Senator Hill, who noted oxygen supply challenges experienced during the course of the pandemic, pointed out that IGL, through “firm commitment and with a strong sense of service”, was able to address these “in a very timely manner”.

“Your quick and careful action went a long way to help control Jamaica’s mortality rate and reduce the stress occasioned by the pandemic. On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I extend sincere appreciation to you and your staff who have ensured that this critical commodity was delivered to our hospitals across the island,” he added.

Senator Hill reaffirmed the Industry Ministry’s commitment to assist local businesses to grow and expand their operations to supply domestic and export markets, while emphasising that “[now] is the time to invest… in Jamaica”.

Also attending the commissioning of the plant was Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz.

In his remarks, he said the occasion of the commissioning “should be marked with celebration”.

“This feat is not one to be taken lightly, especially in the face of the pandemic, which continues to cause significant strain on resources of many organisations,” he noted.

He emphasised that IGL’s development of the plant “speaks to sound vision and good leadership as well as a deep commitment to Jamaica and its people”.

In this regard, Mr. Vaz said IGL should be lauded for its effort, while describing Mr. Graham as a “true son of the Jamaican soil”.

Mr. Graham said IGL, in recognition of the importance of the entity’s products to Jamaica, proceeded with the programmed investment and expansion of its operations, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing the decision as “important and significant”.

He also hinted that the expansion forms part of IGL’s vision of building out a high-tech industrial park, featuring cutting-edge state-of-the-art technology that would form the nucleus of what he described as the ‘New Ferry’.

IGL’s Chairman, Bevon Francis, said the commissioning was a “historic occasion” for the entity, coming in its 60th year of service to Jamaica.

“This is all the more significant in the context of Jamaica’s celebration of 60 years of Independence,” he added.

Mr. Francis noted that over the past six decades, IGL has grown and, in the process, earned the “coveted reputation” as Jamaica’s leading distributor of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and primary manufacturer and distributor of industrial and medical gases.

He maintained that IGL is a manufacturer, distributor, and valuable member of the industrial sector, and employer of more than 438 team members, adding that ‘we have grown steadily over the years, and we are still in expansion mode”.

Among the guests was Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Anthony Hylton, who delivered brief remarks.

 

Contact: Douglas McIntosh

Release: JIS

 

 

 

 

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TCI Premier and Delegation visit NCI in Jamaica

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#Manchester, Jamaica, 14 August 2022 – The Honourable Charles Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and his delegation have arrived at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Central Jamaica.The Premier will give the address at the second commencement ceremony and will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Commerce Degree.  The Premier completed high school at West Indies College which is now NCU more than 50 years ago.  Premier Misick and his delegation are on a four day visit to Jamaica.The Office of the Premier and Public Policy will bring commencement live on its Facebook page at 2PM EST.The Premier’s delegation includes: First Lady, Mrs. Delthia Russell-Misick; Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services; Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service; Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service; Ms. Althea Been, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Immigration and Border Services; Mr. Miquel Swann, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Office of the Premier and Public Policy; Mr. Edwin Taylor, Commissioner of Labour; and Mr. Bentley Johnson Aide De Camp.

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Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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