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PAHO Declares Vaccination Week for the Americas

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

April 26, 2022 – Vaccination Week has officially begun in the region of the Americas spearheaded by the Pan American Health Organization The multi-national event will take place from April 23-30th and is in its 20th staging.

The history of Vaccination Week in the Americas dates to a 2002 proposal by the Ministers of Health of the Andean Region, following the last endemic measles outbreak in the Americas.

PAHO says the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of this disease in 2016. Not only are there high levels of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the Caribbean but the pandemic has pushed routine vaccinations in the region back 30 years.

Assistant director of PAHO Dr. Jarvis Barbosa explained weeks ago that in only 2 years the Americas have regressed three decades as vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio. Brazil especially has had several outbreaks of measles. The regression is due in large part to the COVID19 pandemic.

Twinned with Vaccination week will be the 11th World Immunization Week (WIW) under the call to action “Are you fully vaccinated? Get all your shots.”

This year countries and territories in the Americas plan to immunize some 140 million people ‘to accelerate vaccination against COVID-19 and closing coverage gaps against other vaccine-preventable diseases.’

PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Ettienne explained, “This Vaccination Week is an opportunity to improve vaccination rates against polio, measles, rubella, diphtheria, and other preventable diseases that have fallen in the last ten years, Vaccines work and in the last 20 years have prevented millions from getting sick, hospitalized and even dying. This is why it is vital that everyone has access,” she said.

PAHO says 806 million people have been vaccinated during annual vaccination weeks since its inception in 2002.

Bahamas News

Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.

This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre.  Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.

It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”

Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.

The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.

As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.

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Bahamas News

Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.

Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.

“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.

Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.

“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.

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Bahamas News

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried admitted he’d screwed up

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – An interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman- Fried on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit revealed that there were no risk management teams or form of corporate control to help govern the organisation.

Bankman-Fried resigned from his position in November following a liquidity crisis that resulted in the loss of billions in customer funds.

The CEO said he was shocked by what had taken place.  While he had made loans to his hedge fund Alameda, Bank-Fried said he did not intentionally commingle the funds.

Bankman-Fried acknowledged that he had a responsibility to the company and all its customers but he “screwed up.” “There was no person who was chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers on FTX, and that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect,” he shared.

The investigation is ongoing and it still needs to be clarified whether customers will be able to regain any funds.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Howard Fischer said that Bankman-Fried’s comments are being scrutinised.  “Everything he says that turns out to be contradicted by admissible evidence will be taken as evidence of deceit.”

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