By Dana Malcolm
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 Consulate Opens in LA
#Bahamas#LosAngeles, February 19th, 2024 – The Bahamas Consulate General in Los Angeles, United States. officially opened on February 19th, 2024, by Prime Minister Philip Davis, reaffirming the commitment of the Government to protect all Bahamians as well as The Bahamas’ Economic interests and provide consular support for Bahamians on the West Coast of the United States. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
NBA’s Buddy Hield appointed as Ambassador
#BuddyHield#Bahamas, February 19th, 2024 – Accomplished Bahamian Basketball player Chavano Buddy Hield, has been appointed as Ambassador-at-Large for Sports and Cultural Achievement, by the Davis Administration. This is a major accomplishment recognizing, according to the Office of the Prime Minister, Hield’s outstanding journey from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama to the NBA as well as his commitment to inspire Bahamians. Prime Minister Philip Davis speaking at his Credential Presentation, expressed great appreciation to Hield. He said “Thank you for being a shining example of what it means to be truly great, both on and off the court. Congratulations Ambassador.”
UNDP appoints new Resident Representative for The Bahamas
[Nassau, 6 February 2024] – The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) newly appointed Resident Representative for The Bahamas, Kishan Khoday presented his credentials to Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusa Ali yesterday at the Ministry.
As Resident Representative assigned to the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Jamaica, Mr. Khoday also represents UNDP in The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Mr. Khoday, a Canadian national of Indian descent, is currently leading a team from the Kingston office on the first leg of an official mission to The Bahamas and Bermuda. While in Nassau, he will also meet with Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Vaughn Miller; Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Honourable Jomo Campbell as well as other officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Social Services and Community Development and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
In welcoming the new Resident Representative, Ms Ali lauded significant areas of ongoing cooperation with the UNDP including disaster resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation. She also outlined other key areas for potential collaboration related to digitization and data collection.
Mr. Khoday pledged continuing support for The Bahamas’ development aspirations anchored on an inclusive and sustainable approach that leaves no one behind. He lauded the significant partnership between UNDP and the Government on the nation’s disaster management, climate resilience, biodiversity and debt management agendas, as well as investments in community-based action through the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme and the India-funded Abaco Shelter project. He said that through the current Country Programme (CP)(2022-2026), UNDP offers a strategic approach to combating multidimensional poverty and advancing climate resilient, nature-based pathways, leveraging UNDP’s capacities in innovation, digitalization, and sustainable finance. “As we near the 50th anniversary of UNDP cooperation in The Bahamas, I look forward to building on our long-standing history and expanding cooperation in a way that builds resilience to multi-dimensional crises and advances results under the SDGs. This includes our partnerships for social inclusion and community empowerment; climate resilience and biodiversity, disaster management and sustainable finance,” he stated.
Mr. Khoday has served with UNDP for 25 years, having coordinated over USD $1 billion in country programming to help partners and communities around the world advance inclusive and sustainable development pathways. This included tours of duty with UNDP Country Offices in China, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia and with UNDP’s regional offices for the Middle East and North Africa based in Egypt and Jordan. Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Khoday worked with government and community organizations in his home countries of Canada and India on issues of poverty reduction, ecological resilience, and community empowerment.
Mr. Khoday is a scientist and lawyer, holding a Juris Doctorate specializing in constitutional, international, and environmental law; a Master of Science in natural resource management focused on land and water systems, and a Bachelor of Science in agriculture specializing in biodiversity and ecological change. The UNDP Resident Representative is a frequent speaker at international conferences and policy dialogues on the development agenda and a recognized thought leader on strategic issues such as climate change, ecosystem resilience, constitutionalism, postcolonial and decolonial theory, and resilience-based approaches to development, having published extensively on these and other issues.
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