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President Kovind Opens India-Jamaica Friendship Garden



#Jamaica, June 14, 2022 – The India-Jamaica Friendship Garden, which serves as a symbol of the long-standing relations between the two countries, was officially inaugurated on Monday (May 16) at the Hope Royal Botanical Gardens in St. Andrew.

The event was part of the four-day State visit to Jamaica by President of the Republic of India, His Excellency, the Hon. Ram Nath Kovind, and First Lady, Savita Kovind.

During the inauguration ceremony, the President and the First Lady were joined by wife of the Governor General, Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Allen, in unveiling a commemorative plaque at the entrance of the garden , the opening of a renovated gazebo, and planting of three Sandalwood trees, which are native to Southern India.

The creation of the India-Jamaica Friendship Garden was facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Indian High Commission in Jamaica and the Nature Preservation Foundation (NPF) in November 2021.

Its establishment is in keeping with the development plans for Hope Gardens and will primarily accommodate medicinal trees.

Among the guests at the Garden’s opening, were members of the Chandolu family, who sponsored the gazebo.

The family, which in 2014 relocated from India to Annotto Bay, St. Mary, where they operate a medical practice, renovated the structure under their Ashish Community Health Organization, a philanthropic body that was established in 2015.

Dr. Nagendra Babu Chandolu, who formed the charity with his brother, Dr. Nagamalleswara Rao Chandolu, told JIS News that the organisation provides support to persons in need of assistance.  He said the Indian High Commission had reached out and invited the organisation to participate in engagements to establish the Friendship Garden.

“We have come to Hope Gardens so many times and we enjoy this place. So, my brother and I thought that since we are benefiting from Hope Gardens, which is nice and pleasant, let us, as a family, contribute to the Friendship Garden, and we decided to just rebuild the gazebo,” Dr. Chandolu indicated, noting that the renovation was completed in just over a week.

He told JIS News his family is proud and honoured to participate in the project.

Among the other officials attending the opening of the garden were Minister of Education and Youth and Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Eastern where Hope Gardens is situated, Hon. Fayval Williams; Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., and State Minister, Hon. Franklyn Witter; Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (Environment), Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda; and India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Rungsung Masakui.

The visit to Jamaica by the Indian President and First Lady coincides with the celebration of Jamaica’s 60th year of Independence.


Contact: Douglas McIntosh

Release: JIS

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Bahamas News

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



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



#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, 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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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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