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CARPHA Spotlights Digital Health at its First Hybrid Research Conference

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Kingston, Jamaica.  7 September 2022. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health has been used to transform, connect, and inform public health, with mobile apps used for contact tracing; online learning platforms for schools and universities normalised, and CARPHA, as well as a range of businesses implementing teleworking for employees.

Now, under the theme COVID-19 and Digital Health: Transforming, Connecting, Informing Public Health, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, will host a combined in-person and virtual event from 15 – 17 September 2022.  The three-day conference, which gives delegates a platform to network, share research and insights, will take place at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

“The focus of this year’s CARPHA conference is as timely as it is important; and aligns with the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Health & Wellness. Those priorities include the prevention and care management of non-communicable diseases – NCDs, which are a scourge on Jamaican and Caribbean society,” noted Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, speaking at the September 6th media launch for the conference.

“Our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the value of digitisation to health system resilience. What digitisation does is to create the enabling environment for safeguarding continuity of care to patients through the offer of collaborative care, cost control and population health management. At this year’s CARPHA conference, therefore, digitisation is being given the sort of attention it needs even as we provide the platform for learning and planning through knowledge and experience sharing, reflected in the array of research on offer from across the Region,” the Minister added.

Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. Joy St. John said: “This 66th CARPHA Annual Health Research Conference is the first hybrid conference in more than six decades. CARPHA is passionate about showcasing and encouraging the conduct of research in the Region. Over the three days, we have a chance to enjoy the research findings that will be presented by our very own researchers: students, young researchers, research stalwarts. The good thing about this conference is the perfect blend of youth and experience, which makes for an exciting glimpse of the Caribbean from a researcher’s perspective.”

A series of events, including Town Hall Meeting; a Regional Health Communications Meeting, Training in Monitoring and Evaluation; a Workshop on Data Analysis, Dissemination and Use; and meetings and training on vector-borne diseases will take place leading up to the conference. A meeting for Caribbean NCD, Nutrition, Mental Health Focal Points will also take place ahead of the conference.

Presentations will include rebuilding after COVID-19: role of technology and digital health; Digital Health: Impact on Children; the association of birth weight and body composition during Infancy in 1-year-old Jamaican children.

Exhibitors from the Caribbean and beyond are set to showcase their innovations, products and services to delegates.

Feature speakers are:

  • Loyce Pace, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr Joy St. John, Executive Director, CARPHA
  • C James Hospedales, Founder EarthMedic and EarthNurse
  • Dr Victor Blanchette, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Professor Seeromanie Harding, Professor of Social Epidemiology, King’s College, London

CARPHA will also honour health professionals who have served the Region and contributed tremendously to the advancement of Caribbean Public Health. This year’s awardees are Dr. Victor Blanchette and Professor Seeromanie Harding.

The Conference is the longest running health conference in the Caribbean and Latin America and attracts leading health professionals from across the globe. It attracts regional and international researchers, students and health professionals. Information about the Conference be found at http://conference.carpha.org/

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Caribbean News

Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.

The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.

After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.

The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.

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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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