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New Director of PAHO Sworn In



#Kingston, Jamaica, February 6, 2023 – Director-designate of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., was sworn into office on Tuesday (January 31), during a ceremony in the United States (US) capital, Washington DC.

He succeeds Dr. Carissa Etienne, under whose tenure he served as Assistant Director, and will commence his five-year term on Wednesday (February 1).

Dr. Etienne, a native of Dominica, demitted office after serving two five-year terms at the helm of PAHO, beginning 2012.

Dr. Barbosa, a Brazilian, was elected by delegates of PAHO Member States that participated in the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference in Washington, last September.

He topped the field of five candidates, who included nominees from Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Uruguay.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, and Conference Vice President, Hon. Molwyn Joseph, presided over the ceremony, which was held at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters.

PAHO serves as the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas. Consequently, Dr. Barbosa has been appointed WHO Regional Director.

In his inaugural speech, Dr. Barbosa outlined five strategic pillars that he will be focusing on during his tenure.

These, he informed, were a commitment to help PAHO Member States end the COVID-19 pandemic in the Americas with the best tools available, particularly surveillance and vaccines; spearheading the application of lessons learnt from the pandemic to address the region’s vulnerabilities and better prepare countries to face new threats as they emerge; ensure timely and equitable access to health innovations for all countries; build resilient national health systems based on renewed and strengthened primary healthcare, and strengthening PAHO’s capacity to support Member States.

Dr. Barbosa expressed gratitude to Dr. Etienne, describing her as “my friend and mentor”, for allowing him to serve as her Assistant Director.   He noted that despite their coming from “countries that seem so different”, he was “always amazed at how similar our perspectives and approaches are”, adding that “I believe this is because, at heart, we are both guided by our commitment”.

Dr. Barbosa said he was “proud and excited” to be leading PAHO, pointing out that he was grateful to the Member States reposing confidence in him.

“I commit to serving PAHO to the best of my ability, guided by the knowledge and experience I have accumulated during my years working in public health,” he said.

Dr. Etienne, in her remarks, described Dr. Barbosa as an exceptional technical and scientific leader, with strong competencies in epidemiology, medicine, and public health.

She noted that these attributes were “substantially and solidly” displayed in his contributions to his country, PAHO, WHO and the global health community.

The outgoing Director said her successor has “excellent listening skills, a characteristic that is so critical for effective leadership”.

“As I demit this office and hand the steering wheel over to my esteemed friend and colleague [Dr. Barbosa], I am confident that the future of the organisation will be in good hands,” she stated.

This, Dr. Etienne added, “as you will bring to your new role, exceptional expertise [and] astute policymaking skills, together with pragmatism and wisdom drawn from your many years of experience gained in your home country, Brazil, as well as internationally”.

She also expressed gratitude to the Member States for affording her the “honour and privilege” to serve as PAHO Director and for their active support throughout the past 10 years of her tenure.

“I must [also] convey my sincerest thanks and appreciation to all PAHO personnel, past and present, for their unstinting dedication and persistent commitment to the mission of this organisation. Thanks also to the many donors and collaborators who believed in our mission – the Mission of PAHO – and stood by us,” Dr. Etienne said.

Several prominent local, regional, and global figures delivered congratulatory messages to Dr. Barbosa on his appointment.

Among them were Brazil’s newly elected President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Minister of Health, Hon. Nísia Trinidade Lima; United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra; WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; OAS Secretary General, Luia Almargo and PAHO Directors Emeritus – Carlyle de Macedo, Sir George Alleyene, and Mirta Roses.


Contact: Douglas McIntosh

Release: JIS

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Bahamas News

CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence



Rashaed Esson


Staff Writer 


“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.


She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.


Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.


“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.


“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”


The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.


She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.


For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average. 


In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.”  Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.


Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”

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Bahamas News

Bahamasair Introduces New Flight Service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Georgetown, Exuma



#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Bahamasair celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday November 15, 2023, with the launch of its new direct service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Georgetown, Exuma. The new route enhances accessibility and convenience for Bahamian residents and travelers seeking direct access to the Exuma Islands.

The inaugural flight carried approximately 50 passengers. The new service, which will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, allows Bahamian locals to explore mainland Florida, while at the same time, providing travelers direct access to Exuma without the need for a stopover in Nassau.

During a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair, was delighted with the new service. He highlighted that the decision to add the flight to the Airline’s roster was a direct response to the public’s demand. He added that the move signified Bahamasair’s commitment to delivering a quality product.

“Today, we are thrilled to inaugurate our first flight between Georgetown and Fort Lauderdale, marking a significant milestone in expanding our reach and enhancing connectivity,” Mr. Cooper said. “Next year, we are looking to acquire more airplanes, leading to increased rotations and even more accessibility.”

For the route, ATR aircraft will travel between the Georgetown International Airport and Terminal 1 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with an estimated flight time of approximately 90 minutes.

Lamar Fisher, Broward County Mayor, emphasized the significant impact of Bahamasair not only on the airport, but also on the county. The mayor pointed out that The Bahamas currently ranks as the 5th largest international market for FLL. He highlighted the strong cultural, historical, and business ties between South Florida and The Bahamas, expressing optimism that the new route to Georgetown would strengthen the connections.

“We welcome the Georgetown route,” said Mayor Fisher “We look forward to the tourism, business and trade benefits to come, connecting Broward County to another island in The Bahamas.”

Highlighting the significance of this milestone, Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Director of Aviation at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, characterized the launch as historic. He conveyed his enthusiasm as The Bahamas reached another major achievement, having welcomed approximately 7.9 million visitors in the first nine months of 2023.

Dr. Romer underscored the government’s strategic vision to boost overall arrival numbers.

“This milestone is particularly noteworthy because, despite the ongoing efforts of our longstanding partner airlines to bring people to The Islands of The Bahamas, I am delighted that our national airline, Bahamasair, has left its mark and etched history,” he said. “We are highly pleased with Bahamasair’s initiatives; they consistently make us proud. Their exploration of new routes has our full government support.”

According to Dr. Romer, the new route not only adds value to the airline’s route network but is also valuable to Exuma’s economy.

“This inaugural has significant economic value and benefit because each person who comes into Exuma on a plane contributes 28 times more than a cruise arrival,” said Dr. Romer. “So, when we look at Bahamasair adding additional seat capacity to Exuma, that translates in a tangible way to heads in beds and money into the economy of Exuma.”

Georgetown, Exuma serves as the gateway to an unparalleled Bahamian experience, with access to pristine beaches, ranked among the world’s best. Exuma is also home to the world-famous swimming pigs. Exuma and its neighboring island to the South – Long Island – will both benefit from the new route. Over the past 26 years, Bahamasair has provided transportation to FLL. During that period, the Airline has conducted over 65,000 flights and transported more than 4 million passengers.

With Georgetown, Exuma added to its schedule, the Airline now offers seven (7) daily flights to Fort Lauderdale to and from other Bahamian Family Islands: Nassau and Freeport, Grand Bahama.

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Bahamas News

Stolen Money likely circulating in The Bahamas 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Some Bahamians could unknowingly be using stolen money from the bank after one reported being robbed of the cash.

According to a press release from the Central Bank of The Bahamas eary this month, a commercial bank informed them that it was violated by an armored car robbery and bundles of money were stolen.

It said the stolen funds include bundles of Series 2022 $10, Series 2018 $20, Series 2006 and 2019 $50 and Series 2009 and 2021 $100 banknotes.

The Central Bank urged that these banknotes could be in circulation.

In making sure the public knows as much as possible about the stolen money, the Central Bank released information and images on the banknotes. This includes serial number details.

Additionally, the complete list of serial numbers has been provided to authorities and commercial banks where possible, the release said.

The 2018 series 20 dollar notes have a serial number range of N760001 to N765000. All the others have non-sequential numbers.

People are urged to contact the Commercial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Royal Bahamas Police Force, at (242) 322-4191 or (242) 501-9991/2, if they have the banknotes or suspect any suspicious activity related to the notes.

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