KINGSTON, September 15 (JIS):With an almost five-fold increase in suspected and confirmed cases of dengue fever, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has ramped up measures to prevent an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, in his address at a press conference on Wednesday (September 13) at his New Kingston offices, reported that as of Monday (September 11), there were 316 suspected, presumed and confirmed dengue cases.
“For us, it represents a concern… clearly not a panic, but a concern because it is almost a five-fold increase when compared to the corresponding period in 2022 where 65 cases were reported,” the Minister said.
He noted that a total of 39 positive cases have been identified. Of these cases, 38 were identified as dengue serotype two and one as dengue serotype four. Type two has not predominated in the population since 2010, the Minister pointed out.
“The significance of this is it heightens the risk of a possible outbreak,” he said.All parishes have had dengue reported, and confirmed cases were detected in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Westmoreland, Portland and St. Ann. Currently, parts of St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine have the highest dengue activities.
Of the 39 confirmed cases of dengue, a total of 20 are among persons in the five to14 age group.
“And so, part of the call from the Ministry of Health and Wellness is to encourage parents to treat children who have a fever with paracetamol and to avoid aspirin and aspirin-like medications such as ibuprofen,” the Minister advised.
Noting that the last dengue outbreak was in 2019, Dr. Tufton called on Jamaicans to effect the “traditional response” which is to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites in their immediate surroundings.
Furthermore, Dr. Tufton informed that the Ministry has enhanced its vector controlprogramme, and additional funding of $200 million has been provided by the National Health Fund (NHF) to support activities like drain-cleaning in areas where the vector index is highest.
He said there will also be an allocation to municipal authorities through the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.
“We also commenced inspections in schools in the summer holidays leading up to the reopening of classes. This is expected to continue through to the end of this month along with national stakeholder meetings for external partners and collaborators,” Dr. Tufton added.
Furthermore, he noted that approximately 500 temporary vector control workers have been engaged since the enhanced programme commenced and there are approximately 60 vector vehicles available across the country to facilitate intensified activities.
There is adequate stock of insecticides in case of an outbreak and replacement supplies are being procured. In addition, fogging has intensified, with activities extended to seven days per week. Officers are now being asked to work on Saturdays and Sundays to revisit areas that are not accessible during the week owing to the absence of homeowners.
“The fogging is a big part of the response, but I will emphasise that fogging only takes care of the situation in a temporary way if breeding sites continue to exist, which is why we have to look for, search and destroy these breeding sites,” the Minister said.
Persons are again being asked to call their respective parish health departments to request fogging in their areas, as necessary.
USA Caribbean Investment Forum: Partnering for Sustained Development in the Caribbean 2023 Event Recap
The USA Caribbean Investment Forum took place over two days last week at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square. The event, hosted by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) in partnership with representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps (namely, the Consulates General of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda), brought together government officials, investment promotion agencies, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from the Caribbean diaspora to connect, engage in thoughtful discussions, and explore investment opportunities throughout the Caribbean.
Fostering International Collaboration
The event featured distinguished speakers and representatives from both the US and Caribbean governments. Consuls General Mr. Mackie Holder (Barbados), Mr. Jerome Andre Laveau (Trinidad & Tobago), and Mr. Rondy McIntosh (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) along with Jeanette Moy, Commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services, Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs, and Molly Bauer, Industry Development Associate from the NY Governor’s Office, shed light on the initiatives that New York City, which is home to so many Caribbean Diaspora, is implementing to support economic collaboration between the regions.
Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands, and Chair of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands delivered insights via keynote speeches and held candid discussions during panel and Q&A sessions. The event served as a unique opportunity to communicate in an open and honest forum with two esteemed leaders from the Caribbean about investing in the region.
Promoting Investment Opportunities
CAIPA welcomed representatives from Invest Barbados, Invest Dominica, Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), InvesTT (Trinidad and Tobago), Invest Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), Invest St. Lucia, Invest St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), and the Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transport and Telecommunications, to discuss various opportunities for investment in their respective countries and how their agencies support and facilitate potential investors.
Private sector companies including the St. James School of Medicine, Century21 Guyana, Ethniv, and Homestrings joined the forum to discuss their current active projects in the Caribbean. They detailed how they’ve worked with local governments and institutions to successfully launch and operate their businesses in the Caribbean, along with the potential opportunities for continued growth.
Understanding How Caribbean Financial Institutions Facilitate Investment
The Forum brought together key representatives from Caribbean financial and economic development institutions: IDB Lab (Ms. Magdalena Coronel, Chief Investment Officer), the National Commercial Bank Jamaica LTD (Mr. Jeffrey Brown, Head, Loans Structuring and Syndications), USAID (Mr. Mervyn Farroe, USAID representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean), and the Caribbean Development Bank (Ms. Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist) to detail how these organizations facilitate and support private investment in the Caribbean.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet directly with CAIPA member countries during business meetings. These one-on-one conversations were valuable opportunities to speak directly with key stakeholders in order to advance projects and forge direct relationships.
The inaugural USA Caribbean Investment Forum was a great success due to the collaboration and engagement from individuals representing a wide range of sectors, organizations, and countries – all united under the goal of driving economic growth in the Caribbean and taking advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the region. https://www.investincaribbean.org/news-center/sign-up-for-our-newsletter to sign up for our newsletter.CAIPA and the representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps are proud to have facilitated these conversations and supported deepening of relationships with key stakeholders throughout the US and the Caribbean. We look forward to our next event, which will be held on 6-8 March in Miami (Caribbean Logistics Investment Conference 2024) – focused on attracting investments into logistics and transportation by sea and air as well as e-commerce logistics and industrial logistics parks throughout the Caribbean. Stay tuned for more details! If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the CAIPA mailing list, please visit:
Early-Childhood Institutions in St. Catherine Get Time Clocks
#Kingston, September 26, 2023 – Two early-childhood institutions in Kitson Town, St. Catherine, have received 15 time clocks each from educator, Jillian Wray-Robinson, with support from Food For the Poor (FFP).
Speaking at the handover of the clocks at the Kitson Town Basic School on September 25, Ms. Wray-Robinson said they are an important resource for the young students and can help them learn to value time.
“This is where my Foundation was dug, and as an educator, I am giving back and taking the time to invest in the future. It is very important; time is money and money is time, and if they learn how to read the clock, it will become of importance to them,” she said.
Principal of the school, Charline Nathon, said she was grateful for the items, noting that the donation was timely.
“I am sure the children will use it to the best of their ability. The clock is what we are doing in the curriculum – they learn to read the clock,” the Principal said.
Speaking at the handover of the clocks at the Old Road Early Childhood Centre, Ms. Wray-Robinson told the audience that her daughter spent her first year of formal education at the school, and it was a delight to assist them in obtaining the 15 items.
“After carefully looking at the curriculum, I know it will be useful to them (students). School begins on time, and ends with time, and we want our children to learn how to read the clock, and how to tell the time,” she said.
Principal of the school, June Maxwell, said the clocks will help her students, and “we will truly use the resources to the best of our knowledge, and ability”.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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