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marijuuu

Guyana to host CARICOM consultations on use of marijuana

 
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Nov 3, CMC – Guyana will host a consultation on the use of marijuana on Monday, November 6, 2017 as part of the efforts by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to conduct careful in-depth research so as to inform decision making on the issue.

The Regional Commission on Marijuana, which was established by CARICOM leaders, will meet with various stakeholders including Youth and Faith-based organizations.

marijuuuThe region-wide consultations are intended to obtain information on the social, economic, health and legal issues related to marijuana use in the Caribbean.

“Such information would, among other outcomes, determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification, modelled after the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances for which many, if not all, CARICOM members are party to,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.

It said that given that reclassification of the drug would make it legally accessible for all types of use, including religious, recreational, medical and research, the Regional Commission is expected also to provide recommendations on the legal and administrative conditions that will apply, as per its Terms of Reference.

Many Caribbean countries’ legislations do not currently allow for full legislation under international law and national approaches to addressing this issue have resulted in various positions.

In the case of Jamaica, for example, the Dangerous Drugs Act was amended in 2016 and legislation was passed which reduced possession of small quantities to a petty offence. It also created the framework for the development of legal medical marijuana, hemp and nutraceutical industries.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cabinet agreed, in August 2016, to send a draft law to Parliament for its first reading. In August of this year, Belize introduced an amendment to its Misuse of Drugs Act, to deciminalise the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana.

The proposed legislation also provides for the imposition of monetary and non-recordable penalties for such amounts that are found on school premises in specialized circumstances and decriminalizes the use of the substance in small amounts on private premises.

In other countries there have been widespread public information and communications initiatives driven by both government and civil society.

In addition to national consultations, the Regional Marijuana Commission will undertake extensive secondary research to inform the preparation of reports to be submitted to the CARICOM leaders for its consideration, the Secretariat added.

So far, consultations have taken place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados and the Secretariat said that national consultations will continue in Suriname, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Belize.

The Commission is headed by Professor Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and includes practitioners with expert knowledge in a variety of disciplines including medicine and allied health, health research, law enforcement, ethics, education, anthropology/sociology/ culture.

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marijuuu

Most St. Lucians in favour of decriminalisation of marijuana-Opinion poll

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Oct 14, CMC – Most St. Lucians are either in support of the legalisation or partial decriminalisation of marijuana according to a poll conducted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).

CADRES said that it conducted the poll between September 8-11 and interviewed approximately 1,000 people across the island.

marijuuuIt said survey was conducted face to face and respondents were selected to conform to three distinct age cohorts (18-30; 31-50 and Over 50) and in each instance a 33 per cent quota was sought with equal quantities of males and females also being interviewed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus five per cent.

CADRES said respondents were asked their “views on the decriminalization of Marijuana in St. Lucia” and provided with three response options as well at the option not to respond.

According to CADRES, which also conducted similar polls in several Caribbean islands including Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the results of the surveys tell an important story that is likely to be applicable across the region which is that public opinion is generally moving in the direction of greater support for decriminalisation and an increasing opposition to the status quo.

It said in the specific case of St. Lucia an estimated 38 per cent of those questioned opted for the maintenance of the status quo (illegal), while cumulatively 51 per cent of respondents supported either the full legalisation or partial decriminalisation, “which essentially means that most St. Lucians are opposed to the maintenance of the status quo.

“It is interesting to note that the attitude of St. Lucians on this issue is similar to that of all other Caribbean countries surveyed, especially as the margin of error associated with these surveys is plus or minus five per cent.

“St. Lucia therefore shares the same attitude towards full legalisation with St. Vincent, while Barbados, Dominica and Antigua all have a slightly larger quantity of persons who are supportive of full legalisation. Similarly, the 38 per cent of St. Lucians that opted for the status quo is consistent with the level of opposition to decriminalisation in St. Vincent Dominica and Barbados.”

But CADRES noted that the critical statistic; however, is support for partial decriminalisation, which is the route that is being pursued in Antigua and has already been taken in Jamaica, and in this regard “all islands surveyed report a similar level of support .

“Although this summary report does not permit a full exploration of the demographic factors impacting on support for or opposition to marijuana decriminalisation, the case of St. Lucia does provide a unique deviation from the region-wide custom that has noted higher levels of opposition to decriminalisation among women.

“In the case of St. Luca; however, similar quantities of women and men support the status quo which leads to the conclusion that gender does not impact on support for, or opposition to marijuana decriminalisation here, while the same cannot be said for age.

“In that regard St. Lucia is very much like all other countries surveyed in that older persons are more inclined to support the status quo, while younger persons are more disposed to decriminalisation or full legalisation,” CADRES added.

It said in the coming months it intends to be able to explore these attitudes in other Caribbean territories.

Caribbean government have already indicated a willingness to decriminalise the use of small portions of marijuana for medicinal purposes but have so far taken a cautious approach to the matter.

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Jan Henderson

New Zealand pledges aid to help Caribbean countries affected by hurricanes

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sep. 24, CMC   – The Government of New Zealand will be contributing NZ$250,000 (US$  to the immediate relief efforts to help countries in the region that have been affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Jan Henderson
Jan Henderson – NZ High Commissioner

The funds will be disbursed through the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) to support governments in early recovery activities such as debris management and the rehabilitation of basic services such as water and electricity.

“New Zealand and the Caribbean have longstanding links which have been deepened by the opening four mission in the region in 2014. I have spent time in both Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, getting to know the countries and the people, and it is heartbreaking to see the damage done by Hurricanes Irma and Maria”, said New Zealand High Commissioner Jan Henderson.

She added that New Zealand remains committed to continuing long term support in the agriculture sector in Antigua and Barbuda, and to the geothermal development project in Dominica when recovery efforts move to economic revitalisation.

The New Zealand High Commission serves Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to have doctors and nurses from Barbados travel to Dominica to provide much-needed assistance.

According to Dr. Brian Charles, the managing director of Sandy Crest Medical Centre, who is in Dominica, there is urgent need for artisans, medical and nursing personnel to provide much needed care for those requiring assistance.

Charles is in Dominica to provide primary assessments for the health care services and the hospital there, and to work alongside the Barbadian military personnel. “The [Princess Margaret] hospital has been badly damaged…it is about 70 per cent destroyed, but it is running somewhat,” Charles said.

He noted that the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department had very limited function, as the institution had no power, water, operating theatre, X-ray or CAT scan departments, laboratories or blood bank.

“Our appeal right now is for assistance to get those up and running soon.”

Charles reported that there were currently five people who need to be medevaced from the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.

“The French authorities have indicated that they will take them to Martinique. There is also one critically ill police officer who sustained major trauma that needs to be airlifted,” he said, while adding the needs of dialysis patients were also a cause for concern.

Dominica remains in a state of emergency after it was devastated by a category five Hurricane Maria last week.

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poverty

Poverty on the rise in Barbados – survey

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sep. 14, CMC  – A new study has found that poverty is on the rise in Barbados with  17.5 percent of the population living in poverty, up from 15.1 percent in 2010.

The findings of the Barbados Survey of Living Conditions 2016-2017, were officially released on Wednesday.

povertyThe survey was carried out among 7,100 Barbadians from 2,500 households in 11 parishes.

However the study found that the number of Barbadians living in extreme poverty has fallen by almost half from 6.8 percent in 2010 – when the last survey was conducted to 3.6 per cent in 2016, while those living in non-extreme poverty more than tripled from 3.8 percent to 13.8 percent.

The survey, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and undertaken in collaboration with the Barbados Statistical Service between February 2016 and January 2017, also showed that Barbadians were generally more vulnerable to poverty, as that category of persons increased from 10.4 per cent to 11 per cent.

IDB Project Leader Diether Beuermann Mendoza  who presented the findings during a Skype presentation said that a significant gender gap also exists.

He said  not only do women head 57 percent of households in Barbados, they also account for a significant percentage of the island’s poor when compared to men.

The study also revealed that the rich households have smaller families and a link was made between poverty and low-quality dwellings, such as those without flush toilets, running water and electricity.

CMC/kb/2017

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The medical team prepares to board the Cayman Airways flight to Anguilla, which was chartered for the humanitarian mission. Two nurses from Health City Cayman Islands joined the group of medical professionals from the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority on the relief effort.

Health City Cayman Islands joins hurricane Irma relief effort

 

by Sarah Munn

The medical team prepares to board the Cayman Airways flight to Anguilla, which was chartered for the humanitarian mission. Two nurses from Health City Cayman Islands joined the group of medical professionals from the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority on the relief effort.

CAYMAN ISLANDS (September 13, 2017) – Health City Cayman Islands is part of a relief effort being coordinated by the Cayman Islands Government to send supplies, medicines and medical staff to Anguilla, a fellow British Overseas Territory.

Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO and Medical Director of the Caribbean tertiary care hospital, said that Health City and the Cayman Islands community are shocked and saddened at the level of devastation in the northeastern Caribbean.

“We want to send our support to our Caribbean family who have been impacted by Hurricane Irma,” said Dr. Abraham, who added that the Caymanian community is being mobilized to provide aid and relief to help the affected islands in their recovery efforts.

Health City Cayman Islands staff load boxes of much-needed medicines for transport to Anguilla as part of a relief mission led by the Cayman Islands Government.

Dr. Abraham explained that medical relief efforts will center first on the critically ill and injured in Anguilla, where one person is known to have died as a result of Hurricane Irma. Housing and infrastructure have also been severely damaged there.

Health City has sent three staff members and more than US$30,000 in medicines to the hurricane-ravaged island. The Health City personnel have joined with staff from the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the Department of Environmental Health to form the relief mission.

A Cayman Airways flight loaded with relief supplies, medical and disaster management staff, medicines, water and non-perishable foods departed Grand Cayman for Anguilla on Tuesday, September 12 at 11 a.m.

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the government-led relief mission on Monday, September 11, the 13th anniversary of the landfall of Category 5 Hurricane Ivan in the Cayman Islands in 2004. The island of Grand Cayman was severely damaged by that storm.

Premier McLaughlin said: “Most of us know too well the devastation and despair that arises in the wake of a hurricane, especially those of us who lived through our own catastrophic storms of Ivan in 2004 and Paloma in 2008. We know well it was our neighbors from the region and our families and friends who ensured that we got much-needed supplies. It is time for us to pay it forward.”

The relief team from the Cayman Islands is scheduled to remain in Anguilla for two weeks.

The Cayman Islands Government has also provided post-Irma assistance to fellow British Overseas Territories, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the form of police equipment and staff. 

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Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010

Be Smart: A Partial Eclipse Can Fry Your Naked Eyes

N P R

 

Left: A partial solar eclipse, as viewed from the Cotswolds, United Kingdom, March 2015. Right: A total solar eclipse, as viewed from Longyearbyen, Norway, March 2015.

Tim Graham/Getty Images/Haakon Mosvold Larsen/AFP/Getty Images

The day of the long-awaited coast-to-coast solar eclipse has all but arrived — and if history is any guide, it’s likely that somebody’s eyes are going to get hurt.

“The ones we’re really concerned about are the people who have never seen an eclipse before — or just decided that, you know, ‘Today is a nice day to go take a look at a solar eclipse’ — and, ‘Oh, I probably don’t need to do very much to get ready to do that.’ Then I get worried,” says Ralph Chou, an optometrist and vision scientist at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has seen 18 total solar eclipses.

You really can get blurred vision or blind spots after watching partial eclipses without protection, says Chou, even if there’s just a tiny little crescent of sun left in the sky.

“I’ve seen a couple of patients over the years where, you know, you’ve got very distinct crescent-shaped scars from looking at a solar eclipse,” says Chou.

It is never safe to look directly at a partial eclipse without special eclipse glasses or filters — and most of the country will see only a partial eclipse.

The risk of injury to the eye’s retina is even greater if you if you look at a partial eclipse without protection through a telescope or binoculars, Chou warns.

“The damage,” he says, “can happen extremely quickly.”

Binoculars and telescopes need special filters — it is not safe to look through them while just wearing regular old eclipse glasses. It is safe, however, to put eclipse glasses over your everyday prescription eyewear.

And if you never got around to buying the right sort of protective eclipse glasses, you can still safely “watch” the event projected on a wall or the ground, NASA reminds us, with the help of an index card, a bit of aluminum foil and some tape.

YouTube

Because of the way the light exposure damages cells of the retina, says Chou, a person who has suffered eye damage typically does not realize that there’s any problem for hours after the eclipse.

Experience from past eclipses suggests that it’s been younger people who seem more likely to ignore safety warnings, says Chou.

“It does tend to be young males,” he says. “Teens to early 20s — the ones who don’t think about any protection for a number of different circumstances.”

But don’t be so stressed out about eye safety that you miss the dramatic event known as totality. If you’re lucky enough to be in the thin stretch of land across the country that’s going to see a total solar eclipse, it’s absolutely OK to look up with your naked eyes during the couple of minutes or so when the moon is completely covering the sun. In fact, it’s more than OK.

“It is spectacularly beautiful and there’s nothing else like it,” says Rick Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society, who has seen a dozen total solar eclipses. “It’s kind of like falling in love. You can’t describe what that is unless you’ve experienced it.”

When the sun completely blinks out, the safety glasses can come off so that you can enjoy the view of the sun’s otherworldly corona and the eerie daytime darkness. But the instant a sliver of sun starts to re-emerge, he says, those glasses need to go back on if you want to keep watching.

“Going through life without seeing a total eclipse of the sun would be like going through life without ever falling in love,” says Fienberg. “It would be a terrible shame not to have that fundamental, wonderful experience.”

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Three quarters of osteoarthritis sufferers say they are in constant pain

Arthritis in knees is a preventable disease, scientists discover

The Times

Three quarters of osteoarthritis sufferers say they are in constant pain
Three quarters of osteoarthritis sufferers say they are in constant pain REX FEATURES
 

Arthritis in the knees is a preventable disease rather than an inevitable consequence of wear and ageing, a study has concluded.

The condition is twice as common today as it was before the Second World War, according to researchers who put the increase down to lifestyle changes such as diet or footwear, as well as people getting fatter and living longer.

Osteoarthritis is a painful disease of the joints, affecting 8.8 million people in Britain aged above 45. More than 18 per cent of this group have the disorder in their knees. Yet scientists who studied more than 2,500 skeletons, from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to the present, discovered that rates of osteoarthritis had surged over the past few decades after centuries of stability.

Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological sciences at Harvard University and a senior author of the paper, said that many cases could be averted if doctors could determine what had driven the change over the past 70 years. The researchers are investigating whether factors such as physical inactivity, diets loaded with refined sugars, the shoes we wear and even the hardness of pavements could lie behind the increase.

“Knee osteoarthritis is not a necessary consequence of old age,” Professor Lieberman said. “We should think of this as a partly preventable disease. Wouldn’t it be great if people could live to be 60, 70 or 80 and never get knee osteoarthritis in the first place? Right now, our society is barely focusing on prevention . . . so we need to redirect more interest toward preventing this and other so-called diseases of ageing.”

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage protecting the ends of bones gets rougher and thinner, leading to changes in the joint tissues. Eventually, if the cartilage wears so thin that it no longer covers the ends of the bones, they rub against each other, heightening pain, changing the shape of the joint and shifting the bones out of position. Three quarters of those with osteoarthritis say that they are in constant pain. Treatment is generally limited to painkillers or steroid injections into the joint. For severe cases, the only further option is an artificial joint. In 2015 people with the condition accounted for 98 per cent of patients having a first knee replacement.

Ian Wallace, the study’s lead author, visited collections of human remains across the United States to look for the glass-like polish that the condition leaves on the thigh and shin bones over years of rubbing against each other. Rates of knee osteoarthritis among the over-50s appear hardly to have changed between the native Americans 3,000 years ago and the inhabitants of Ohio and Missouri in the first half of the 20th century. After the war, however, they more than doubled. The trend, set out in the journal PNAS, remained even after the researchers corrected for age and body-mass index.

“There are probably a lot of contributing factors,” Dr Wallace said, “but . . . two conspicuous ones are physical inactivity and the abundance of proinflammatory foods in our diet — especially really sugary things.”

Philip Conaghan, professor of musculoskeletal medicine and a spokesman for the charity Arthritis Research UK, welcomed the study. “The more we know about what causes it, the closer we will be to finding more effective treatments and even a cure,” he said. “We absolutely agree that there should be more focus on prevention.”

How to keep healthy knees

  • Exercise regularly, both to strengthen your muscles and to maintain aerobic fitness. But don’t overdo it: if your joints are swollen or painful, rest them before exercising again
  • Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if you are too heavy. Extra weight increases the stress on your joints
  • Avoid repetitive motions that are tough on your joints, such as excessive kneeling, twisting, or lifting
  • Regulate your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Research has implicated diabetes as a risk factor for osteoarthritis
 

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A review found huge variations in treatments, with low-performing hospitals often ignorant about methods adopted elsewhere

NHS must cut waste if it wants more cash

Hospitals can save billions, says authoritative report

A review found huge variations in treatments, with low-performing hospitals often ignorant about methods adopted elsewhere
A review found huge variations in treatments, with low-performing hospitals often ignorant about methods adopted elsewherePAUL ROGERS/THE TIMES

The NHS does not deserve more money because it wastes so much on poor care, according to the senior surgeon who has the job of driving up standards.

The health service must put its house in order before asking for extra taxpayers’ cash, said Tim Briggs, who is conducting the most comprehensive clinical efficiency audit of the NHS yet undertaken.

His review found huge variations in the cost and quality of common treatments, with low-performing hospitals routinely ignorant about superior methods adopted elsewhere.

The NHS could save hundreds of millions, if not billions, a year if the best and most efficient practices were applied across the country, Professor Briggs concluded.

His programme is backed by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who urged hospitals yesterday to act on the findings, as well as Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

More than 300,000 patients a year are needlessly admitted to emergency surgery beds when they do not need an operation, Professor Briggs’s team found after visiting every hospital in the country.

If all hospitals copied the best units by getting a consultant to run tests quickly, many of these patients would be sent home immediately, freeing up a ward in each hospital and saving the NHS £108 million a year. “I’ve now been to every single trust in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and there is significant waste out there,” Professor Briggs told The Times. “I do not think at the moment we deserve more money until we put our house in order and we actually make the changes that will improve the quality of care.”

Waiting times are lengthening as hospitals struggle to treat rising numbers of patients with finances that have not kept pace with an ageing population. Many in the NHS have used the inconclusive general election result to press the case for more money.

Yet Professor Briggs and the leading surgeon John Abercrombie report that in bowel-cancer surgery alone death rates vary from zero to 14 per cent, while hospitals are spending £23 million a year too much by keeping in patients for ten days when the best send them home in five days.

Some hospitals are paying 350 times more for basic surgical equipment than others for no clear reason, while there is no consensus about the best way to carry out some common procedures.

Today’s general surgery report is one of the first instalments in a project looking at 34 specialisms covering 90 per cent of hospital activity and Professor Briggs said there were “huge gains to be made”. For example, infection rates in hip replacements are 25 times higher in some hospitals than others, he found. “If you could get the infection rate across the country down to 0.2 per cent just in hip and knee replacements, you’d save the NHS every year £250 million [to] £300 million, just by improving the quality of care,” he said.

Mistakes in childbirth cost the NHS more than £400 million a year in legal claims, yet some hospitals pay out only £75 per birth rising to £6,980 at the worst performer, Professor Briggs found.

While saying that social care was different, Professor Briggs insisted that the NHS had to make sure that “every pound of taxpayers’ money was spent to the best effect. Then, once we’ve got that, we can speak to the politicians as the population ages about whether the NHS needs more money. But at the moment there are significant changes we can make to improve our practice that will allow us to do a lot more work with the amount of money we have.”

Mr Hunt urged hospitals to adopt the findings, saying: “By reducing variation we can improve care and eliminate waste at the same time. As this excellent work led by Professor Tim Briggs shows, some hospitals are already working smarter with their money to save time and get better outcomes.”

Mr Stevens has demanded more efficiencies as part of a £22 billion savings programme but has also argued that cost-cutting will not be enough on its own to do everything the NHS wants.

Professor Briggs began his “getting-it-right-first-time” programme in orthopaedic surgery and it has been formally adopted as a national scheme by NHS Improvement, the financial regulator, where he is now national director of clinical quality and efficiency.

Specialists in each area gather data from hospitals then sit down and discuss individual results with clinical staff in each unit, learning from the best and helping poor performers improve. “Just putting it in a drawer and forgetting about it is no longer an option,” he said.

Profile: Tim Briggs
After a long and distinguished career as a hip and knee surgeon, Tim Briggs admits that he is out of his comfort zone as a crusader for NHS clinical efficiency (Chris Smyth writes).

Yet the former Blackheath rugby forward does not flinch from tackling colleagues.

A consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital since 1992, Professor Briggs grew used to seeing patients with complications caused by botched surgery. It was obvious not everywhere was doing as well as they could.

In 2012 as the president-elect of the British Orthopaedic Association, he gathered data on all orthopaedic units, visiting them to discuss their results. It is this, he insists, that makes the “getting it right first time” programme different from the plethora of audits the NHS has seen come and go.

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weather

CDB grant to build regional capacity for climate forecasting

BRIDGETOWN,Barbados,  Jul. 26, CMC  –  The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has  approved EUR773,000 (US$900,264) in grant funding to enhance regional resilience to climate variability and change.

The grant will be provided to the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), and will be used to strengthen national and regional institutional capacity for weather and climate forecasting.

weather According to Cheryl DIxon, the Coordinator in the CDB’s Environmental Sustainability unit, severe weather events produce some of the most significant negative socio-economic impacts in the region and climate change is predicted to increase both the frequency and intensity of these events.

“Without appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures, these events will continue to hamper the development of the region. Equipping policy-planners and the most vulnerable communities with early climate/weather information and advisories to anticipate climate-related shocks and changes is crucial to inform planning for climate resilience and disaster risk management,” she said.

CIMH has been using a Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Platform to provide weather predictions for the Caribbean.

The project will provide training for regional stakeholders in using the WRF platform, as well as training in marine forecasting.

The project will also facilitate the development of climate early warning systems for regional public health sectors.

Climate variability is a significant driver of mosquito borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya and zika, as the Aedes aegypti mosquito has been shown to increase in numbers during warmer and wetter weather conditions.

The CDB says early predictions will assist health sector planning to reduce the occurrences of infection.

Funding is being provided under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) Programme.

The ACP-EU-CDB NDRM Programme is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, funded by the European Union. It supports disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation activities in the CARIFORUM countries.

The project also aligns with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development.

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Jules Unicef

OECS and UNICEF sign five year agreement

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Jun 28, CMC – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has signed a five-year agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to jointly promote child-centred programmes in the sub-region.

Under the agreement signed by OECS Director General, Dr. Didicus Jules, and UNICEF Representative, Khin-Sandi Lwin, the two organisations will cooperate on a number of activities including education, justice, child protection and social policies.

Jules Unicef
OECS Director General, Dr. Didicus Jules, and UNICEF
Representative, Khin-Sandi Lwin.

Data collection on child-specific issues is also part of the agreement.

Jules said that the agreement embodies the ongoing commitment of both organisations to safeguard the future of the region’s youth through empowerment programmes and data collection for development.

“As one of our key development partners, we share a common vision with UNICEF to ensure our youth are exposed to healthy atmospheres conducive to growth and optimal development.”

 “This is an opportunity to strengthen bonds as we work collaboratively to tackle the challenges facing many of the sub region’s youth,” he added.

Lwin said that this is the second multi-year agreement being signed with the OECS Commission and UNCIEF views the St. Lucia-based organisation as a very important partner and key player in influencing the child rights agenda.

“We have some very positive and tangible results from our previous collaboration and I have no doubt that this renewed partnership will continue to put the children’s agenda high on the priority of all member states,” she said, highlighting some of the past achievements as the OECS Model Child Bills, which several countries have adapted to reform and modernise their suite of child protection laws as well as the work in promoting quality early childhood development services.

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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