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Floyd Green

Government provides counseling,relief following fire at children’s home

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan. 16, CMC – The Government is providing counselling and relief supplies for children and staff of the Walker’s Place of Safety following a massive fire here late Monday that claimed the lives of two children.

Floyd Green
Floyd Green

“The Walker’s Place of Safety was completely destroyed by fire late last night. The loss is quite devastating as two children died in the fire. Steps are being taken to contact the parents and to start counselling for them,” said Floyd Green, the junior minister in the Education Ministry.

He told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) that counselling is being provided for the displaced children and staff because, “as you can imagine, they are completely devastated”.

He noted that “the priority now is to guide them through this difficult time and ensure that we get the essential items that they need. We have already started to get critical supplies, such as medication for those children who are ill. We are moving now to find a suitable location, so that we can move the children and ensure that they are more comfortable”.

Green said investigations have been launched to determine the cause of the blaze, which destroyed the privately owned facility located on Lyndhurst Road in the Corporate Area.

The place of safety serves as a transitional residence for children, generally up to 12 years old, who have been abandoned or removed from their homes because of unstable conditions.

“The fire service has also commenced their investigation. We are awaiting their report. The Child Protection and Family Services Agency will also do their own investigation to see what transpired,” Green said.

Posted in Environment, Health, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

sugarra

Beverage manufacturers urged to cut sugar content

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 13, CMC – Jamaica’s Finance Minister Audley Shaw has  issued an appeal to beverage manufacturers to lower the sugar content in their products or force the Government to take action.

sugarraShaw, who was addressing a scientific symposium on fiscal measures to prevent obesity/non-communicable diseases (NCD), on Thursday, said they can either respond voluntarily “or we as a Government can respond to the needs of the country through appropriate policy prescriptions.”

“There has to be a willingness on the part of the producers of beverages to lead the way, set the examples. Don’t wait for the tax act to force you to do it. They need to start reducing the sugar contents even before fiscal measures are contemplated,” he added.

He said that the Government is concerned about the sugar content of products being marketed to children.

He noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that countries implement guidelines as it relates to the production of food and beverages in order to reduce the amount of sugar, and imposing taxes to encourage manufacturers to take the appropriate actions.

The Minister pointed out that policy measures already being implemented by countries across the region are reducing the amount of sweet beverages provided to schoolchildren and, ultimately, having a positive impact on the social and economic fabric of such societies.

Shaw said that although several programmes have been initiated to reduce NCDs, a more aggressive stance is needed to get more partners to join the fight in reducing the lifestyle-related diseases.

He argued that with Jamaica spending US$170 million annually on chronic diseases, the country must act so that more funds can be available for infrastructure improvement to health facilities and the upgrading of healthcare services.

Urging action from beverage manufacturers, the Finance Minister noted that they are armed with research about the “impact of your product on your consumers. We want you to be more responsible in what you include in these products.”

He also urged consumers to “put themselves in informed positions to make healthy choices, because it is your health that is impacted.”

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Health, International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

C M O Dr Kernanet-Huggins - 2014

Hospital plans ready to go in 2014

Below is a video presentation (one of very few) hosted by Mrs. Sujue Davis at Government House, where Chief Medical Officer Dr

Former C M O Dr Kernanet-Huggins – 2014

Kernanet-Huggins explained the hospital plans, consulted, discussed and approved, ready for the hospital which was to be completed by 2017. Now in 2018 we are now asked to look at options for another study.

So how do they compare and then the question why a new study? True the new study is said to have incorporated parts of the previous. What difference the cost of that money would have made if put into the things which would give us a better hospital?

To come are a few pictures of one of the many ‘fine’ hospitals in the UK. Remembering that prior 1994 there was a spanking new Glendon hospital next door to the old hospital…

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

alcohol contam

killed after drinking home-made alcohol

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Dec 30, CMC – At least 28 people including 15 Haitians were killed after consuming home-made alcohol containing methanol, health authorities have confirmed.

Minister of Public Health, Marie Greta Roy Clement, confirmed the deaths following a visit to the General Hospital, adding that 15 people from the Dominican Republic had also died.

alcohol contamHealth authorities said that several Haitians have been hospitalized and at least two of them have lost their eyesight.

The confirmation of the deaths come a day after the Departmental Health issued an alert relating to cases of intoxication and deaths following the consumption of adulterated methanol in several border municipalities including Los Cacaos, Las Carreras and Saltadère.

Clement and her colleague Pierre Marie du Meny, the Minister of Commerce had also warned the population against the consumption of any liquor based on methanol.

“The two ministries are deeply concerned by this situation and that concrete steps are being taken on the ground to stem this recurring problem before it spreads to other parts of the country,” they said in a statement, adding that efforts have been stepped up to deal with the situation  especially during this period of end-of-year celebrations.

The Directorate of Civil Protection said that several cases of intoxication due to the consumption of adulterated alcohol have been recorded in several districts and is urging “people to take a lot of care in what they drink during the holiday season.”

Posted in Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Haile Thomas

Jamaican American named CNN ‘Young Wonder of the Year’

ATLANTA, Dec. 28, CMC – The Atlanta, Georgia-based Cable News Network (CNN) has named a Jamaican-American among its five “Young Wonders of the Year.”

Haile Thomas, 17, who lives in New Windsor, a town in Orange County, Upstate New York, was named by the network on its “Young Wonders: A CNN Heroes Special.”

All five “CNN Young Wonders” were also be honored during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.”

Haile ThomasCNN has described Thomas as “a teen health activist,” stating that her  “HAPPY organisation”  is leading the next generation toward a healthier future by bringing cooking lessons and nutrition education to children in underserved areas.”

The popular network said the five “extraordinary young people” are “making a difference in their communities.

“Their inspiring stories serve as reminders that you are never too young to change the world,” CNN said.

It said Thomas is an international speaker, health activist, vegan food and lifestyle influencer, podcaster, the youngest Certified Integrative Health Coach in the United States, and the founder/chief executive officer of the nonprofit HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth).

Thomas said on her website that she founded HAPPY when she was 12 years old to “address the need for free/affordable plant-based nutrition and culinary education in underserved/at-risk communities, as well as in schools and through annual summer camps.”

She said she has personally engaged over 15,000 kids since beginning her activism in 2010, stating that she was inspired to pursue this passion after her family successfully reversed her father’s type-2 diabetes “without the use of medication, only healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and upon learning that kids were also increasingly being diagnosed with conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”

Thomas said all of her programmes, projects and initiatives are geared towards engaging, educating, motivating and empowering young people to make healthy lifestyle choices to live their best life.

She also hosts the podcast “Girl Empowered,” interviewing, inspiring and empowering women; “therefore fulfilling its mission to broadcast female voices of empowerment.”

Thomas is one of the first eight young chefs featured on season one of “Rachael vs. Guy Kids-Cook-Off,” and also on “Cupcake Wars Kids,” both airing on the Food Network.

She also worked for two years as the Jr. Chef Advisor for Hyatt Hotel’s “For Kids – By Kids” Menu, with her kids’ menu recipes serving at all Hyatt Resorts in North America and the Caribbean.

Thomas said she has been featured on the “Today Show,” “Dr. Oz,” “Home and Family Show,” and “The Rachael Ray Show,” and highlighted in several major publications, including O magazine, Teen Vogue and YES magazine.

She is the first teen to be featured on the cover of Experience Life Magazine in the October 2016 issue.

Additionally, Thomas said she creates creative and artistic lifestyle and vegan recipe videos through her channel “ Plant-Powered Haile” on YouTube.

Thomas started to work at the Canyon Ranch Institute in 2015 as a nutrition science assistant; and, in 2016, she partnered with the nonprofit Harlem Grown organization to educate people about urban farming, sustainability and nutrition.

Thomas and her family moved from Arizona to New York in September 2016, “so she could expand her business.”

In 2017, Thomas was the youngest graduate of the Integrative Nutrition Health Coach program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

“Nutrition is super important for our growth and development for our brains and our bodies,” Thomas says.

“Haile is an example for all of you, what your little powerful voices can do to change the world,” said former US First Lady Michelle Obama on Thomas’s website.

Posted in Entertainment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Clive-Harveys

Roman Catholic Bishop hospitalised after collapsing during Church service

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Dec 1, CMC – The recently appointed Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada, Clive Harvey remained hospitalised on Friday after collapsing while conducting service at the Cathedral of immaculate Conception on Thursday.

Bishop Clive Harvey

Catholic Media Service confirmed that Bishop Harvey, who became the second Trinidad and Tobago national to be ordained as the Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada, succeeding Grenadian, Bishop Vincent Darius, collapsed at the end of a special mass early Thursday.

He was taken to the St. George’s Hospital where he is undergoing various tests with medical officials indicating that the 68-year-old Bishop suffered low blood pressure and extreme dehydration.

Church officials quoted him as saying Friday that all his vital signs were normal and he is in good spirit.

In July, Harvey was appointed to the position replacing Bishop Darius, who had died 15 months earlier.

Posted in Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Religion0 Comments

Addicted to Your Phone? It Could Throw Off Your Brain Chemistry

Addicted to Your Phone? It Could Throw Off Your Brain Chemistry

Livescience.com
 Credit: baranq/Shutterstock

It’s hard to escape screens; there is a roughly 100 percent chance you are looking at one right now. And though the long-term effects of screen time are still being studied, the effects of excessive internet and smartphone use are well-documented. “Pathological” internet use has been linked to depression in teens, and it may even shrink gray matter.

Now, a small new study suggests that for teens, being hooked on the internet and smartphones may harm brain chemistry, as well.

The research was presented yesterday (Nov. 30) at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago.The paper, which was presented by lead study author Dr. Hyung Suk Seo, a professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, found an imbalance of chemicals in the brain of “internet-addicted” teenagers. This imbalance was similar to that seen in people experiencing anxiety and depression. [9 Odd Ways Your Tech Devices May Injure You]

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But there’s also good news: The imbalance is reversible in several weeks using a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy.

In the study, researchers examined the brains of 19 internet- and smartphone-addicted teenagers and 19 nonaddicted teenagers using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a form of MRI that can reveal changes in the chemical composition of the brain. (Internet and smartphone addiction were measured using standardized questionnaires.)

Compared with the control group, the teens with internet and smartphone addiction showed a clear overabundance of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in one region of the limbic system, the brain’s emotional control center. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that it blocks nerve cells from firing.

GABA is found in everyone’s brain, but too much of this neurotransmitter in the wrong areas can have stultifying effects.”When the normal function of the limbic system is disturbed, patients can develop anxiety, depression or addiction,” said Dr. Max Wintermark, a professor of radiology and the chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University. Wintermark was not involved with the new research but said that he was intrigued by it because of the increasing prevalence of phones and web devices in society.

“There have been multiple studies published [that link] addiction to alcohol and other substances with chemical imbalances in different regions of the brain, but this is the first study I’ve read about internet addiction” that shows such a link, Wintermark told Live Science.

For most people, checking email first thing in the morning or spending an hour scrolling though Instagram after work does not signify an internet addiction.

Rather, internet addiction, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, is an excessive use of the internet that leads to impairment of everyday life, sleep and relationships. Studies from around the world have found that the rates of internet addiction in young people range from less than 1 percent to 18 percent.

The teens who participated in Seo’s study all took standardized tests used to diagnose internet and smartphone addiction. The participants whose scores indicated an addiction  tended to saythat their internet and smartphone use interfered with their daily routines, social lives, sleep and productivity. These teenagers also had significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, insomnia and impulsivity than the control group (the participants whose scores did not indicate internet addiction).

Due to the small sample size used in the study, Wintermark stressed that it’s too early to say that the chemical imbalances observed in the teens’ brains are linked to clinical problems such as anxiety and depression. Further testing on a larger group of people is needed, he said.

Wintermark noted that 12 teens in the study with addiction went on to participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, and after nine weeks, they all showed decreased or normalized levels of GABA in their brains. According to the researchers, those teens completed a modified form of therapy that’s used to treat video game addiction, involving weekly 75-minute sessions of mindfulness exercises. These include recognizing internet impulses, finding alternative activities and expressing emotions.

“With appropriate intervention, the teens were able to basically correct those chemical changes” in their brains, Wintermark said. “That’s the part of the study I find most interesting. It shows there’s hope.”

The study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Originally published on Live Science.

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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.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Crime, Education, Health, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Religion, Youth0 Comments

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.

Posted in Crime, Health, Legal, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

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.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Health, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

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