Health checks for CARICOM staff members during Caribbean Wellness Week

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat’s corridors, Conference Room and Staff Lounge were transformed into one-stop mini-health clinics for a week in observance of Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) 2017. From September 11 – 15 members of staff of the Secretariat staff benefited from medical services and wellness activities at its Georgetown, Guyana, headquarters.

Love That Body: Securing a Future Generation through Eating Healthy and Not Smoking was the theme of this year’s observance.

Health care officials from Guyana’s Ministry of Health, St Joseph Mercy Hospital, Da Silva’s Optical and the Guyana School of Dentistry conducted health checks including; Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation, immunisations, blood pressure, glucose and HIV testing, as well as dental and vision screening.

Fun, interactive games were played to increase awareness of the importance of exercise. Seminars were also held on breast, cervical and prostate cancers; nutrition and exercise. Quite significantly, an Outpatient Clinic, outfitted with two doctors, was set up for staff to discuss health issues. Medication was available from a mini Pharmacy. The Georgetown Chest Clinic visited on Wednesday to brief staff on the latency of Tuberculosis and the importance of getting tested. The week’s activities wrapped up with a Zumba dance exercise activity on Thursday and a games afternoon featuring cricket, football table tennis and scrabble on Friday, September 15.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person and are of long duration and generally of slow progression. The five main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (e.g. heart attacks and stroke), certain cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), type 2 diabetes, and mental disorders. (Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases)
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‘It has been brutal’ – Prime Minister Skerrit

A visibly emotional Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, briefed the world on Thursday about the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria which directly hit the island on Monday evening.

PM_Skerrit_tears_J3OWF5jAEm
A visibly emotional Prime Minister Skerrit

The island is now under a state of emergency and a curfew is imposed.

“It has been brutal,” he said on a live programme hosted at ABSTV studios in Antigua and Barbuda. The Prime Minister had earlier flown into Antigua and Barbuda from Dominica where he also held a Town Hall Meeting with Dominicans living there.

“It was almost complete devastation. Every village in Dominica, every street, every cranny, every person in Dominica was impacted by the hurricane. We have no running water now, no electricity. We have very limited telecommunication services by Whatsapp mainly; all of the telecommunication services are down. Private homes ave been damaged, some beyond any form of repair – all flat on their faces. Many of our schools have been destroyed. Our main hospital is with no electricity now. They’ve been running very, very difficult operations with no generators.  The generators had to be set aside because of the flooding… Nurses have been working the last 96 hours non-stop trying to provide care to the patients… Communication to many parts of the country is impossible. We will have to access villages by sea and also by helicopter,” the Prime Minister said.

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Barbados’ future lies in CARICOM – Morris

 Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris with students (Photo via BGIS)
FLASHBACK: Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris with another group of secondary school students (Photo via BGIS)

Barbados’ ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Robert Bobby Morris, is of the view that this country’s future lies in the 15-member bloc.

Morris told this morning’s presentation ceremony of an essay contest organized by the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators that the regional grouping presented young Barbadians with a number of opportunities, therefore they should begin to view themselves as citizens of CARICOM and not just Barbadians.

“I hope you learn a lot about CARICOM because it is our future. It is a community and it is also a single market and both are very important to you and your future development, because you are not going to be developing really in a world of Barbados, your future is CARICOM,” Morris told students of Ellerslie Secondary School, where the ceremony was held.

The former trade unionist pointed to the number of Barbadians working in other Caribbean countries simply because they could not find work here, as evidence that the integration movement can be beneficial.

Read more at: Barbados Today

US stands in solidarity with Dominica, Caribbean

Downed trees in Dominica
One of the scenes in Dominica after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Monday 

The United States said it stands in solidarity with the people of Dominica and all those across the Caribbean region affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria.

A message of solidarity from the US Department of State said that the US stands “ready to work with you and our international partners to provide immediate disaster relief. We are in the process of coordinating the best possible package of assistance”.

“The recent natural disasters underscore our interconnectedness and the importance of strong partnership with the Caribbean. The Department of State has an ongoing Task Force working to determine the extent of the damages, to coordinate evacuation efforts, and to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in the affected countries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Caribbean region”, the message said.

The message said that for more information on how the public can support disaster relief efforts, please go to the Center for International Disaster Information at www.cidi.org.