Tackling NCDs

Seven Caribbean countries are on course to achieve the global target set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for reducing the number of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, Dr. Alafia Samuels, said Tuesday.

She was at the time delivering an address at a sub-regional workshop at the Accra Beach Hotel, Bridgetown, Barbados.

According to the Barbados Today media house, Dr. Samuels reported that Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States, The Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and CARICOM Associate Members, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, were on course to reduce their total number of NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025, while the rate of mortality was on the rise in other countries.

“So there are actually countries in the Caribbean where the mortality rate is increasing. In most countries it is decreasing, but there are a couple where it is increasing. And major contributors to these disparities have been trends in stroke and ischaemic heart disease and diabetes,” the media house quoted Dr. Samuels as saying.

New Cabinet of The Bahamas sworn in


ZNS ONLINE: (PHOTO): Free National Movement Members of Parliament forming the new Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers by Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling at Government House on Monday, May 15, 2017.

Photographed with the Governor General are, seated from left: Hon. Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security; Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minster of Education; Hon. T. Brent Symonette, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration; Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister; H.E. Dame Marguerite Pindling; Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Hon. Carl Bethel, QC, Attorney General and Minster of Legal Affairs; Hon. Renward Wells, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources; and Hon. Dr. Duane Sands, Minister of Health.

Standing from left: Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Transport and Local Government; Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism, Aviation and Bahamasair; Hon. Michael Pintard, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture; Hon. Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Lanisha Rolle, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development; Hon. Romauld Ferreira, Minister of the Environment and Housing; Hon. Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour; Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister; Hon. Brensil Rolle, Minister of State for the Public Service and National Insurance in the Office of the Prime Minister; and Hon. Ellsworth Johnson, Minister of State for Legal Affairs in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs. (ZNS News Online)

CARICOM Observation Mission gives The Bahamas elections high marks but notes pre-election day concerns

Head of Mission Ms Josephine Tamai (front row, 2nd left) and some of her team members on election day

The CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission to the 10 May 2017 General Elections in the Bahamas has praised the polling day activities, describing them as being “of a very high standard comparable with anywhere else in the Region”.

The Mission, in its Preliminary Statement, reported that polling stations opened on time,  were fully staffed and were conveniently located and easily accessible to the voters including the disabled.  They also noted the adequate supplies of material, and adequate security which they said contributed to the level of calm which accompanied the day’s activities.

The Mission however found that activities prior to Polling Day cast a shadow over the electoral process.

“For example, the unexpected change of the Parliamentary Commissioner just days before the election was a concern. ” the Mission’s Statement said, although it noted that this did not seem to have affected the quality of the election.

Team members who were assigned to Freeport, Grand Bahama

Other pre-election day concerns, including the late publication of the advanced poll register, voters inability to confirm beforehand if their names were on the advanced polling list and the incorrect polling station numbers being written onto voters card, can be addressed with the introduction and use of modern technology in the registration process, the Mission indicated.

The eleven-member CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission was led by Ms Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer of Belize, with Mr. Orette Fisher, Director of the Elections Commission of Jamaica as her Deputy.  The other Members, who all have election management and observation experience, are nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.  They were supported by two staff members of the CARICOM Secretariat

The Free National Movement (FNM) led by physician Dr. Hubert Minnis won a landslide victory in the polls, taking 35 of the 39 seats at stake.

See Preliminary Statement:  PRELIMINARY_STATEMENT_The_Bahamas_Elections_2017


CARICOM SG ready to welcome new Bahamian PM’s fresh ideas

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis making his inaugural address

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque is looking forward to an early briefing with new Prime Minister of The Bahamas Dr. Hubert Minnis on matters relating to the Caribbean Community and the Prime Minister’s portfolio in the quasi-cabinet of the CARICOM Heads of Government, that of Tourism.

“I look forward, Prime Minister, to the fresh ideas that you will undoubtedly bring to assist in the progress of our integration process,” the Secretary-General said in his letter of congratulations to Prime Minister Minnis. He also gave the assurance of his full support and that of the CARICOM Secretariat as the Prime Minister seeks to enhance the lives of the people of The Bahamas during his term of office.

Dr. Minnis led his Free National Movement (FNM) to a landslide victory over the incumbent Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) winning 35 of the 39 seats at stake in the 10 May general elections.

“The sweeping success as evidenced by the margin of victory, reflects the level of confidence that the people of The Bahamas have in your leadership and in the programmes of your party”, Ambassador LaRocque’s congratulatory letter said.

He noted that the conduct of the polls once again demonstrated the commitment of CARICOM Member States to the democratic tenet of free and fair elections.  CARICOM mounted an eleven-member Electoral Observation Mission to monitor the process, leading up to and, on Election Day.

“…a renewal and reaffirmation of our democratic heritage” – new Bahamian PM at swearing-in ceremony

Taking the oath of office – New Prime Minister of The Bahamas Dr. Hubert Minnis

Dr. Hubert Minnis took the oath of office Thursday night as the new Prime Minister of The Bahamas.

The Physician and former Health Minister led his Free National Movement (FNM) to a 34-5 victory over the incumbent Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) of former Prime Minister Perry Christie in Wednesday’s general elections.

“With civility and nobility, Bahamians from all walks of life joined hands and hearts to forge a new direction for our country. Ours is an extraordinary system of government, I will honor the spirit and traditions of our democratic heritage,” Prime Minister Minnis pledged at Thursday night’s ceremony.

A CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission monitored Wednesday’s election.