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.

Winner – Regional Eric Williams School Bags Essay Competition

safiya moore (003)
Safiya Moore

“The Caribbean region’s constituent nations are relatively young in comparison to the wider world. However, as a region it maintains the characteristics of many other countries that are centuries ahead of them. In particular, when analysing any country and attempting to determine its successes, failures, history and potential future, its architecture is a tangible way of ascertaining the progression, regression and background of a region.”

Safiya Moore,  Bishops High School, Tobago

Read full essay:   Eric_Williams_Schools_Bay_Essay_Competition_winner

Eric Williams School Bags Essay Competition
Organised by The Eric Williams Memorial Collection (EWMC), the essay contest is open to all final-year sixth formers in 178 schools, across 17 Caribbean countries. The “School Bags” essay competition was named after a statement by late scholar-statesman Eric Williams, who led the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for a quarter century until his death in 1981. On August 30th, 1962, the eve of his country’s Independence from Britain, he famously exhorted: “You, the children, yours is the great responsibility to educate your parents…you carry the future of [the Nation] in your school bags.”



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


TnT PM pleased with progress in Agriculture Sector

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Office of the Prime Minister   –   Prime Minister, Dr.  Keith Rowley embarked on a tour of Marper Farm and the facilities at the Forestry Division in Rio Claro yesterday (May 11, 2017) for a first-hand progress report on proposed expansions in the agriculture sector.

The Prime Minister was shown tens of thousands of hardwood seedlings and plants including, citrus, mangoes and avocado. Marper Farm and three national reforestation and watershed rehabilitation nurseries currently boast more than one million saplings.

He said, “I am very pleased by what I have seen here. A lot of people talk about needing to do more in agriculture but without planting material there is nothing to plant, all you are doing is talking without action.” (more…)

COTED urged to reassess orientation of external trade

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A review of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) external trade relations, strengthened capacity, and Member States’ strong support of each other will ensure that the Region is in a better position to confront the challenges it faces.

This is the view of Suriname Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Chairman of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) now underway at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

In remarks at the opening of the two-day Meeting Thursday morning, the Minister alluded to global development challenges, including the consequences anticipated from the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union (EU).

“For us to be better equipped and face all these challenges we must first work on strengthening the capacities of our communities and strongly support each other, to achieve economic growth and welfare for all of us in the Region”, Minister Welzijn said.