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SHARING THE LOVE: Rotary medical mission

Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

00:00 / 05:06

Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service

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News for Week of January 9, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Jamaican overseas gives to Black River Hospital

The Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth has received nine wheelchairs, two walkers and two crutches, valued at J$400,000, to boost its patient care.

The items came from owner of Hardware & Plumbing Supply Ltd. who is also a native of St. Elizabeth, Howard Bailey.

CEO for the hospital, Diana Brown-Miller expressed gratitude to Mr. Bailey for the donation that will help the hospital with increased patient care during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

“The hospital registers its profound gratitude for this donation and looks forward to the continuous support from our partners and well-wishers,” she said.

Mr. Bailey, who now resides overseas, noted that he has always wanted to give back to his community and chose healthcare because of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“Because of the challenges of COVID-19, healthcare needs all the support it can get and I am happy I am able to assist and be of service to the hospital and the community”, he added.


Please, take the COVID-19 vaccine, health minister urges

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton is again imploring Jamaicans to get vaccinated, especially in light of the fourth wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19), from which the more contagious Omicron variant has emerged.

He reminded the public that mainly unvaccinated persons are being hospitalised with severe illness or dying from the virus.

“We need to continue to emphasise to Jamaicans that the persons who are most affected by COVID-19, irrespective of the strain… are persons who are not vaccinated, and it is a sobering message to those who are not that you are in increased danger and you should make every effort to get vaccinated,” he warned.

Dr. Tufton noted that as predicted, the fourth wave of the pandemic is now being experienced in Jamaica, evidenced by the increase in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks.

“In the last 24 hours, Jamaica hit an undesirable record of 1,128 new COVID-19 infections since the first case was discovered close to two years ago. It’s the most in any given day in keeping with the fourth wave,” he said.

The Minister stressed that the elderly, in particular, and those who are immunocompromised and/or who are living with a chronic illness, such as diabetes and hypertension, are being encouraged to get vaccinated.


Shelters under construction for Westmoreland’s poorest

Westmoreland is getting an additional six social housing solutions to benefit the less fortunate in the parish.

These will be in addition to a house being constructed for a family in the Sheffield division in the parish, and another that is slated to be built in the Cornwall Mountain division, said Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie.

“The criteria that makes one eligible for these [housing] solutions are that they must be a registered poor, and that the investigation and the determination will be made by the Inspector of Poor [for the parish],” he said.

On a subsequent visit to the house being constructed in the Sheffield division, the Minister said that he hopes the new unit will herald a new beginning for the family.

“I am looking at the commencement of a change in the fortune of a family. There are hundreds of Jamaicans just like this family in a similar situation. We will never have all the resources that are required to offer the assistance, but at least we are making a start,” he said.

The two-bedroom house will have its own water harvesting system and will be fully furnished when handed over to the family.


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Rock Hall gets printer from Usain Bolt Foundation

Rock Hall Primary School in rural St. Andrew has benefited from a donation of cartridge-free printer and printing paper by the Usain Bolt Foundation, which will better enable the institution to meet the learning needs of students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams said that while the Ministry is facilitating a blended learning approach through online and audio-visual classes and learning kits, most schools are required to produce printed materials for each student.

“I know that schools use a lot of paper [to produce] printed worksheets for [students] to work on and I’m sure [the] school will benefit from this donation,” she said.

Member of Parliament for St. Andrew West Rural Juliet Cuthbert Flynn said that she is pleased with the resumption of face-to-face classes. “I know it has been very difficult for all of you while being at home and trying to navigate the tablets or your computers to do Zoom classes. So, I’m sure coming to school for two or three days a week is great, [because you’re] out of the house,” she noted.

Acting Principal of Rock Hall Primary School, Keisha Mehabear, expressed gratitude for the donation.

The Usain Bolt Foundation is donating 100 printers and 20 projectors to primary schools across the island.

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Better accountability under NIDS, says Prime Minister

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the national identification system (NIDS) will be fully operational this year.

“I’m hoping that by the end of the year, we will have a significant portion, if not the majority of the population properly identified in the national identification system,” Mr. Holness said.

He was speaking during a tour of the NIDS card centre at the Post and Telecommunication Department on South Camp Road in Kingston, on January 4.

The facility will be responsible for producing the identification (ID) cards issued under NIDS. It includes the production centre, vault area and enrolment site.

Prime Minister Holness, in outlining the importance of NIDS, noted that when a service is provided, the Government must be able to identify the beneficiaries and “be able to account to you the citizens, as to how your funds are spent”.

“So there is, even now, a greater need to be able to identify who benefits when public resources are spent. But, more than that, we need to be able to identify our citizens so we can properly plan. One of the big problems we have always faced, as a government, is that some get, and others don’t,” he said.

“One of the reasons why you have that problem is that we just don’t account for everyone. So, you’re not able to plan for everyone, and what we’re doing, in our 60th year [of Independence] with the establishment of the NIDS, is to ensure that every single Jamaican can be included, accounted for, and properly served,” Mr. Holness added.

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