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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 23, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

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PROVEN Wealth donates to two regional hospitals

Although national vaccination efforts have begun, the healthcare sector is still being stressed because of the inherent demand generated by COVID-19 and the various strains of the virus.

In the previous months, we have seen a significant increase in the hospitalization of COVID-19 patients, which resulted in a higher demand for medical supplies. The team at PROVEN recognizes the critical importance for these items and provided support to Cornwall Regional and Mandeville Regional hospitals by way of donation in kind. These items included masks, cleaning agents, hand towel and other essential items.

PROVEN Wealth Portfolio Advisors

PROVEN Wealth Portfolio Advisors hand over supplies to the Cornwall Regional Hospital. From left: Howard Dyer, Senior Portfolio Advisor; Jermaine Harvey, Portfolio Advisor from PROVEN Wealth; Shauntte Brown Smith, CEO, Assistant; Charmaine Beckford, CEO of the Cornwall Regional; and Dane Neil, the Managing Director of Neil’s Bulk Chemicals.

On receipt of these donations, both CEOs expressed their gratitude to the PROVEN Wealth Team. “The Cornwall Regional Hospital is extremely grateful for the donation which will help us to continue to maintain good infection control standards which is critical at this time. Thank you PROVEN,” said Charmaine Beckford, CEO of Cornwall Regional Hospital.

“This could have not come at a better time, especially given the overcrowded nature of the hospital due to the virus,” said Alwyn Miller, CEO of Mandeville Regional Hospital.

This COVID-19 response aligns with PROVEN Wealth’s social mandate in contributing to community development through meaningfully supporting the health needs. This is just one of the numerous ways in which PROVEN Wealth, and its members, give back.

Said Paul Ebanks, the Mandeville Branch Manager, “Upon receiving the call from Mr. Miller, regarding the needs of the hospital. We coordinated with regional supplier Neil’s Bulk Chemicals to provide some of the much-needed supplies. We understood the need and I am proud to be a part of an organization that stands ready to assist when possible. I would implore all companies in corporate Jamaica to pitch in as much as they can to alleviate the strain on the hospitals and our health system as we continue to navigate this pandemic.”

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COVID-19 in 75 per cent of communities

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, is reporting that the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is now in 75 per cent of communities across the island, with 828 hospital admissions.

She said that over the past two weeks the number of deaths has been climbing and warned that persons should not regard the Omicron variant of the virus as only “mild”, as “it still causes severe illness”.

According to the CMO, the Delta variant might be among the population, and with 95 per cent of persons on COVID beds unvaccinated, there is a need for an increase in the rate of vaccination.

“This certainly means that persons need to get vaccinated, because vaccination will prevent severe illness, decreases hospitalizations, and will decrease the number of persons with poor outcomes,” she said.


European Union funds security agenda

The Government of Jamaica-European Union Partnership to Support Citizen Security in Jamaica has been formally launched. The initiative seeks to contribute to the improvement of the security environment and the promotion of social inclusion in communities.

Under the programme, the European Union will provide Jamaica with J$3.5 billion over four years through budgetary support.

Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang said that citizen security is the most fundamental objective of national security in Jamaica today.

“It presents the most comprehensive approach to guaranteeing the delicate balance between the security of persons and their democratic coexistence. It is regarded as the concept that best lends itself to addressing the problems of crime and violence from a human rights perspective,” he said.

The funds are being directed mainly to the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) in order to have measurable results as it relates to reduced criminal activity and enhancing opportunities for the residents to engage in self-improvement and empowerment initiatives.


‘I look forward to benefiting from her wise counsel,’ says PM Holness as first female takes top post in JDF

The first female to head the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Rear Admiral Antonette  Wemyss Gorman, has assumed office as Chief of Defence Staff.

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen presented her with the Instrument of Appointment during a ceremony at King’s House, which also saw her subscribing the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office.

Admiral Wemyss Gorman succeeds Lieutenant General Rocky Meade who retires from the JDF after serving for 38 years, the last five as Chief of Staff.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Juliet Holness; and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang, headed the government and other officials attending the ceremony.

Mr. Holness, in congratulating Admiral Wemyss Gorman, said her selection through a competitive process by the Defence Board was based on that body’s conclusion that she has the requisite leadership skills, experience, commitment, and strategic vision “to lead the men and women of the JDF and drive them to achieve even greater levels of success”.

In highlighting notable achievements of Admiral Wemyss Gorman’s 29-year military career, Mr. Holness said her tenure in the Coast Guard allows her to treat significantly with issues relating to maritime security and the blue economy.

Added the Prime Minister, “She will, therefore, bring a unique perspective to our discussions and efforts to strengthen our borders and prevent illicit inflows, protect the lives and livelihoods of our coastal communities, and ensure Jamaica can derive sustainable benefits from our maritime resources. I look forward to benefiting from her wise counsel on matters relating to defence and security.”


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Chukka Caribbean, Appleton Estate celebrate partnership

Chukka Caribbean Adventures and Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum are celebrating their new partnership, aimed at bolstering the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience.

Master blender, Joy Spence, for whom the facility is named, took attendees through the history of Appleton from its inception in 1749 to its status as a reputable brand today, and which continues to be a major force in the worldwide spirit industry.

Ms. Spence, who is celebrating 40 years at Appleton, with 24 as master blender, said that Appleton rum, with its rich history and global appeal, continues to be an integral part of brand Jamaica.

The master blender said she is passionate about the Appleton brand and creating various mixes and blends that everyone can enjoy.

For his part, Chief Strategist/Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, hailed Ms. Spence, as “a national treasure”. He noted that the Appleton brand is easily one of the best in the international spirit industry, and is a “first-class brand, which remains an integral part of our tourism product”.

Mr. Seiveright also welcomed the partnership between Appleton Rum and Chukka Caribbean Adventures, which went into operation on December 1.

“I am confident that the JSAERE tour will remain a must-see and will be having a major impact on south-coast tourism,” he said.

The arrangement will see Chukka handling all sales, marketing, ticketing, and invoicing for the tour, and the full customer experience from point of departure to arrival.

Appleton will continue to maintain full control of the operations and maintenance of the facility to include delivery of the tour experience, retail, and food and beverage.

It is expected that Chukka will use its relationship with the cruise lines and the destination management companies to bring visitors to the south coast.

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Japan gives money to rural school for two buses

Lacovia High School in St. Elizabeth has received a grant to purchase two school buses for the improvement of the transportation system in school communities.

The grant was approved under the Ministry of Education and Youth Expanded Pilot School Bus Programme and the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project of the Government of Japan. The total value is US$135,014.

Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Masaya Fujiwara, said the buses will be purchased from Toyota Jamaica. He noted that during “pre-COVID times, approximately 30 per cent of students face delay in arriving at school on time, daily”.

“In this regard, the people and the Government of Japan saw the need to provide funding to alleviate the transportation woes being faced by the current student population of over 1,200 students,” Mr. Fujiwara said.

Chairwoman of Lacovia High School, Lola Marshall-Williams, said the school is grateful for the assistance. “I assure you that this is a very generous gift and with the participation of the Ministry, we will utilise these buses to enrich the lives of the entire Lacovia school family,” she said.

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NWC accelerates tech to serve customers better

As Jamaicans continue to embrace technology and the thrust continues for real-time information in the virtual space, the National Water Commission (NWC) has proactively been transforming its services as part of an overall drive to be a more customer-centric organisation.

To this end, the NWC will launch its Customer Web Access (CWA) Portal in February 2022. This portal, which will be hosted on the company’s website, will provide a “self-service desk” for customers who want to get information about their accounts in real time.

Customers will be able to access a summary of their account details, including billing, consumption and payment history for up to 13 months, and access the NWC’s iPay portal to make payments. Additionally, those customers who would like to initiate requests for payment arrangements and updates to their contact information (namely mailing addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers) can do so via the CWA Portal. It will also facilitate customers with multiple properties to be serviced under one login profile.

As part of the requirement to access the CWA Portal, customers must ensure that their Taxpayer Registration Numbers (TRN) and a government-issued ID are registered with the NWC.

Customers are, therefore, encouraged to submit a scanned copy of their TRN cards and a government-issued ID to or visit one of the NWC’s commercial offices with these documents to update their account information. Persons who do not have a physical TRN card may submit a certified letter from the Tax Administration Jamaica bearing their TRN information.

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are encouraged to use the various portals provided by the NWC to pay bills and have their queries addressed as we strive to adhere to the Disaster Risk Management protocols stipulated by the Government.

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