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SHARING THE LOVE: Kiwanis club donates school supplies

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

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

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News for Week of March 6, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

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Top experts to speak at free men’s health virtual summit set for April 7; register today

Men are notorious for not paying attention to their health, with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) pointing out that more than a third of deaths in men are preventable compared with 19 per cent in women.

So, if men, as a group, live a healthier lifestyle an additional three out of ten will live longer. This is the aim of the Healthy Men Caribbean Wellness Summit which will be held virtually from April 7, 2022, World Health Day, through to April 9 under the theme, Building Personal Resilience. The event is sponsored by The VM Group, and Courts (Jamaica Limited). 


PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, commented in 2018 on the “growing evidence… of differential epidemiological trends between men and women, particularly with respect to men’s premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and morbidity linked to poor health-seeking behaviours, mental health, and violence, including homicide and injuries.”

Dr. Etienne noted that men’s risk-taking behaviours and their underutilization of health services are strongly linked to gender differences and predominant norms of masculinity – what it means to be a “man.”

The three-day wellness summit is free of charge to men and the women who care about them. They will receive useful information from a team of health professionals that will improve their outlook towards achieving a healthier lifestyle. Men and their female partners can register today at this link:

Among men’s health issues to be explored is the link between lifestyle diseases and the decline in sexual performance. This will be presented by naturopathic doctor, Michelle Hamilton, who will demonstrate the effectiveness of drug-free treatment. Dr. Neil Gardner, a leading Chiropractic Neurologist in the Caribbean, is also down to speak at the summit.

Fitness instructor Shani McGraham-Shirley will take participants through the exercise paces as she conducts a session on the topic: Does Size Really Matter?” while DJ-turned counselling psychologist, Kevin Bailey, will equip men to cope with change in their lives. Tips on how to keep cool under fire will be shared by psychotherapist Dr. Janice Stewart. Other presentations include Dr. Donovan Thomas on the Art and Science of Happiness, and Dr. Brendan Bain on Sexuality in Males.

Healthy Men Caribbean Wellness Summit is being hosted by Serg Media through its Impacting Jamaica digital brand.

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COVID-19 hit students to get extra lessons

About 40,000 students have been re-engaged through the Ministry of Education and Youth’s Yard to Yard, Find the Child initiative.

The initiative has been allocated $103 million, which has an overall target to reach an estimated 120,000 students.

Minister of Education Fayval Williams said the 40,000 who are re-engaged, will receive an individual learning plan provided by their teachers, to help them recover from being disengaged with the education sector, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She added that they are required to participate in a diagnostic test, of which the data will be collected and analysed by the Ministry to determine the severity of their learning gap.

“More than 70 per cent [have done the] test and what we’re seeing in those assessments is what we would have expected, given that some of our children were not connected to the school system for such a long period of time,” she said.

She said of the students re-engaged, an estimated 10,000 are going to require “real and intensive hands-on support”.

Minister Williams said $250 million has been allocated for the current budget cycle to provide resources to those remedial programmes, while regular lessons continue with students who remained engaged through virtual classes.


$15m to start sports museum, says culture minister Grange

An initial sum of $15 million has been allocated towards the establishment of the National Sports Museum.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister Olivia Grange said that work on the development of the facility will be a major part of the ‘Jamaica 60’ commemorative activities.

“It falls under the Sports Division, but in order to expedite the process we have now shifted it to the Commemorative and Special Events Unit, and we will be treating it as a Jamaica 60 project,” she explained.

Noting that preparations under the project are far advanced, she said that the process of collecting artefacts for the museum has started. These are currently in the care of the Institute of Jamaica.

She informed that a location has been identified along Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston for the establishment of the facility.

“The design has been completed; everything is in place. This allocation ($15 million) will take on the consultants to move the project forward,” she said. “We also propose to have a Jamaica 60 Diamond Jubilee Awards function to recognise our sports personalities who have contributed to the development of sports over the last 60 years.”


Jamaica’s finest coffee can lure visitors, says Bartlett

The development of cottage industries to support the production of coffee by-products, including beverages, is one strategy Jamaica can employ to bring more visitors to the island, says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

He said that Jamaica is in a “good position”, as the producer of some of the world’s finest coffee, to tantalize the tastebuds of visitors, many of whom come to the island in search of a satisfying gastronomical experience.

He noted that coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world, with 1.2 billion cups drunk daily, and Jamaica can fulfil a portion of this demand. “It is possible… for us to develop… cottage industries around coffee, and we can bring in the players from all over the world in the same way that foodies travel all over the world [for this experience],” he said.



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Technology, training to drive efficiency in courts

The Justice Ministry is looking to roll out more virtual services in the administration of justice across the island, as more Courts now have broadband connectivity.

Said the Portfolio Minister Delroy Chuck, “I know that in some Courts the broadband Internet connectivity has improved significantly. This will allow us to roll out more virtual services within the Parish Courts.”

In addition, the Minister said for the 2022/23 fiscal year, the Ministry will seek to increase technology in the courts, adding that the Courts will be urged to do more virtual hearings. He pointed out that training of court personnel in the use of technology will also be a focal point for the new fiscal year.

He said, “Many of our elderly judges feel more comfortable writing, but a lot of training is now taking place, so that the judges can, in fact, utilize the virtual hearings. They are also very engaged in what is known as judicial case management, which will assist them in terms of reducing a lot of the processes that you see them writing.”

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Work on Stony Hill police station begins April

A new police station will be constructed in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, as part of the Government’s efforts to modernize and upgrade the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that its construction is a “strategic direction” of the Government’s crime-fighting efforts. “You will notice that we are [also] improving clinics, hospitals, government service delivery and so forth. We are building town centres, with government centres in them, because this is all about strengthening the State and serving the citizens,” said the prime minister.

The new station will be constructed under the project – Rebuild, Overhaul and Construct – in collaboration with the National Housing Trust, which will provide project financing and management under its Special Projects Unit.

Construction is set to begin in April and should be completed by March next year. It will involve the demolition of the wooden parts of the existing building and the reconstruction of the upper floor.

The scope of the works will also include the construction of a new sewage disposal system, paving of the driveway and parking area, erection of the boundary wall and the supply and installation of domestic appliances.

The new two-storey 5,000 sq. ft. building will house the facilities of the station, including living quarters for officers and a holding area. Disabled persons will also have adequate access to the building.

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