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SHARING THE LOVE: St. Catherine eye screening

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 13, 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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Amazing support for Jamaica’s COVID-19 fight

Jamaica has received more than US$15 million (J$2 billion) in cash or kind, through various partnerships, in support of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, said Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

He said that said, through partnerships with the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other United Nations agencies, private sector, civil society, bilateral engagements, and the diaspora, the Government has been able to access critical investments that have enabled the country to achieve many of the mission critical outcomes in the war against COVID-19.

The Minister noted that the country benefited from donations in vaccines, the development of technological solutions for the rollout of the vaccine programme, and the provision of social support in the form of groceries and other household items to communities that were impacted in the early stages of the pandemic.

“Through partnership with Japan, we have increased capacity in radiology with donations of seven ultrasound machines and six portable X-ray machines that went to six hospitals,” Dr Tufton said.


April 3 telethon to support MoBay hospital

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched its 2022 telethon to raise $50 million to purchase well-needed medical equipment for the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James.

Already, the Chamber has received $3 million in pledges towards the initiative ahead of the opening of the telethon, which is slated to be held on April 3 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The main hospital building is being rehabilitated to address mould and air-quality issues at the facility. As a result, several services have been relocated.

Chamber President Janet Silvera said that the 2022 telethon event is a rallying cry for the business community and the citizens of Montego Bay to take action to support the hospital’s needs, so that healthcare workers can provide quality care to patients.

“We know we can’t probably purchase [all] the… equipment as needed, but what we do know is that we will help to sensitise those among us who can help the hospital towards this goal,” Ms. Silvera said.

“It is important that we ensure that those who are getting care are able to get care with the proper equipment…A Fi Wi hospital. It’s nobody else’s hospital,” she emphasised.


She expressed gratitude to Kore Contact Centre, S Hotel, Whitter Village, and the Montego Bay Convention Centre for partnering with the MBCCI on the initiative.


Census takers in demand, sign up today

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is encouraging citizens to apply to become census takers and supervisors for the 2022 Population and Housing Census.

Recruitment begins today Sunday, March 13, and end on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Corporate Communications Manager at STATIN, Georgia Garvey-Green, said that the agency is looking to recruit about 8,000 census workers from across the island for the data-collection exercise, which will begin in September 2022.

Applications will be accepted online only. The form is available on STATIN’s website at

Mrs. Garvey-Green informed that persons 18 years and older who have attained secondary-level education or have worked with STATIN on surveys in the past are eligible to apply.

“You can look at it from two ways. You can look at it as you helping your community and helping the Government and STATIN to understand the demographics of your community, so that data can be available to make informed decisions, not just by the Government but by individuals, the business community and civil society organisations,” she said.


Mrs. Garvey-Green emphasised that being a census worker is a “paid job” that allows persons to choose whether they want to collect the data in the afternoon or on weekends.



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Islandwide rail service still on the cards

Government is committed to restoring the islandwide railway service, according to Minister of Transport and Mining Audley Shaw at the official launch of the Safe Passage Road Safety Club earlier this month.

“We are going to put in a service from Montego Bay, St. James, to Appleton Estate [in St. Elizabeth] as a tourism initiative and then we’re going to put back [the route for] Kingston to Montego Bay and eventually [from] Kingston to Port Antonio in Portland,” he said.

Minister noted that many of the tracks are still located on these routes and “the Government will seek to reopen the service to the west and better serve the people”. He said that “the Ministry is confident that our railway system now must be restored”. It is a valuable asset, he pointed out, and it should be left to remain unused.

“It is not only for bauxite purposes, and we’ve started with the pilot project of our students,” he said. The pilot programme, facilitated by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC), includes the routes from Linstead and Old Harbour in St. Catherine, which takes students to the capital, Spanish Town.

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Teen hub coming to cater for St Thomas

Ground has been broken for the establishment of a Teen Hub in St. Thomas, through which adolescents in the parish can access a range of clinical, educational, and social services in a safe environment.

The US$200,000 facility, which will be situated on Church Street in Morant Bay, will offer mental health screening/counselling and referrals, reproductive health services, HIV testing and counselling, pregnancy tests, assistance with homework and school-based assessments, skills training, health fairs, among others.

Establishment of the facility is being undertaken through the Spotlight Initiative, which involves the Government of Jamaica, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) system in Jamaica.

It will model the Teen Hub at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre in St. Andrew, which was opened in November 2017 through the collaborative effort of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the Ministry of Education and Youth.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Juliet Cuthbert Flynn said that the plethora of services to be provided at the St. Thomas Teen Hub will empower young people in their decision-making.

The State Minister commended the partners for collaborating with the Government on the project, which she noted, aims to promote healthy lifestyle and skills development for optimal well-being, particularly within the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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If you pollute, soon you will have to pay a fine

Jamaicans will soon be held financially responsible for correcting activities that pollute the environment under the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle. Acting Chief Technical Director of the Policy, Planning and Evaluation Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Gillian Guthrie, said that the principle will be incorporated in all environmental policies and legislation.

It emerged from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, which states that persons found guilty of polluting the environment, must be held responsible and pay for the act.

“This is something we want to have permeate both law and policy that where people pollute, they must be held responsible for the remediation and rehabilitation of the polluted site,” Ms. Guthrie said.

“We want to have this concept that all Jamaicans can understand and appreciate that it is not okay for you to undertake activities which have an impact, not only on yourself as an individual but also on others around you, and also have an adverse impact on the environment,” she added.

Ms. Guthrie noted that Jamaica is no stranger to the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle as the existing Air Quality Regulations is based on the rule.

“Depending on the loading of air pollutants beyond the standard, you have to pay. So, those who are licensed under the Air Quality Regulations are penalised if they exceed the standard and by how much. There is a mechanism under the regulations for them to pay accordingly, so that is already a principle that is enforced,” Ms. Guthrie said.

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Embracing the data culture. What's the role of Jamaica customs?

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