USA Diaspora Supports AdoptA Clinic Programme

Story Highlights The Jamaica Diaspora Health Task Force in the United States of America (USA) is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to advance the Adopt-a-Clinic programme.Under the initiative, launched in November 2017, the Ministry has earmarked 100 health centres across the island for support from local and international individuals, groups and corporate entities. The United Kingdom (UK) Diaspora is a key partner in the programme.Co-Chair of the Task Force for the USA North East region, Claudette Powell, told JIS News that discussions have been ongoing with stakeholders to identify persons and/or groups that will commit to partnering with health centres in Jamaica for the required three to five years.She was speaking to JIS News during Tuesday’s (June 18) session of the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which is under way at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.Ms. Powell, who is a registered nurse consultant, said she is optimistic and is working towards being able to report on the adoption of at least 50 clinics by the next Diaspora Conference in 2021.She expressed gratitude to Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, for his support for the Diaspora USA initiative.She said that at a meeting prior to the conference, the Minister “shared some of the strategies adopted by the diaspora group in the UK in their Adopt-a-Clinic effort, which has been relatively successful. I will certainly be guided by that”.Executive Director of the Ministry’s Health and Wellness Foundation, which has direct responsibility for the Adopt-a-Clinic programme, Courtney Cephas, told JIS News that there have been 14 adoptions to date, with another 20 in the pipeline.“We are expecting to have at least one adoption per month and we are ramping up the efforts in that regard,” he said. Mr. Cephas said that the buy-in from the private sector in Jamaica has been good and “we are looking for that support to continue”.He pointed out, however, that the foundation has a goal of having at least 30 per cent of the adoptions coming from the diaspora.“Most of the support, so far, has been from the local companies here in Jamaica and some out of the UK. They have adopted five clinics, and recently, we had three from the USA, and there is one coming up from Canada. We are looking for the support to be expanded both locally and overseas,” Mr. Cephas said.“If even 30 per cent of the adoptions come from the diaspora, then that would be very good. We want the programme to be as diverse as possible. We are working closely with the Task Force on this,” he continued.The Adopt-a-Clinic programme is one of the key strategic initiatives of the Ministry to strengthen the primary healthcare sector.The objective is to provide the facilities with requisite basic needs and resources that will better enable them to deliver improved quality services to communities. The Jamaica Diaspora Health Task Force in the United States of America (USA) is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to advance the Adopt-a-Clinic programme. Under the initiative, launched in November 2017, the Ministry has earmarked 100 health centres across the island for support from local and international individuals, groups and corporate entities. The United Kingdom (UK) Diaspora is a key partner in the programme. Co-Chair of the Task Force for the USA North East region, Claudette Powell, told JIS News that discussions have been ongoing with stakeholders to identify persons and/or groups that will commit to partnering with health centres in Jamaica for the required three to five years. read more

Govt Awards 47 Scholarships to Needy Medical Students

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, who made the announcement at a press conference in the UWI Council Room on Thursday (September 5), said that the support came out of recent discussions with university officials. The awards are valued at $177.66 million per annum over the next five years. Story Highlights The Government has provided 47 full-tuition scholarships to needy students who started their Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degrees at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, this semester. The Government has provided 47 full-tuition scholarships to needy students who started their Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degrees at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, this semester.The awards are valued at $177.66 million per annum over the next five years.Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, who made the announcement at a press conference in the UWI Council Room on Thursday (September 5), said that the support came out of recent discussions with university officials.“This cohort will be funded for the full five years of the programme, providing they meet established criteria… . Applicants must be Jamaican nationals. Only applicants with matriculation qualifications in the 97 percentile will be considered,” he said.He noted that beneficiaries are required to maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 in order to continue to receive the scholarship.All beneficiaries will be bonded by the Government for five years after completing their studies.Minister Samuda said that only students who demonstrate the greatest need will be selected and will include former beneficiaries of the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and persons from inner-city and poor rural communities.Already, three students have been selected for full scholarships. They are Shamarie Collins, Quwayne Howell and Rashaun Stewart.The three young men recently deferred their dreams of becoming medical doctors to pursue more affordable degree programmes.Rashaun, who delivered the Vote of Thanks, said that the students are “very appreciative” of the support.“Prior to this endowment, I had no real idea and no concrete plan in place to get into the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Medicine costs US$28,000 and, unfortunately, I was not able to get the subsidy as a result of some extenuating circumstances.“I would have had to garner the full fee… and I was not able to source it prior to the commencement of this academic year. But thanks to this opportunity, I am now able to springboard the commencement of my dream of becoming a medical doctor,” he said.The support from the Government adds to the financial assistance already being offered to UWI students pursuing medicine.“We already sponsor 55 students in each cohort by paying 80 per cent of their fees,” Minister Samuda said. read more

Government Committed To Developing Water System To Serve All Jamaicans

Story Highlights “We are working to implement the measures to give as much relief as possible and our long-term goal is to develop a diversified and more resilient system, so all Jamaicans within our utility service will get consistent water supply,” the Minister said. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the Government is committed to developing a diversified and resilient water system, to serve all National Water Commission (NWC) clients.“We are working to implement the measures to give as much relief as possible and our long-term goal is to develop a diversified and more resilient system, so all Jamaicans within our utility service will get consistent water supply,” the Minister said.Senator Charles Jr. was speaking at the handover of a 1,000-gallon water tank to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD), in Kingston, on September 24.“The Government has started to make that investment and I know that we will get the commitment and partnership of all stakeholders to do so, because water is one of those very critical areas where everybody has to be on board,” the Minister said.Senator Charles Jr. gave a commitment that at a later, the school will receive two additional 200-gallon water tanks.He said the Ministry’s assistance to the school will also see NWC technicians conducting an assessment of the water supply system at the institution as well as conducting sensitisation sessions with students and staff in best practices for water conservation.“We want to reassure you that we are committed to making the investment that will ensure that you are able to provide your campus and students with water,” the Minister said.The assistance is part of efforts by the Government and its stakeholders to alleviate the water supply challenges due to the severe drought conditions and infrastructure development projects, which are under way through the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).The MIDP is being implemented by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with funding from the Government and the Export-Import Bank of China. The project aims to improve the island’s road network in order to enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Jamaica and to stimulate economic development.Meanwhile, Executive Director, CCCD, Tashi Widmer, told JIS News she is grateful for the assistance by the Ministry.She said the intervention is timely as the institution’s existing 3,000-gallon water tank is in a state of disrepair and has presented a challenge for both staff and students at the institution.“We are a residential school, so we feed and bathe and clothe the students here. I am thankful for the support of the Ministry and the NWC team,” she said. Senator Charles Jr. was speaking at the handover of a 1,000-gallon water tank to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD), in Kingston, on September 24. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the Government is committed to developing a diversified and resilient water system, to serve all National Water Commission (NWC) clients. read more

Honduras Ban praises truth commission probing last years coup

“The commissioners have a grave responsibility before them, but theirs is only one small part of the effort needed to heal the Honduran nation,” he said in a message sent to the Government and the head of the commission. “We encourage all of those in leadership in Honduras to take a sensitive, comprehensive and sustained approach to the task ahead. Truth-telling is a necessary but not sufficient basis for reconciliation.“Bringing the Honduran nation together will also require sustained efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights, and provide social and economic opportunity for all Hondurans.”The commission, headed by former Guatemalan vice president Eduardo Stein, was set up by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo after his election in November to investigate the events leading up to last June’s coup which ousted Mr. Zelaya seven months before the end of his term.“Honduras has gone through a difficult and divisive period in its history and the process of national healing must now begin,” Mr. Ban said. “I am heartened that Hondurans today are taking an important first step toward reconciliation. I am hopeful that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will contribute to mending the wounds of the recent past and to bringing the people of Honduras together once again.” 4 May 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the inauguration of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Honduras as “an important first step” toward binding the wounds in the Central American country opened by last year’s ouster of President José Manuel Zelaya. read more