Rene Preval President Jovenel Moise has described former president Rene Preval as a “worthy son of Haiti” as he led the country in paying tribute to his predecessor who died on Friday at the age of 74.Preval, who also served as Prime Minister in 1991 under the presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, before going into exile in September of the same year during a military coup, died following a stroke. Preval served as president from 1996 to 2001, and 2006 to 2011.“I learned with sadness the death of former President René Préval. I lay before the remains of this worthy son of Haiti,” Moïse saidPréval remains the only Haitian Head of State to have completed two terms since the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986.
Global sprint star Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt has donated his gold and white limited edition Puma spikes in which he won the gold medal and broke the Olympic 100 meters record at the 2009 Berlin Olympics to raise money for charity.Bolt handed over the track shoes to Lady Allen, the wife of the Jamaican Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, last week. The pair of spikes will be auctioned next month to raise money for the Issa Trust Foundation for which Lady Allen is the patron.The Issa Trust Foundation has been providing equipment, medical service and treatment for tpaediatric wards at hospitals across the island..The shoes will go on the auction block two weeks ahead of a June 24 fundraising concert featuring Gammy award winning group, Air Supply.
The son of former Jamaican footballer, Allan “Skill” Cole has died. Allan Cole, Jr., age 45 died suddenly on Monday morning in Jamaica.Cole Jr’s son found him lying on the ground, unresponsive. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Suspected heart attackIt is being speculated that Cole Jr died of a heart attack, but family members and friends are awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.His father’s football boots were big ones to fill, but the younger Cole was no rabbit on the football field. He was a former captain of the Excelsior High School Manning Cup team, and played alongside Jamaican football legend Walter Boyd. Outpouring of tributesThere have been an outpouring of tributes paid to Cole Jr since news of his death broke.“Just heard news that my brother Ali Cole died suddenly. It is hard but condolences to his children, parents and loved ones. Sleep in P Ali,” one man wrote on Facebook.An Excelsior High School past student, who was apparently a close friend of the deceased, wrote in a school community page on Facebook: “It was on Saturday I spoke to you never knowing that would be last time I would see you. I pray that your soul may rest in peace Allan “Ally” Cole Jr. Your presence will be truly missed.”Cole Sr was a confidante and manager of late reggae legend Bob Marley and was instrumental in Marley’s forays into Ethiopia and Zimbabwe where Marley performed at a famous independence concert. He also played football with Marley at Marley’s Hope Road residence in Kingston, Jamaica.
In an effort to control the spread of cervical cancer in Jamaica, the government has embarked on a campaign to vaccinate female students with the HPV vaccine.Effective Monday, October 2 the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine began to be offered to female primary school students across Jamaica.This is as health officials have urged parents and guardians to protect their daughters against cervical cancer.The Ministry of Health said it would begin offering the vaccine to girls in grade seven, free of cost. The initiative is part of a J$100 million school-based program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.The move is a proactive measure to protect girls against cervical cancer, which takes the lives of hundreds of women in the country annually, plus hundreds of thousands more worldwide.Targeting 22,500 girlsLast month, Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, speaking at a HPV media sensitization forum at the University of the West Indies (UWI), said 22,500 girls will be targeted under the vaccine initiative. Two doses will be given six months apart for full protection.Not mandatoryTufton said while the HPV vaccine is not mandatory he wanted to assure the public that the program is not a trial and error process.“It is a tried and proven approach that is intended to make our population healthier as it relates to the risk of cervical cancer. I am confident that we are doing the right thing. I am confident that Jamaica needs this, our young girls, our young women; I am confident that it is the right step towards dealing with the risk that is at hand,” he said.The minister explained over 200 million vaccine doses have been applied to patients worldwide, adding that more than 70 countries, including over 20 in Latin America and the Caribbean, have already introduced the HPV vaccine.He said the initiative is a proactive move by the Jamaican government. He pointed out that 392 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Jamaica, and 185, primarily between the ages of 40 and 64, die from the disease, annually.WHO recommends HPV vaccinesThe World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the HPV vaccine be included in national immunization programs as a core strategy for primary prevention against cervical cancer.WHO states that HPV vaccination for girls ages nine to 14 is the most cost effective public health measure against cervical cancer.Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Jamaica and the ninth leading cause of death worldwide.See previous articles on HPV vaccine in the Caribbean:Jamaica to introduce HPV vaccine https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/jamaica-introduce-hpv-vaccine/Guyana to vaccinate thousands of girls with HPV Vaccine https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/guyana-vaccinate-thousands-girls-hpv-vaccine/
Vintage gold in Coral Springs as “Genuine Gold”by Howard CampbellHaving lived in South Florida for almost 40 years, Sydney Roberts is in tune with what the Caribbean community in his adopted home likes. Especially people in his age bracket.On Saturday, Roberts stages the third Genuine Gold show at the Coral Springs Center for The Arts in Coral Springs.Show returns after two-year absence Genuine Gold returns after a two-year break. This year’s edition features a number of ‘vintage’ acts such asDerrick Morgan, Eric ‘Monty’ Morris, Pat Kelly, Leroy Sibbles, Errol Dunkley, Big Youth and Gem Myers. They will be backed by Lloyd Parks and We the People Band.“I don’t look at a show like Genuine Gold as necessarily oldies, but as music for mature people. What I try to do is present a musical event that caters to our community who grew up on reggae and Rhythm and Blues,” Roberts told CNW.Genuine Gold was first held in 2013 at the same venue with John Holt as headliner, supported by Horace Andy and The Tamlins.The following year, again at Coral Springs Center For The Arts, the show featured Boothe, Dunkley, Freddie McGregor, Bob Andy and R&B group Blue Magic.Music out of West KingstonRoberts, who is in his early 60s, hails from West Kingston, Jamaica. That area nurtured a number of talented acts like the durable Boothe and Dunkley whose careers began in the mid-1960s.Jamaican radio and sound systems dished out a steady menu of rocksteady, roots-reggae and R&B during the 1970s. It was not unusual for Jamaican promoters back then to present shows with top artistes from each genre.That mix has consistently worked for Roberts who ran the Miami Reggae Festival for 20 years at Centennial Park and Bayfront Park in Miami.Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers, Dennis Brown, Cocoa Tea, The Melodians, Ray, Goodman and Brown and Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes were some of the acts who performed at the Miami Reggae Festival.Interestingly, the 77-year-old Morgan recorded a massive hit in 1962 to mark Jamaica’s independence from Great Britain.That song, Forward March, turned 55 this year.For recent article on Genuine Gold, visit the link: Coral Springs strikes Genuine Gold.
Finance Minister Audley Shaw on Thursday tabled a budget of J$773 billion for the fiscal year 2018/19 in the Jamaican House of Representatives on Thursday.Details of the budget were outlined in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure. The budget reveals J$560 billion allocated for recurrent expenses and J$213.6 billion for capital projects.Largest sum to MFPSThe Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has been allocated the largest sum, with $240 billion for recurrent expenses and $155 billion for capital expenditure.A large portion of the sum will go towards meeting the country’s debt obligations, while large sums have also been allocated to several other ministries.The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information gets the second-largest amount with $103 billion for recurrent expenses and $1.6 billion for capital spending.The Ministry of Health has been allocated $64 billion for recurrent expenses and $2.16 billion for capital projects, while the Ministry of National Security has received $66 billion for recurrent expenditure and $12.4 billion for capital projects.For the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, $12.7 billion has been allocated for recurrent and $21 billion for capital; Ministry of Justice, $7.7 billion for recurrent and $1.8 billion for capital; and Office of the Prime Minister, $5.89 billion, recurrent and $5.5 billion, capital.Less than 2017/18 budgetThe budget for 2018/2019, is actually four-percent less than last year’s J$805 billion.Six years of budget infoMeanwhile, the Estimates of expenditure now contains six years of budget information, instead of the usual three. The information encompasses provisional and audited actual expenditure for 2016-17, the approved and revised estimates for the current fiscal year 2017-18, estimates for the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19, as well as projected estimates for 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 fiscal years. “The inclusion of the additional three years of projected spending in the estimates of expenditure will now become a permanent feature in the estimates and will shortly be extended to the revenue estimates. This is an effort to provide more information to the public about the government’s future spending intentions and this is in keeping with the administration’s commitment to greater fiscal transparency and accountability,” the Finance Minister said. The Standing Finance Committee of Parliament is now scheduled to meet over three days from February 27 to March 1 to peruse the estimates.The Finance Minister will open the Budget Debate on March 8.
The police in Jamaica have launched an investigation into the murder of a man contracted to work with the National Water Commission (NWC).It’s reported that Benroy Farquharson, 36, was shot and killed at his home in the central parish of Clarendon, late Wednesday.The police say shortly before 9pm, Farquharson, who is also known as Ezra, was at home with his girlfriend when they heard voices shouting “police”.The woman reportedly opened the door and found men armed with guns, when she attempted to close the door, the men forced their way into the house and opened fire, hitting Farquharson, who died on the spot. His girlfriend was not hurt.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), the number one cause of death in the Caribbean and African-American communities is heart disease. People of African and Caribbean heritage are at a much greater risk of developing heart disease than most other ethnicities, leading to a lower life expectancy and a poor quality of life. We have no control over our gender or race; however, we do have control over the modifiable factors that cause heart disease. There are three main conditions that increase the risk of heart disease: High blood pressureObesityDiabetesYou can lower the risk of these conditions through a healthy diet, exercise and regular visits to your primary care physician. Many medications used to control high blood pressure and diabetes are free at Publix Supermarkets. These medications include amlodipine, lisinopril and metformin. Other medication cost only $2.50 per month including clonidine, clopidogrel, furosemide, hydralazine, hydrochlorothiazide, warfarin, losartan, metoprolol, spironolactone, triamterene-HCTZ, glimepiride and simvastatin. It is also important to know the warning signs indicating heart problems. If you or someone you know experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, pain radiating to the shoulders and arms, neck or jaw pain, slurring of speech, face drooping, or arm weakness, you should call 911 or seek help from the nearest emergency department. Change starts with each of us; let’s keep our hearts healthy. EDITOR’S NOTE: Kelsey Deidrick is part of the MD Program, Class of 2019.
Jamaica has moved up one place in the latest FIFA/Coca Cola world rankings released yesterday.The Reggae Boyz who defeated the Cayman Island 4-0 in their latest match up in the CONCACAF, Nations League at the National Stadium on September 9, inched up a place from 54 to 53 to remain the number one ranked Caribbean team and fourth in CONCACAF.Ranked second in the Caribbean is Curacao who remains at 81 and Trinidad and Tobago who climbed one place to 91st, rounding out the top five in the Caribbean is Haiti who remains at 104 on the standings and Antigua who slipped a place to 127.Mexico leads CONCACAF after stepping up a place to 15th overall, ..above second place the USA at 22 with Costa Rica third after slipping five places to 37.In the meantime, FIFA world cup third place winner Belgium have joined world champions France as joint leaders of the rankings, the first time in the table’s 25-year history that top spot has been shared.The rest of the top five remains unchanged with five time world champions Brazil third in the world, above beaten world cup finalist Croatia in fourth.
I join my fellow nationals and friends of the Jamaican Diaspora to celebrate the Christmas Season and welcome another year. As we reflect on the year gone by, let us give thanks to God Almighty for taking us through challenges and success. Let us come together to focus our minds, hearts and energies on the work that lies ahead. I am deeply grateful for the warm welcome my family and I received since I assumed my new role as Consul General to the Southern USA. As I follow in the footsteps of my predecessors, I look forward to continuing to serve my Jamaican nationals and our friends. We thank you all. The spirit of this festive Season is now with us. As Jamaicans, the unity and strength of our people resonate through our prominence on the global stage. Jamaica continues to enjoy success in sports, education, culture and entertainment. We have seen the spirit of our Reggae Girls qualifying for the World Cup; the grit of Brianna Williams Jamaica’s new sprint sensation; and the perseverance of swimmer Alia Atkinson. Reggae music was recently declared a global cultural treasure by UNESCO. And here in our South Florida, eleven (11) persons of Jamaican heritage were elected to public office, while two persons were similarly elected in Georgia State. There is so much to be thankful for. At the recent Jamaica Diaspora USA Leadership Summit in Georgia, a large number of nationals convened to formulate a plan to strengthen us as Jamaicans overseas. Accordingly, we are encouraging all nationals in good standing to legalize their status as citizens here in our host country. The continued theme of unity “Jamaica 56…..One Love, One Family” was celebrated at our 56th Independence celebrations. As such, let’s give thanks and praises for our many blessings, and let us share with family and friends, and especially the less fortunate among us. Now we must look ahead to 2019, as we remain engaged, reaffirming our commitment to personal development and building better diaspora communities, while striving to make Jamaica a better place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business. I wish to express sincere gratitude to the various groups and individuals who have made a significant contribution to Jamaica’s national development. Our team at the Consulate General remains committed to our partnership with individuals, corporations and community groups during the coming year and beyond. On behalf of the staff of the Consulate General of Jamaica, and my family, I wish you all a very blessed Christmas Season filled with peace, love and happiness, and a New Year that is filled with countless blessings. And as the good Book says in Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in Him.”Happy holidays!Oliver MairConsul General Southeastern United States of America,The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands