Scores of Jamaicans now have a clearer vision of the future, having benefitted from the services offered by Cuban specialists under the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Programme.This intervention has afforded them the opportunity to undergo treatment for eye conditions that would have otherwise been costly, free of charge.Launched in January 2010, the local programme seeks to help reduce preventable blindness in adults, through surgical treatment for persons suffering from three specific conditions.These are: Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy (damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes) and Pterygium (a non-cancerous fleshy growth, usually on the surface of the eye).According to the programme’s Co-ordinator, Gregory Thomas, since its inception, over 4,200 surgeries have been performed; and over 3, 790 patients have received surgical treatment. This is in addition to the over 46, 000 consultations that have been conducted.He told JIS News that the programme evolved from the five-year, Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Project, which previously saw persons being screened for various eye conditions in Jamaica and sent to Cuba for treatment. During that period, 2005 to 2009, over 5,600 surgeries were performed.“The first Bilateral Agreement of Co-operation between the Governments of Jamaica and the Republic of Cuba for the establishment of an Ophthalmology Centre of Excellence in Jamaica (at the St. Josephs Hospital in Kingston), where persons would be treated for eye disorders here instead of having to seek treatment abroad, was signed on July 28, 2009. This marked the end of an era spanning five years and the beginning of a new one,” he said.Explaining how the programme works, Mr. Thomas said care is delivered to patients in four phases: Screening (Diagnosis and Selection); Pre-Surgical Evaluation (Clinical, Ophthalmic and Optometric tests); Surgery; and Post-Surgical treatment (four visits).“Prospective patients need to expect that when they turn up for a screening session, every effort will be made to provide them with a diagnosis. If their condition is treatable under the programme then they can expect to be issued an appointment for Pre-Surgical Evaluation (Pre-Op) within weeks of being screened. If they cannot be treated by us, we will refer them to the most appropriate public health facility for treatment,” he explained.“Upon completion of Pre-Op, patients are issued with an appointment for surgery along with instructions to follow leading up to surgery,” Mr. Thomas added.He noted that it is imperative that on the day of surgery, patients are accompanied by an adult, preferably a family member. Cataract and Pterygium Surgeries are done at St. Joseph’s Hospital, while Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy takes place at the National Chest Hospital in Kingston.To access the programme, persons may visit their health centre, family doctor or ophthalmologist to obtain a referral which they would take, along with a valid ID and contact telephone numbers, to a location where screening is being conducted, Mr. Thomas told JIS News.The Co-ordinator pointed out that screening is an important part of the process, as it is here that persons are evaluated to determine whether they are eligible for treatment under the programme.He noted that while most screenings are conducted at the Jamaica/Cuba Ophthalmology Centre in Kingston (National Chest Hospital), screenings are also done in other health facilities across the Island.“Screening has been on-going. Between January 2010 and December 2012, over 15, 000 persons were screened in over 60 locations…We intend to screen at least another 5,000 persons during the current calendar year,” he informed.Mr. Thomas said plans are now in place to improve the programme. He notes that efforts are being made to shorten the turn-around time between the time of selection of the patient and the time the patient receives surgery.He pointed out that the programme will continue to provide the highest level of care to patients to keep the number of complications to a minimum.“Since the start of the programme, there has been only one case of serious complication of the over 4, 200 surgeries performed,” he noted.The Cuban Government has the gratitude of the Jamaicans who have benefitted and will benefit, as well as the appreciation of the Government of Jamaica which has been enjoying diplomatic relations with Cuba for the past 40 years.Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson has expressed appreciation for the assistance the Government has received, particularly in the area of health.“Jamaica is most appreciative of this internationalist medical service from Cuba, always in a spirit of goodwill and humanism. We are forever indebted to the Cuban government and the people of Cuba,” he said, following a tour of the screening centre and ophthalmology ward at the National Chest Hospital.Dr. Ferguson noted that the eye project had brought huge benefits to eye patients in the country, and mentioned the relief which patients experienced when their sight is restored.For further information, persons can contact the offices of the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Programme, located at the Ministry of Health, 2-4 King Street, Kingston, at telephone numbers: 948-0017 or 924-9287; fax: 948-0017 or via e-mail: email@example.comBy Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter
zoomImage by WMN Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed contracts with the Shanghai City’s District of Baoshan to set up a cruise hub dedicated to support the shipbuilding and maritime activities in the cruise sector.The hub builds upon the agreements between Fincantieri, CSSC and Carnival Corporation & plc announced in February 2017 for the construction of two cruise ships, the first ever made in China for the local market.The deal for the first two ships is worth around USD 1.5 billion. The ships are planned to be built for the Chinese market at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) yard, a facility of CSSC Group. The first delivery is expected in 2023.Fincantieri said that the hub will act as a fundamental industrial basin to supply this production. As disclosed, 70% of the total value of a modern cruise ship is realized through the supply.Under the deal, the district will provide financing, tax commercial and administrative benefits, land for necessary development and other resources, in hope of attracting foreign investors and suppliers to the district.“Fincantieri has given a broad support to the district in defining the preferential policies to attract suppliers and will promote the park in its network and in the industry as a whole, as a foundation for the companies which want to access to the opportunities of this project. In this way, the group will become a lever for the establishment in China of its supply chain or of other SMBs, which would greatly benefit from this operation,” the shipbuilder commented.This project is part of the initiatives undertaken by Fincantieri in China aimed at developing the local cruise market, which in the coming days could reach new goals.
Singer/songwriter John Legend joined law enforcement and elected officials as special guests at California’s largest event for crime survivors this week in Sacramento.Held during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Survivors Speak is an annual conference and (new) gathering at the State Capitol hosted by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a network of 6,000 survivors from high-crime communities in California. (The network and conference are organized by Californians for Safety and Justice, a nonprofit project of the Tides Center working to replace criminal justice system waste with policies that create safe neighborhoods and save public dollars.)Survivors Speak: Building Pathways from Trauma to Healing includes 450+ attendees from throughout California, particularly from communities most affected by crime. A goal of the conference and Capitol gathering is to ensure that leaders take into account the needs and perspectives of those most commonly victimized but who may not be heard in policymaking. This focus is one reason Oscar-, Golden Globe- and nine-time-Grammy winner singer/songwriter John Legend made a special visit to the conference to address the attendees.“The new crime survivor movement in California is inspiring not only because of the support it can bring to victims but also the change these new voices can bring to a misguided criminal justice system,” said Legend, who recently launched #FREE AMERICA, a multi-year campaign dedicated to amplifying the growing movement to end our nation’s overreliance on incarceration. “By listening to the voices of those victimized by crime most frequently in our society, we are learning that decades of criminal justice policies created in their name do not reflect what they want or need.”In fact, a survey of California crime survivors in 2013 by David Binder Research found that victims of violent crime are more likely to be low-income, young (especially under 30), and Latino or African American. Three in four victims believe that prisons either make inmates better at committing crimes or have no impact at all, and they preferred a focus on supervised probation and rehabilitation by a two-to-one margin over prisons and jails, and investments in mental health and drug treatment by a three-to-one margin over incarceration. (Read about these and other findings in this report.)Crime survivors shared these views as speakers throughout the conference, which also included special guest speakers such as California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.“As Lt. Governor of California and a former mayor of a big city, I have seen the terrible toll crime takes on California’s diverse communities,” said California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who addressed the conference attendees. “What motivates me is hearing the voices of those most often impacted by crime as they seek new pathways toward community safety. What you’re doing today – elevating your experiences to improve public policy – could not be more important.”Santa Clara District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, addressed the conference during the lunch plenary, underscoring the important partnerships required between crime survivors and law enforcement.“Law enforcement and crime survivors share the same goal: We want smart justice policies in place that protect our communities, especially those most vulnerable to crime and violence,” said Rosen. “To turn these shared goals into action, law enforcement and other community leaders must engage with the people who most often experience crime. That will help to put survivors at the center of our policies and practices, and that is what is so special about today’s event.”Tomorrow, law enforcement officials will also join conference attendees at a new event on the State Capitol lawn. “Remember, Recover, Reform” will provide a chance for attendees to honor lost or victimized loved ones, hear from speakers and call on lawmakers to replace ineffective criminal justice policies with new investments in trauma recovery and crime prevention.“We are finding that survivors prioritize recovery, rehabilitation and prevention, not more of the failed policies of the past,” said Lenore Anderson, Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “If we ignore the experiences and perspectives of those most often affected by crime, not only will we live in an unjust society but also one that is profoundly unsafe.”One such perspective is that of David Guizar, a Los Angeles member of Crime Survivors of Safety and Justice who attended the conference. Guizar has lost two brothers to homicides and saw and felt first hand the ripple effects of those traumatic experiences on his life and his family.“After our family’s losses, we never heard about existing supports for survivors of crime, which would have made a big difference in our ability to recover,” said Guizar. “California clearly has the money – the state spends $10 billion per year on a prison system to respond to crime – but I and other survivors want lawmakers to know that we can invest these resources in smarter ways to help survivors both recover from and prevent crime.”For more on the conference, click here.Source:PR Newswire
On Sunday, in a 30-24 overtime win in Tampa Bay, the Oakland Raiders were flagged for 23 penalties, which cost them an even 200 yards. That was the most penalties for one team in a single game since at least 1940 and the third-most penalty yards that any one team has racked up in a single game in that same span. The Raiders have a history of committing penalties — the franchise led the NFL in that category for four straight years in the nineties and set the single-season record with 163 back in 2011 — so adding the single-game record to that legacy is at least in character. Heck, Oakland was already leading the NFL in penalties this season even before that, um, historic performance in Week 8. But what if I told you that the same factors that are driving the Raiders’ penalties are likely driving their surprising success?The Raiders have the second-most penalties through eight games of any team since 1940, but Oakland is also 6-2. That may not be as surprising as it appears, because committing more penalties isn’t as strongly correlated with losing as conventional wisdom suggests. I looked at all team penalties through Week 8 of each season since the NFL’s realignment in 2002, and there was only a slightly negative correlation between penalties and winning (i.e., the more penalties a team has, the lower its winning percentage).1The correlation coefficient between winning percentage and penalties over that span was just -0.10. And that correlation is actually positive for the 2016 season, thanks to the Bay Area teams: Not only is Oakland an outlier, but also the 1-6 49ers have the fewest penalties in the NFL this season. And while most coaches stress to players that they shouldn’t incur penalties, the relationship between penalties and success (as we can see from the chart) isn’t as clear as you might think. Sure, on any given play, a penalty is bad, but penalties are also associated with aggressive, physical play, and those can be very good things on the plays where penalties aren’t called.Of Oakland’s 103 total penalties (both accepted and declined), a league-high 53 (51 percent) of them have come on offense. (On average this season, 49 percent of all penalties have come on offense, compared to 37 percent on defense and 14 percent on special teams.) Of Oakland’s offensive penalties, 18 have come from offensive holding, which is tied for first with the Patriots (who have only played seven games), and 14 have come via false start, second in the league to Washington’s 16. And Oakland’s offense has been flagged a league-high four times for unnecessary roughness, with tackle Donald Penn owning two of those infractions.So far this season, 45 players have been flagged for at least five offensive penalties, and six of those players are Raiders: backup lineman Vadal Alexander (8), followed by Penn (7), center Rodney Hudson (6), guard Gabe Jackson (6), WR Michael Crabtree (5) and guard Kelechi Osemele (5). In total, Raiders offensive linemen have been flagged for 33 penalties, nine more than any other offensive line in the league.That’s a lot of penalties, but what that analysis is missing is what’s happening on all the plays that don’t result in a penalty — especially if those plays include ones where the refs don’t throw a flag because they’ve already thrown so many. And Oakland’s offensive line is doing really, really well on those plays. No team has spent more 2016 salary cap dollars on its offensive line than the Raiders, and it’s paid off: Oakland has been sacked on just 2.7 percent of all pass plays this season, the lowest rate in the NFL. And Oakland’s top three running backs — Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard — aren’t highly-regarded and weren’t drafted with premium picks, but they have rushed 156 times for 763 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. The Oakland line is getting things done.We don’t often think of offensive linemen as boom-bust players, but that’s what the Raiders have created under OL coach Mike Tice. Because while that unit has been responsible for an enormous share of the team’s penalties, on most other plays, it’s operating as one of the best units in football. The Raiders have talked about building a nasty, physical, aggressive offensive line — and for better or worse, that’s exactly what they’ve done.CORRECTION (Nov. 2, 12:34 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article misstated the time period of the penalties and win percentages shown in light purple. The correct time period is 2002 to 2016, not 2012 to 2016.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppJamaica, August 15, 2017 – Kingston – The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is encouraging persons to take the time to ensure that their properties are protected before travelling, in the event that a tropical cyclone should affect the island.Director of Preparedness and Emergency Management, at the ODPEM, Horace Glaze, tells JIS News that persons should make an assessment and put things in place to prevent any incidents or minimise the event of any such occurring.He states that property owners should create and work from a checklist, especially looking if the properties are susceptible to landslides and wind damage.“If you (live in a) flood-prone (area) you need to put your furniture and other items on raised platforms. If you live in an area where the population is sparse, you may want to let the police know you might be away for an extended period. It’s really about assessing your personal circumstances, what your likely risks and vulnerabilities are and addressing them accordingly,” he says.Mr. Glaze also encourages home and business owners to check for any hazards, which could affect the safety of roofs and windows.“Do a hazard hunt around the home…both externally and internal. You’re not at home… and the (strong) winds might just blow down a tree, which might pull down electric service wires. Plug out all unnecessary electrical (equipment), you’re less likely to have a fire at home as a result,” he informs.He adds that trees should be pruned to prevent structural damage, in the event that a tree falls. “If you’re doubtful of the structure and you need to do the necessary ‘tie downs’, do that. If you have shutters in place, pull them down to prevent glass from breaking. Some persons will be concerned about flooding, some persons about landslides while others may be concerned about wind damage,” he notesOn the matter of placing concrete blocks and heavy stones on roofs, Mr. Glaze says persons should fix their roofs, using the proper roof screws, as ‘roof weights’ could pose a serious problem, in the event of a hurricane, especially for neighbours.He further encourages persons to seek the guidance of their local artisans and carpenters on how to properly strap down roofs, as simply placing heavy objects on the roof is not enough.Meanwhile, the ODPEM Director notes that often pets are forgotten and adequate preparations are not made to protect them.He advises that plans must be put in place to relocate pets from a house or an establishment, to a place where they can be housed to ride out the storm.Mr. Glaze reiterates that steps must always be taken by persons to have their properties monitored either by a neighbour, family or other source, to ensure some level of security and protection during or after the adverse weather. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) submitted memorandums to deputy commissioners (DCs) across the country, including Dhaka, on Thursday, demanding its chairperson Khaleda Zia’s proper medical treatment and her release from jail before Eid-ul-Fitr.In Dhaka, several hundred BNP leaders and activists gathered near the Dhaka DC’s office around 10:30am and chanted various slogans, demanding Khaleda’s release.Later, a delegation of BNP, led by Dhaka district BNP assistant organising secretary Abdus Salam Azad, submitted a memorandum to Dhaka DC Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan.Talking to reporters, Salam said the government has kept their ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail without providing her proper treatment.”We submitted a memorandum to the DC demanding her release and proper treatment at the United Hospital,” he said.Salam warned that the government will have to shoulder all the responsibilities if anything bad happens to Khaleda.He said all other district units of the party also submitted memorandums to their respective DC offices to push for the same demand.On 8 February, Khaleda was sent to jail after a special court sentenced her to five years’ rigorous imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirBNP on Monday voiced frustration over prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s comment on the 11th parliamentary polls, saying it has manifested the government’s intention of establishing one-party rule instead of ensuring an inclusive election.Talking to reporters after attending a programme at Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) auditorium, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the nation has got disappointed with Sheikh Hasina’s press conference comments as she turned down people’s main demand of holding the next polls under a non-party administration.”The prime minister is pursuing a path of establishing a one-party rule. We didn’t find her intention of accepting people’s verdict. She also has no plan to take steps for creating a level-playing field and equal scope for all the parties to ensure a participatory election,” he said.The BNP leader alleged that the government has again started arresting BNP leaders and activists across the country to hold a lopsided election. “A fair election can’t be held if you (Awami League) carry out unilateral campaign by arresting opposition leaders and activists.”Fakhrul said people had an expectation that the prime minister at her Sunday’s press conference would come up with some positive comments on creating a democratic atmosphere for holding a credible election in the greater interest of people, but she has failed to do so.”The prime minister’s comments over people’s rights and the national election have frustrated the entire nation. Holding a fair election under an impartial government is now people’s main demand, but she has rejected it as she said everything will happen as per the constitution,” he observed.The BNP leader said the constitution is a manmade document, and it can be amended anytime in people’s interest. “You (govt) have repeatedly amended the constitution to protect your own interests.”On Sunday, prime minister Sheikh Hasina at a press conference said she will neither take any step for bringing BNP to the election nor obstruct it from joining the polls. “There’s no question of holding discussions with them (BNP), no matter who says what.”She also turned down BNP’s demand of holding the next polls under a non-party administration, saying Bangladesh will follow the system practised in India and Britain.The press conference was arranged to brief the media about the outcomes of her just-concluded visit to Nepal for attending the 4th BIMSTEC summit.Sought his comment on the prime minister’s refusal to hold any dialogue with BNP, Fakhrul said she did the same in 2012-13, but finally forced to invite Khaleda Zia for talks.He also said they will unite people and realise their all demands by foiling the government’s all ‘evil designs’. “People are our strength.”Earlier, speaking at Youth Forum’s Bangladesh Youth Parliament programme at the SCBA auditorium, Fakhrul urged the young generation to come up to take the country forward, and build a happy prosperous and democratic Bangladesh.He criticised the government for what he said repressing those students who waged movements seeking quota reform and safe roads.Fakhrul urged the youth to turn around braving all obstacles to take the country to the right track.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is briefing journalists at her official Ganabhaban residence on Monday, following her four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.Awami League president, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday expressed determination with confidence to smoothly hold the next parlimentary polls within due time despite confusions or what she termed conspiracies.“There will be conspiracies, but we will be able to overcome those. I believe in elections. The election commission will announce the polls schedule,” Hasina told a media briefing at her official Ganabhaban residence, following her four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.At a rally on Saturday, Jatiya Party (JaPa) chairman HM Ershad, also the prime minsiter’s special emissary, expressed apprehensions over holding of the 11th parliamentary elections due later this year.When asked about such ‘uncertaintity’, Sheikh Hasina alleged, a section of people has been ‘hatching conspiracies and creating suspisions’ to hamper continuity of the democratic process.“The Awami League (AL) will move ahead despite obstacles and puruse development. My party has the strength to face the oppostion,” she said.About forging of the Jatiya Oikya Front or National Unity Front, led by noted lawyer Kamal Hossain, the prime minister claimed that her party is not concerned about the emergence of the new coalition.“I welcome the initiative. There is a necessity and they have been united. If they gain success, what’s wrong,” she told journalists, however, adding, “I don’t see any good politics in it.”On 13 October, the Oikya Front came into being, raising demand for holding free and fair elections, promising change in political culture. Bangladesh Natonalist Party is a major force in it.“We have to see who are united there. They are from different parties with different backgrounds. They are the corrupt, creators of militancy and money launderers. They are also convicted in the 21 grenade attack and 10 truck arms smugglling incidents,” Hasina said alleging that Kamal Hossain formed unity with these forces.“It’s important how the people of Bangladesh view them,” the AL president said. “I have nothing to say [about them]. If the people of Bangladesh want them, let them want,” she added.Asked if the ruling camp would invite the opposition to dialoue if the Front leaders seek it, Sheikh Hasina said, “Any mindset is yet to be created as I have not still received any letter [of request from them].”About splitting of political parties and alliances, Hasina said where there is a breach, there is reunification. “[We’ve] nothing to worry about.”Dwelling on a seven-point demand including a fair election under a neutral administration, raised by the new coalition, the prime minister said, “Let me wait and see how many demands they come up with ultimately.”On the opposition’s announcement to launch movement to realise their demands, Sheikh Hasina said the government would “do everything if any quarter wants to carry out arson attacks and kill people”.In reply to a few questions on former caretaker government adviser Mainul Hosein, Sheikh Hasina cricticised him for his remaks on journalist Masuda Vatti at a TV talk-show.