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Health and Wellness Ministry to implement salt reduction programme

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, says that as part of continuous measures to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the ministry will be implementing a National Salt Reduction Programme.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day regional meeting on ‘Reduction of Salt for Prevention and Control of NCDs’ held at the University of the West Indies in St Andrew today, Dr Tufton said the programme, which aims to “reduce blood pressure and associated cardiovascular diseases”, carries a $23-million budget.

 The minister pointed out that the project will run for 18 months in partnership with the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), which organised the meeting.

 “The project is to capture baseline data on salt consumption, as well as salt content in packages and restaurant foods,” Dr Tufton said.

He pointed out that the 2018 Investment Case for NCDs in Jamaica predicts that the economy stands to gain more than $77 billion over a 15-year period “from investing in a package of interventions for tobacco, alcohol, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases”.

Noting that the region has a blood pressure problem, the minister said statistics  show that many of the territories have similar issues with NCDs, and that countries must work together to tackle the problem.

He shared that across the Caribbean, people are exceeding the World Health Organisation recommendation of daily intake of salt, which is less than 2,000 milligrams, with the consequence that “we are killing ourselves at an increasingly rapid rate”.

The high-level meeting is intended to review actions to reduce salt and sodium in the food environment, and to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences among stakeholders.

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I don’t want to sit and beg

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Thirty-six-year-old amputee, David Daley, is determined to support his family and himself despite having to live with one leg.

“Cause, I tell myself, I don’t want to sit and beg,” he told The Jamaica Observer Central.

Daley who was born in Newell, St Elizabeth, came under scrutiny when family members saw from early that one foot was longer than the other. Another abnormality was that his right foot had four toes.

Alarm further set in, when doctors informed Daley’s family that if he continued to walk using both feet, he would eventually suffer adverse effects on his spine.

He spent time receiving treatment at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston from he was nine years old and then the heart-breaking decision was taken to remove his right foot.

Daley was then given a prosthesis (artificial leg) but in time he found the artificial limb unbearably uncomfortable, so he stopped using it.

The way Daley tells it, one day he became inspired to ride a bicycle when he saw a one-legged man selling newspapers while riding.

For 22 years since then, Daley has been riding a bicycle, finding it useful in performing a variety of tasks.

Daley drew on his strength and that of family members and started to transport children to school on his bicycle. This began when his mother asked him to take his younger brother to school and neighbours who saw him assisting his brother asked if he could take their children to school as well, and Daley responded by becoming a well-needed mode of transport; a task he did for 14 years.

He then moved on to transporting cooking gas, eggs, and other items on his bicycle for community members.

That was not all for Daley as he has also tried his hand at car washing, electrical work, welding, raising goats and chickens, selling eggs, construction, making and selling items such as peanut drops and peanut cakes.

Some of these jobs, he is still doing to take care of his family, says Daley, who currently lives in Northampton, St Elizabeth, with his wife, Monique and two-year-old daughter Zonnique.

He freely admits that coping with just one leg isn’t easy.

“A lot of people see me riding on one foot and think it’s easy, but it wasn’t easy. Is not something like if yu foot cut off today, you can jump on a bicycle tomorrow. No, it takes a whole lot,” Daley shared with this publication.

He also recognises that his life can be an example for others who have to deal with severe adversity.

“Whatsoever you are doing you got to come from deep within,” he told Observer Central. “You got to make up your mind that I’m gonna do this… and don’t mek nobody stop you, don’t look at yourself like, ‘hey this happened to me, it’s the end of the world’. No, it’s not the end of the world. We can all rise up,” Daley said.

He is also challenging able-bodied persons to do better in life.

“You can get up and do something. There’s so much that you can do. I meet people who come to me even begging me money and saying ‘nothing nah gwaan’. Come on, nuttin nah gwaan if you sit down every day an’ say nuttin nah gwaan. Get up and do something, seek, go out and reach out and somebody will help you. You will get a work from somebody. You affi mek something gwaan because if I did tell myself that, where would I be?”

Nathalie Jordon, a business owner in Goshen, St Elizabeth supports Daley by being a regular customer, buying eggs from him.

“He’s a really hard-working person,” said Jordan. “He is dedicated to trying to make something for himself. He’s coming from a humble background and him just tell himself say him nah go out deh go do no wrong. Him ah go work hard and do something. So me kinda really proud of where he’s coming from and his achievements and he’s still trying to go,” she added.

Daley says an abiding wish is to be able to do things that will motivate people. He enjoys sitting with other people with disabilities and trying to help them lift their self-esteem.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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Early Stimulation Programme helping little ones

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Early Stimulation Programme helping little ones

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Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson (right) presents Dandre Simpson with a backpack and certificate at the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) transitional exercise, held at Apostolic Church of Jamaica Bethel Temple, Kingston Gardens, last week. The ESP is an early intervention programme for young children (0-6 years) with various types of developmental disabilities. A total of 60 students graduated from the ESP, 50 of whom will be matriculating to primary special education and 10 students to the regular school system. (Photos: JIS)

Photo 2 – Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson (right) interacts with students at the Early Stimulation Programme transitional exercise, last week.

Photo 3 – Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson (left) presents Talique Coulson with a backpack at the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) transitional exercise last week.


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A boost for Mandeville Regional’s ENT department

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The recent donation of a surgical microscope to the Mandeville Regional Hospital has greatly enhanced the institution’s capacity to deal with ear, nose and throat (ENT) cases, medical experts say.

The surgical microscope, worth $3.1 million, was recently handed over to the hospital by the charity group, Manchester Wellness Foundation, according to a news release.

Acting CEO at Mandeville Regional, Marcia Francis, told those at the presentation ceremony that while the hospital’s ENT department performed 317 surgical procedures in 2018, it will now be able to do many more.

“The hospital could have facilitated more surgical procedures, however, the absence of the surgical microscope made it impossible. With this robust, compact and flexible microscope, the hospital’s ENT team will be able to perform additional procedures with compassion, in an accountable, respectful, and efficient manner,” Francis said.

Consultant at the hospital’s ENT department, Dr Andrew Manning, said the microscope will be particularly helpful in treating the condition serous otitis media with effusion, commonly known as “glue ears”, which affects learning.

“This condition is fluid behind the eardrum and if not addressed before age four, children would have missed out on most of what they would learn in life. Normally we would have to refer children to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, but now we are able to address these cases,” Manning said.

Chairman of the Manchester Wellness Foundation and acting regional director of the Southern Regional Health Authority, Herschel Ismail, pointed out that the foundation adopted the ENT department three years ago and to date has donated equipment and instruments valued at more than $6 million.

Since the establishment of the Manchester Wellness Foundation in 2003, the foundation has raised and disbursed more than $17.6 million to health facilities in Manchester through two major fund-raising events — a run walk and a vintage party — the news release said.

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