BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday May 22, 2019 – The Ministry of Health and Wellness has approved five marijuana-based drugs to be placed on the National Drug Formulary, the list of affordable generic and brand-name medications offered by the Barbados Drug Service (BDS).
The BDS will procure the medications and doctors will be able to prescribe them. But there will be no smoking allowed.
News of this came yesterday from Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, who said the decision followed recommendations from the Barbados National Drug Formulary Committee.
He made it clear that the smoking of marijuana would not be part of the process since there was no scientific evidence to suggest that there were any benefits in terms of ailments.
“The Drug Formulary Committee made
a strong recommendation on this…so that was ruled out from day one, and that
was presented to Cabinet and it was accepted, and we are going to stay with
that until any other information is made available to the ministry to suggest
otherwise,” he explained.
The Health and Wellness Minister
told the audience that the training seminar was mandated by Cabinet in order to
ensure that high standards were set as the project advanced.
He said that he had been made
aware that there were stores in Bridgetown that were already selling the
“Let me say that I will be issuing
a warning this week, a reminder of the law, and after that, we will enforce the
law in its fullest to ensure that such persons come to a Christian understanding
of right and wrong. The laws are not to be broken,” Bostic said, stressing that
certification and training were essential parts of the process.
He noted that while the Ministry
of Health and Wellness was responsible for this aspect of the project, the
major part of the project would be overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture,
since it was government’s intention to get involved in every aspect, including
cultivation, production, marketing, and research and development.
“And, I give the assurance that the average Barbadian will not be excluded from this process…. Persons who might have been ostracized and even criminalized in the past are being included in this process, as we try to map out the direction that we are going to go with this industry,” Minister Bostic added.
Tropical Storm Dorian Forms and Forecasters Say it Could be a Hurricane by the Time it Reaches Lesser Antilles
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Saturday August 24, 2019 – What was a tropical depression
just this morning is now a tropical storm that forecasters say could be near
hurricane strength when it approaches the central Lesser Antilles in a few
The system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dorian at 5 p.m., as its maximum sustained winds reached near 40 miles per hour. At that time, the storm was located about 725 miles east-southeast of Barbados and moving towards the west at 12 miles per hour. That general motion is expected to continue tonight.
“A turn toward
the west-northwest is forecast on Sunday, and that motion is expected to
continue through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the tropical cyclone is
expected to be near the central Lesser Antilles on Tuesday,” the National
Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said in its latest advisory at 5 p.m.
strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian could be near
hurricane strength when it approaches the central Lesser Antilles on Tuesday.”
coastal watches or warnings are yet in effect, forecasters say that interests in
the central and northern Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Tropical
In a weather
bulletin issued this evening, the Barbados Meteorological Services said that on
its present track, the centre of Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to pass about
50 miles to the north Barbados early Tuesday morning.
Dorian is the fourth named storm in the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30.
PAHO Warns of Complex Dengue Situation in the Caribbean
WASHINGTON, United States, Tuesday August 20, 2019 – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned of the complex situation of dengue in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is currently experiencing a new epidemic cycle of the disease after two years of low incidence.
the latest PAHO epidemiological update, during the first seven months of 2019,
more than two million people contracted the disease and 723 died. The number of
cases exceeds the total number of cases reported in 2017 and 2018, although so
far, it remains lower than the number recorded in 2015-2016.
is experiencing a new epidemic cycle of dengue, with a notable increase in
cases,” said Dr Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO’s Department of Communicable
Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health. The climate, environmental
management and the mosquito’s capacity to adapt may have caused the situation
to increase in complexity.
characteristic of the current epidemic is that children under the age of 15
appear to be among the most affected. In Guatemala, they represent 52 per cent
of total cases of severe dengue, while in Honduras, they constitute 66 per cent
of all confirmed deaths. According to Dr Espinal, this may be due to the fact
that their age means they have been less exposed to the virus in the past and
may therefore lack immunity.
caused by a virus that has four different, but closely related, serotypes:
DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4, all of which circulate in the Americas. When a
person recovers from the infection, he acquires lifelong immunity against that
particular serotype. However, subsequent infections caused by other serotypes
increase the risk of acquiring more severe forms of dengue. Serotype 2 is one
of the deadliest and is the one currently affecting children and adolescents.
countries currently most affected by dengue, in terms of new cases per 100,000
inhabitants, are Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Belize, Colombia, El Salvador,
Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela. Honduras and Nicaragua have already
declared national-level epidemiological alerts this year to expedite the
A call to eliminate mosquito breeding
sites in and around houses
situation, PAHO has already urged the entire community and all sectors of
society to work together to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, particularly
those around the home.
“Dengue is a
domestic and community sanitation problem,” said José Luis San Martin, PAHO’s
Regional Advisor on Dengue. “The most effective way to combat it is to
eliminate its breeding sites in order to prevent the mosquito from reproducing
because without mosquitoes there would be no transmission of dengue.”
San Martin the community as a whole must get rid of all unused objects where
water can accumulate, such as drums, old tires, cans, bottles and vases.
Domestic water tanks must be hermetically sealed to avoid them becoming
hatcheries would hit the mosquito hard by interrupting its breeding cycle,
therefore reducing the mosquito population,” he said.
Priority: saving lives
also called for health professionals to be trained to diagnose and adequately
manage patients with dengue and other arboviruses such as Zika and Chikungunya.
management of patients is a priority that can save lives,” said San
Martin, urging the population to avoid self-medicating and to instead visit a
health system early when experiencing symptoms of the disease.
common symptoms are high fever (40 °C), severe headache, pain behind the
eyeballs, and joint and muscle aches. Warning signs of dengue that require urgent
medical attention include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid
breathing, bleeding from the mucous membranes, fatigue, irritability and presence
of blood in the vomit.
There is no specific treatment for dengue (or severe dengue), but timely detection, access to medical care and proper management of the patient can reduce complications and disease progression. Death from dengue is almost always avoidable.
Guyanese Teachers to be Trained to teach Venezuelan Migrant Children
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday August 20,
2019 – Nineteen
teachers will soon begin training which will equip them with the necessary
skills to teach English as a second language to children of Venezuelan migrants
who’ve travelled to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to escape
hardship in the Spanish-speaking nation.
Government through the Ministry of Education said it has been working with the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to develop
educational interventions, which will improve the learning and communication
skills of these children. Eight communities in Region One are expected to
benefit from this initiative.
representative on the Multi-Stakeholder Committee, Cecilie Guerrero made this
announcement at yesterday’s stakeholder meeting, which was held at the
Department of Citizenship. The Committee is tasked with monitoring the arrival
of Venezuelan migrants into Guyana.
informed the Committee that 17 teachers from Region One and two from Georgetown
will gather in Mabaruma later this week for the training, which will last until
the end of the month. The two Georgetown-based teachers, she said, will be
trained to be trainers. These teachers will be tasked with training their
colleagues when and wherever the need arises.
Committee was informed too that the Canadian based facilitator, who will be
conducting the training, arrived in Guyana earlier in the day.
So far, in
excess of 800 Venezuelan children are enrolled in schools.
the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working along with the Guyana
Water Incorporated (GWI) to implement a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
project, which focuses on the provision and storage of water, sanitation and
hygiene promotion interventions in six communities in Region One.
As part of
this project, a 100-metre well will be drilled at Whitewater, Region One, to
provide water on a consistent basis to residents. This will complement the rain
water harvesting tanks, water storage facilities and portable water filters,
which have already been handed over to the communities.
Given the positive impacts made in Barima-Waini through the pilot project, the two entities are now looking to roll out the project in Cuyuni – Mazaruni (Region Seven). It will target three communities in its initial phase: Eteringbang, Arrau and Kurutuku.
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