Caribbean Health News Roundup


2.6 Million Babies Stillborn Worldwide

 (VOA News) — The World Health Organization estimates some 2.6 million stillbirths occurred worldwide in 2009, the overwhelming majority in developing countries.  This first comprehensive set of estimates appears as part of a series of articles on stillbirths published in the British medical journal, The Lancet. 

Every day, the World Health Organization reports more than 7,200 babies are stillborn – ninety-eight percent of them occur in low and middle-income countries.  But, WHO notes, high-income countries are not immune, with one in 320 babies stillborn.  WHO says this rate has changed little in the past decade.

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Regional health ministers meet in Guyana this week

(Jamaica Observer) — Caribbean Community (Caricom) health ministers meet here later this week to discuss a number of issues, including three areas that regional leaders want included in a document for a high-level meeting of the United Nations on chronic non-communicable diseases in September.

 A Caricom Secretariat statement said that the April 15 -16 meeting will discuss the region’s continued fight against non-communicable diseases (NDCs) and review the progress made in implementing the 15-point Port-of-Spain Declaration, “Uniting to Stop Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases”.

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British Virgin Islands:

Chickenpox outbreak reported in British Virgin Islands

(Caribbean News Now) — The British Virgin Islands Ministry of Health and Social Development has reported that there has been a marked increase of the number of cases of chickenpox reported in the territory. Residents have been urged to seek information about the varicella zoster virus, commonly known as chickenpox, and how it can be prevented.

According to the Chief Medical Officer, Irad Potter, the Health Surveillance Unit received reports of 33 cases of chickenpox for the period March 5 to March 25.

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Kalinago Council signs health MOU with government

(Dominica News Online) — The Kalinago Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with government for the commencement of service at a medical facility in the Kalinago Territory.

Kalinago residents say they are concerned about the medical facility that was built several years ago but had remained vacant and unused.

Kalinago Chief Garnet Joseph said once the facility is operational, it will solve several problems faced in accessing health care in the community.

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Opening of children’s home a landmark achievement – PM

(Dominica News Online) Prime Minister Skerrit said the official opening of CHANCES, a place for safety for children at risk, is a landmark achievement in government’s mission to eradicate poverty among the country’s children and youth.

The government of Dominica in collaboration with the United Kingdom-based Children’s Charity Action, today officially opened the $3.9 million facility at Chance in Jimmit.

Skerrit said, “the greatest of a nation is to be judged, not by the number of millionaires it generates, important as it is, but by the care it provides to vulnerable, disadvantaged and abused citizens”.

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Dubai Cares’ on-going primary education programs in Haiti reaching over 200,000 beneficiaries

(WAM) — Apart from developing and funding a number of primary education programs in developing countries, Dubai Cares is currently conducting follow-up visits to beneficiary countries to monitor and evaluate first-hand the progress of all its programs.

Spread across 24 countries worldwide, the UAE-based philanthropic organization’s primary education programs represent its contribution to UN Millennium Development Goal 2 of achieving universal primary education.

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Bright Smiles For Dental Chairs

(Jamaica Gleaner) –The drive to promote improved public oral health care got a major boost on Tuesday with the donation of 25 state-of-the-art dental chairs with a combined value of US$135,375 (J$12 million) to the Ministry of Health by Food For The Poor.

There is a serious need for equipment and supplies for the public dental programme coordinated by Government, and critical among these are dental chairs, without which practitioners cannot properly examine patients. For this reason, Health Minister Rudyard Spencer described the donation as timely, in light of the Government’s commitment to place more focus on dental health service for the upcoming financial year.

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US Air Force medics serve locals

(Trinidad Guardian) — Dental services was in high demand at the $12 million public health clinic set up at the Cumuto Defence Force Barracks to serve residents and environs of the rural community. The two-day joint venture—in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the United States Air Force—attracted both young and old eagerly awaiting the free medical services being offered. In true army style, medical services are being conducted under five large tents, which includes an intensive care and paediatric unit, operating theatre and dental clinic. Commander of the US Expedition Medical Support Hospital Scott Russi said the aim of the clinic was to provide consultation and primary health care service to nationals.

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