WARNINGS ABOUT TRANSPORTING THE INJURED ISSUED BY MAY PEN HOSPITAL—05/02/15
The May Pen Hospital in Clarendon is warning Jamaicans to be cautious when transporting injured people to hospitals. According to Nadia Nunes, CEO of the hospital, there was no negligence on the part of the hospital in the case of Richard Lee, who was taken there in a taxi. Lee’s family says he was allowed to die on hospital grounds without any medical assistance from the hospital. Nunes reports that he died in the taxi, was assessed by medical staff upon his arrival at the hospital, and pronounced dead. Other occupants in the vehicle removed him at that point and placed him in a hospital corridor.
GARVEY’S PAST CRIMINAL RECORD AN ISSUE FOR OBAMA—05/03/15
The past criminal record of Marcus Garvey became an issue that stopped United States President Barack Obama from officially recognizing Garvey at National Heroes Park when he visited there in April 2015. While initial plans had scheduled a recognition activity, it was removed from the event to save the Obama Administration any embarrassment in honoring a convicted individual. Instead, Obama focused on honoring Jamaican victims of World Wars I and II.
POLICE MURDER-SUICIDE CASE DISTURBS OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN—05/04/15
Derrick Smith, Jamaica’s Opposition Spokesman on National Security, has expressed shock at the case of a murder-suicide that involved two police officers in St. Ann. While the status of the initial incident remains unresolved, it is known that Constable Andewaie Smith, 30, shot and killed Constable Kemo Walsh, 20, at a birthday celebration in Ocho Rios. Walsh died on the way to the hospital, after which Smith allegedly shot and killed himself. The Opposition spokesman believes the incident is especially disturbing because it raises questions about what safeguards are in place at the Jamaica Constabulary force to identify officers under stress or with high risk behaviors.
POLITICAL SYSTEM IN JAMAICA “A MESS,” SAYS SAMUDA—05/05/15
Karl Samuda, the deputy chairman of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), believes that that nation’s political system is “in a mess.” Samuda expressed frustration, noting that there is little interest in “serious intellectual conversation” about political issues. He made his remarks in response to questions about his recent recognition from the Standing Committee of the JLP.
AIR QUALITY RESULTS SHOW RIVERTON FIRE “MOST DETRIMENTAL” IN HISTORY—05/06/15
According to a report from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), air quality results from studies conducted after the fire at the Riverton City dump site in St. Andrew were the “most detrimental” of the fires in its history. Cancer-causing chemicals and related compounds indicated the highest increase in concentration of the 26 volatile organic compounds found in the study. NEPA warns that any exposure to the benzene released by the fire represents a “grave risk” to public health. Local health officials had previously stated there was no need for alarm as only long-term exposure to benzene presented a danger to the public.
ADVOCATE WANTS LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS MISSING CHILDREN—05/07/15
Betty Ann Blaine, a Jamaican children’s rights advocate and founder of Hear the Children’s Cry, a lobbying group, is calling for laws that will address the serious issue of missing children in the country. Blaine says that stronger measures are required to punish individuals who harm children and that the government and law enforcement should be taking additional action to handle these crimes. She has called the number of missing children in Jamaica “a crisis.”
FERGUSON WELCOMES PARTNERS TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE SECTOR—05/08/15
Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, believes that making partnerships will help the government as it works to improve the island’s health care sector. Ferguson made his remarks at the opening ceremony to mark the arrival of the United States Naval Ship Comfort. Ferguson said Jamaica has taken a number of initiatives toward improving the delivery and access of care, but also recognizes that it cannot meet its goals alone.
GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS VACCINATING TEEN GIRLS AGAINST HPV—05/08/15
Teenage girls in Jamaica could be vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in order to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in the population. Jamaica’s Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson announced the government’s proposal during a debate in the House of Representatives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection; it can cause several health problems that include cancer and genital warts. Some experts have called for vaccinating teenage boys as well.