Clowning for comfort - Spanish Embassy, SJF support children's emotional wellness
The Embassy of Spain, in collaboration with the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF), will bring, for the first time to Jamaica, two clowns from the Spanish humanitarian organisation Payasos sin Fronteras (Clowns without Borders).
The clowns, who will be in Jamaica from September 6-14, will serve 600 children, including youngsters between the ages of four and 12 from children's homes, different schools, who reside in vulnerable communities, and those chosen by the Ministry of Education - 300 at the Edna Manley College of Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston and 300 at the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College in Montego Bay, St James. They will also visit children at the Bustamante Hospital for Children as well as the Cornwall Regional and St Ann's Bay Hospitals.
In addition to their work with the children, the clowns will host master classes with drama students of the Edna Manley College, social workers and psychologists from the CDA and UNICEF as well as guidance counsellors from the Ministry of Education.
Payasos sin Fronteras, an international Spanish NGO, was founded in Barcelona in July 1993 to offer humour as a means of psychological support to communities that have suffered trauma. The organisation is dedicated to improving the emotional situation of children worldwide, victims of conflicts and natural disasters as well as that of their communities. These professional artistes with experience in circus circuits, theatre, puppetry, among other disciplines, volunteer to give these children renewed hope. As a general rule, the artistes' performances centre on humour. The clowns use their own gags and resources to improvise or tailor their work to different contexts.
Educate Jamaicans about personal health responsibility - Ferguson
Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson has urged health workers to help to find ways to get Jamaicans to understand their responsibility where their health is concerned.
During a training and sensitisation session for chikungunya and Ebola preparedness at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Monday, Ferguson said the education component of the ministry's strategy has to be stressed so that Jamaicans understand that they have a major role to play in controlling the spread of diseases.
"From getting rid of mosquito breeding sites, to not putting themselves in areas where there is a direct threat to their health, to observing good hygienic practices to prevent the spread of viruses, Jamaicans have to learn to appreciate that much of the prevention methods for many diseases lie in their actions. This is why I want us to stress the education component of our strategy," he said.
He asked every health worker to take on the responsibility to educate clients, community members, neighbours and even family members, as there has to be a change in how Jamaicans approach responsibility to health.
The objectives of the training and sensitisation session included updating the senior health team islandwide on the current situation with Ebola and chikungunya globally, regionally and locally, ensuring strategies for continuity of service delivery are in place and review the health ministry's outbreak preparedness and response strategies and key activities.
LIME Foundation invests in long-term blood-collection partnership
The LIME Foundation has joined forces with the National Blood Transfusion Service (the Blood Bank) in a bid to help the service achieve 100 per cent voluntary donation of blood by the year 2020. This would enable the Blood Bank to adequately respond to the ever-increasing needs of Jamaica's growing population.
As such, the LIME Foundation will be organising a blood donation drive on Friday, which is intended to be an annual event. It will take place at its offices at 47 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston, targeting LIME employees and all businesses between Cross Roads and Half-Way Tree between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The general public is also welcome to participate.
In addition, the LIME Foundation will provide the Blood Bank with 16 laptops to assist with the upgrading of its donor management system, which is now predominantly paper-based.
WHO FCTC team concludes needs assessment exercise in Jamaica
The team from the Convention Secretariat of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has concluded its assessment of Jamaica's needs and progress towards satisfying the objectives of the Articles within the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The team, which conducted the assessment exercise from August 18-22, gave Jamaica commendations for its efforts, especially in the areas covered under Articles 8 and 11 related to protection from exposure to tobacco smoke and tobacco packaging and labelling, which are included in the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations, 2013.
As Jamaica moves towards fulfilling its other obligations, particularly in adopting comprehensive tobacco-control legislation and creating a national coordinating mechanism, the health ministry was assured that assistance was available for the country to achieve these and other goals of the FCTC.
A report will be drafted and sent to the Ministry of Health for finalisation. The report will summarise the discussions during the mission, give an overview of the status of Jamaica's implementation of the FCTC and put forward recommendations as to the way forward. This is expected to be integrated into the country's action plan for tobacco control.
The needs assessment exercise is coordinated jointly by the Convention Secretariat, along with countries that are parties to the convention, in order to identify their specific technical and financial needs and the gaps which restrain their fulfilling the objectives under the terms of the FCTC.