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More news in brief

Published:Wednesday | January 4, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Yulit Gordon
Diane Edwards
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Cancer society urges parents to prevent youth smoking

The Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) is encouraging Jamaicans, particularly parents, guardians, teachers and counsellors, to tap into its programmes that have been implemented to assist with the prevention and cessation of youth smoking.

Executive director of the JCS, Yulit Gordon, highlighted two programmes that the organisation has embarked on to deter young people from smoking.

The Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Programme is one that is offered by the JCS in association with the American Cancer Society to help smokers quit.

"This is a comprehensive four-session group-based course that covers topics such as nicotine addiction, managing withdrawal symptoms, weight control, stress management, recognising and planning for possible obstacles to quitting, staying tobacco free and enjoying being a non-smoker," she explained.

In addition, she said an Anti-Tobacco Youth Forum has been established to target Jamaican high school students, to educate them on the dangers of smoking.

The forum, which is held in February each year, seeks to educate the youth about the harmful effects of tobacco smoking, which kills more than five million people each year.

New Peace Park at Morant Bay Primary

Corporal Kimaryo Pinnock, LASCO JCF Police Officer of the Year 2016-2017, broke ground on uniting his community and creating a sanctuary for youth with the recent construction of a Peace Park at Morant Bay Primary School.

The project was originally undertaken by Morant Bay Primary School in 2015, but was left incomplete for over a year due to a lack of funding. The school reached out to Corporal Pinnock for aid and his nature of protecting and serving, coupled with his passion for his alma mater, energised him to find the resources, no matter the cost.

"I have always had a passion for giving back to my past schools," stated Corporal Pinnock. "But more importantly, I hope this Peace Park will help the students to value the underpinning philosophy of peace and its importance in bringing about meaningful change in their lives.

"Luckily, I did not have to go too far for support. When I reached out to LASCO for possible assistance with this project the support was immediate and generous, as they covered the cost of the building materials as well as support on the day's construction," said Pinnock.

Health tourism ready for expansion

Health tourism is poised for expansion as the Government takes steps to engage the diaspora as the first market in the sector.

President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, said the country is developing a competitive advantage over other Caribbean countries, as focus is placed on diagnostic and dental services.

"We see opportunity for the health tourism industry taking off, having done research along with our international partners," she noted.

Edwards said JAMPRO facilitated meetings between local medical professionals and their counterparts in Atlanta and Washington in the United States. This, she indicated, is critical to forming relationships that will lead to expansion of the sector, particularly through word of mouth and recommendations.

"What was really amazing is that people in the diaspora did not realise how much is going on, even in the private health care market here. They didn't realise the level of sophistication on our local medical scene, and so we have seen them now coming together and forming joint ventures between local doctors and their counterparts overseas," she added.

The president said the health tourism scene is further boosted by the introduction of new medical procedures, such as stem cell treatment and plastic surgery, locally.

"We are doing a number of really interesting procedures (from which) the diaspora can benefit, and also tourists," she said.