Preventative Measure Is Key – Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Crisis!!!!!

I am going to keep this commentary simple and brief.  How many schools have running water at present?  What is the age range of those affected children?  What are they studying for at school at their current age that sending them home for a period of 7 days as a precautionary measure would be so detrimental? 

The protocol that you speak of, do you consider your figures here mentioned a good effort in doing all you could from the first few cases?   ‘the virus has spread to 98 schools across the education ministry’s six regions, and affected 313 children. Most of the affected schools (38 with 153 cases), are in St Catherine while………….’ Over what time span has the spread increased from the first case reported? 

Healthcare must never be politicised?



No need to close schools

Ministries say institutions following protocol for hand foot and mouth disease

(Jamaica Observer) Saturday, October 03, 2015     

Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites (right) addresses a joint press conference with Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson (2nd right) at the education ministry’s Heroes Circle offices on Friday. At left is Chief Medical Officer Dr Marion Bullock Ducasse. (PHOTO: MICHAEL GORDON)
HEALTH and education officials say the schools affected by the current outbreak of hand foot and mouth disease have followed the established protocols, hence there is no need to overreact and shut down these institutions in entire regions.

Opposition spokesperson on education Senator Kamina Johnson Smith had, on Thursday, said the spread of the virus could have been abated if the education ministry had ordered schools closed as soon as cases were confirmed.

Yesterday, Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites said his ministry was acting on the advice of the Ministry of Health.

“…we stick to our competencies — it would have been premature, and an overreaction to send home children from schools where there was no indication that there was likely to be an outbreak,” said Thwaites who was addressing the ministries of health and education joint press conference in Kingston. “We think balancing the need for school time and following the requirements of the ministry of health, that this is a reasonable response,”

He further explained that closures could only be ordered in cases where over 10 per cent or more of the school population was affected. So far 11 schools have been closed, but two are to be reopened on Monday — Bridgeport Infant School and Reliance Basic school both in Portmore, St Catherine.

According to Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson, as of yesterday the virus has spread to 98 schools across the education ministry’s six regions, and affected 313 children. Most of the affected schools (38 with 153 cases), are in St Catherine while Kingston and St Andrew have 67 reports from 20 schools; St Thomas 11 schools with 39 cases; Portland has reports of 13 cases in 13 schools; and St Ann 17 cases from six schools. St Mary has reported cases, but no number has been specified, while in Westmoreland and St James, nine cases from four and two schools respectively have been reported, and six cases from two schools in St Elizabeth.

Thwaites argued that the education ministry has in fact been proactive from the start of the school year in reminding administrators about the importance of hand-washing and proper hygiene practices.

He commended school officials in the affected institutions for acting quickly to alert the health authorities. “This is the correct thing to do and is in accordance with the protocol that has been established between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education,” he said.

The health minister too defended the actions of his ministry, stating that parish health departments reacted as soon as they received reports from the schools. “Parish health departments have been doing their investigations and follow-up actions in the affected schools…the ministry has also heightened its surveillance system island-wide to ensure that cases are reported in a timely manner,” he said.

Thwaites said that at this point there was no indication that the ministry would have to seek to recoup teaching and learning time lost, as the early childhood curriculum had enough flexibility to allow for adjustments without such direct intervention.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr Marion Bullock Ducasse explained that laboratory tests are now being carried out to check for the source of the virus, which could have multiple strains given the rapid spread.

She pointed out that in some instances cases were diagnosed to be at least a month old, and explained that hand foot and mouth is a seasonal virus and that data on a virus such as this is not collected routinely. “So we are actively seeking information… it’s not something that we see each year in Jamaica,” she remarked.

The last outbreak of hand foot and mouth disease in the island was in 2012, and before that in 2009. Hand foot and mouth disease is a mild virus for which there is no specific treatment. It mainly affects children under age five, but can affect adults as well. The virus usually runs a course of seven days.

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An Ounce of Prevention: The Honey Bee – A Sweet Healer by Dr Tony Vendryes

(Jamaica Gleaner) Tuesday | September 29, 2015


Honey, the main product of the honey bee, is composed primarily of sugars and water, along with small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

On average, honey is 17.1 per cent water; 82.4 per cent total carbohydrate; and 0.5 per cent proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The main sugars are fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose.

Honey also contains a variety of antioxidants that neutralise free radicals and, generally, darker honeys have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys. Because honey contains so many nutrients that are lacking in refined table sugar, it is a much healthier sweetener.

Honey As An Antibiotic

Another important property of honey is its antibiotic action. It has even been shown to be superior to some conventional antibiotics in treating certain infections. Experiments with honey show that its bacteria-destroying properties doubled when diluted with water. Interestingly, newly born bees are nourished with diluted honey by the nurse bees responsible for their care as if they know this feature of the honey.

Honey is valuable in treating burns, infected wounds, and ulcers. A study in West Africa showed that many surgeries like skin grafting, surgical debridement, and even amputation were avoided by local application of honey to wounds.

Honey For Coughs And Colds

Honey has been used as a home remedy for centuries to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with a common cold. Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have published a study comparing honey to over-the-counter medicines for relief of cold symptoms such as a cough. In several instances, honey outperformed the modern drugs.

Honey And Digestion

Honey has traditionally also been used for heartburn and stomach ulcers. In fact, Western research now indicates that honey may halt the growth of H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for many cases of gastritis and stomach ulcers.

Bifidobacteria are a group of ‘good’ bacteria considered important to the health of the digestive tract. Honey acts as a probiotic to promote the growth of the bifidobacteria and heal the stomach. It can even help counteract constipation. Drink 12 oz. of lukewarm water with one tablespoon of honey in the morning on an empty stomach.

Healthy Teeth

Although honey is sweet, it helps to maintain and protect teeth. It shows antimicrobial effects against several species of dental plaque bacteria. Honey has been proven to sharply reduce acid production, while killing the bacteria responsible for dental caries and blocking the growth of oral bacteria. Honey holds promise for the treatment of periodontal disease, mouth ulcers, and other diseases of the mouth.

Honey For Insomnia

Honey helps in nervous disorders like insomnia and acts as a tonic in recovery of any damage to the human nervous system. In cases of sleeplessness, one should drink a teaspoon full of honey mixed in lukewarm water at bedtime to help in improving sleep.

Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a nutritional powerhouse. Nurse bees aged between six to 14 days old produce this ‘milk’ called royal jelly exclusively for the queen and her larvae. The queen feeds only on fresh royal jelly. The larvae that consume fresh royal jelly in the first 72 two hours of their life become queens, and those that do not, become worker bees. Worker bees live five to six weeks, whereas the queen lives-five to six years.

Royal jelly is rich in vitamins and collagen a protein that we lose as we get older. In Asia, royal jelly is valued as a powerful longevity tonic and used to stimulate immunity, vitality, and virility. Royal jelly is available in supplement form from health-food stores.


It is not really known why direct exposure to pollens causes allergic hay fever in some people, whereas small doses of honey do the exact opposite. Experts think that the very tiny quantity of pollen in the honey acts as a homeopathic medicine. One teaspoon of unfiltered and unprocessed honey daily can do wonders for allergies.

The more local the honey, the better the benefits against allergies as the local honey will contain those pollens to which you are allergic.

Bee Venom Therapy

Bee venom therapy involves applying the actual honeybee to the skin of the patient and allowing it to inject its venom by stinging. It is claimed to be useful in arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, keloids, shingles, and other painful conditions.

The most abundant active component of the venom is melittin, which has a powerful anti-inflammatory action. In addition, bee venom contains a variety of peptides and proteins, with powerful effects on the nerve endings and the immune response.
Bee Pollen And Propolis

Bee pollen, rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids give your energy and vitality a boost. It also protects the liver from toxins and benefits men with enlarged prostates.

Propolis is a resin that’s secreted by the bees to repair their hive, and it acts as a protective layer against invading bacteria and other organisms. Propolis stimulates immune functions with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents. 


Honey is twice as sweet as sugar and has a very high glycemic load. Individuals with blood sugar disorders like diabetes and hypoglycaemia should avoid taking large amounts of honey.

The US-based National Honey Board has warned that honey may contain spores that can cause a bad infection if given to children less than one year of age. Adults and older children are routinely exposed to those spores in dust, soil, honey, and other uncooked foods but are almost never affected by them. In immature infants, however, the spores are able to germinate and cause illness.

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British Prime Minster Visit To JA – This Is What You Will Get!!!

British Prime Minister came, spoke and left with many on the Roc still in a ‘tizzy’ that does not seem to be easing down anytime soon.  I summarise through my own lens.

Limited or restricted access given to our media.  No reparations.   The words, ‘I am sorry’ for slavery not heard.  Twenty five (25M) million pounds sterling to build a prison to house ‘deportees’ from the UK.  What say you?

I will proffer accordingly.  The media will always face restrictions to access at some point in time if that is the wish of any government.  I more than anyone am  all  for freedom of speech, however,  at some point I expect to be shut down.  Is the ‘shut down’ permanent, frequent, faces the threat of liberty encrouchment, at what cost or extent?

I personally will not accept the burden to apologise for the wrongs of  my bloodline.  ‘I’ was not culpable.  If, however,  I continue to perpetrate those wrongs, then the dangerous reality is that I saw nothing wrong with what my bloodline did in the past.  If I have the autonomy to attempt to compensate victims, a race of people believing it is the ‘right’ thing to do without any emotional attachments,  then the ‘action’ would be worthy than ‘lip service’.  Somehow telling someone ‘I’m sorry’ is personal, the letter ‘I’ denotes that.  ‘Slavery’ does not need a pacifier from any 1st World Father or Mother.  Write-off our self induced debts on the Roc, and give to Africa what it needs most.  That is the kind of action I would welcome!!

I have always said to my closest friends and family living abroad.  Never forget your country or origin.  Soon and very soon you may not have the ‘rights’ you think you had when living in another  country.  ‘If Jamaicans lef dem country either from dem caan talk or jus a talk get dem self ina trouble wid di law di consequence ago more deadly fi u personally’.  I know there are always exception but the commentary today is not for the exception.

Another race of people are sick and tired of spending their tax dollars supporting a set of criminals who serve the time for their crimes.  Nothing in life is FREE and there is always someone else who is paying.  So the time has come and the British people have said ‘no more’.   ‘Sen di blackies back to dem yaard, tandeh nuh tink a suh it go’.  I as a Jamaican living on the Roc do not want them back here, but I have no choice as the Roc is the country of their origin and they have the ‘right’ whether voluntary or not to return here.

We should be asking ourselves whether the 25M pounds sterling will be sufficient to build this ‘Alcatraz’.  Why?  Look out, the other countries and Islands that house Jamaican criminals may very well be jumping alongside the British bandwagon on this project.

Are Jamaicans ready for the influx????????


£25m prison gift

British PM announces prisoner transfer deal project

(Jamaica Observer) Wednesday, September 30, 2015     99 Comments 

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller greets British Prime Minister David Cameron with a hug on his arrival at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston yesterday. Looking on in the receiving line are Opposition Leader Andrew Holness (second right) and Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)
Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday announced that the British Government will help fund the construction of a prison here, where Jamaicans incarcerated in England will complete their sentences.

Cameron made the announcement following bilateral talks with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at Jamaica House in the first few hours of his official visit that will end this morning after he addresses a joint sitting of the Parliament.

Cameron did not state the cost of the prison, however British media have reported that his Government will spend £25 million on the project that will effectively end a deadlock in negotiations over a prisoner transfer deal between London and Kingston.

More than 600 Jamaicans are said to be in British prisons and Government officials there say the deal could save English taxpayers £10 million a year when transfers begin in 2020.

Yesterday, the BBC reported that more than 300 offenders are expected to be deported to Jamaica under the scheme, which covers those sentenced to at least four years who have 18 months or more left to serve.

Cameron said the prison would help to improve the ability of the Jamaican justice system to deal with crime.

“This, I believe, is in the interest of both of us and is a good example of how we can work together to benefit people here in Jamaica, and in prison too,” he stated.

Cameron announced also that his Government will establish a £300-million fund to provide grants to Caribbean countries for infrastructure projects to, among other things, enhance the movement of cargo.

“I believe this money can help to unleash trade across the region with your roads and bridges, and port infrastructure to help speed up freight movements, and it will benefit British businesses who have the knowledge and expertise to deliver infrastructure improvements,” the prime minister said. He noted that this will make the UK the largest bilateral donor to the region.

The two leaders also discussed the urgent need to tackle climate change, with Cameron pointing out that the UK had spent £60 million in the Caribbean over the past five years on initiatives to combat the problem.

He said, however, that more needs to be done and that it was for this reason that Britain would spend some of the £6 billion budgeted for the next five years to finance climate change programmes, on local related activities.

Simpson Miller indicated that she raised the highly anticipated and controversial matter of reparations, but there seemed not to have been a deep discussion.

According to Simpson Miller, she brought the issue to Cameron’s attention, but indicated that “Jamaica is involved in a process under the auspices of the Caribbean Community to engage the UK on the matter while we are aware of the obvious sensitivities involved”.

Caricom has established a regional reparations commission aimed at helping to propel the growing international call for European countries which engaged in, and supported the slave trade, to make reparations.

Opposition MP Mike Henry, who has been at the forefront of the charge to have Britain pay the descendants of slaves for the disenfranchisement and enslavement of Africans in Jamaica, has said local MPs should shun Cameron if he does not place the issue of reparation front and centre during his visit.

MPs have given the nod to a motion put before the House by Henry for over three years now, for Jamaica to demand reparation from Great Britain for the trauma of slavery inflicted by its ancestors.

A steadfast Henry said yesterday on a national television programme as Cameron was arriving in the island, that he was willing to “take the queen to her own Privy Council” over the matter. The committee, which the Jamaican Government set up in 2009 to advance the issue, is said to be hampered by a lack of resources.

Cameron received a red-carpet welcome and 21-gun salute when he arrived shortly before 4:00 pm at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Cameron, who is making his first visit to the Caribbean as prime minister, was met at the foot of the aircraft by a smiling Simpson Miller, who greeted him with her customary hug; British High Commissioner to Jamaica David Fitton; and Chief of Defence Staff Major General Antony Saunders.

— Additional reporting by Anika Richards

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller greets British Prime Minister David Cameron with a hug on his arrival at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Looking on in the receiving line are Opposition Leader Andrew Holness (second right) and Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)






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