August 30, 2014

22 graduate from rehabilitation, audiology courses

The Health Ministry’s 2014 Rehabilitation and Audiology graduating class

The Health Ministry’s 2014 Rehabilitation and Audiology graduating class

By: Svetlana Marshall

Graduates of the Health Ministry’s 2014 Rehabilitation and Audiology courses were on Thursday challenged to serve with distinction.

The charge was delivered on Thursday at the Regency Suites during the graduation ceremony for the 18 Rehabilitation Assistants and four Audiological Practitioners.

Health Sciences Division Director Wilton Benn, in delivering the charge, told the graduates that though challenges may come, they must always serve with excellence. “This is the time to shine, the time to make your mark,” he posited.

Benn had spoken minutes before the World Wide Mothers’ Union International Trainer, Sheran Harper, who told the graduates that this was the beginning of an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Guyanese within the Health Sector. Passion and determination are the ingredients needed to make a change, she posited.

Estherline Adolph, the 2014 Best Graduating Student for the Audiological Practitioners Training Programme

Estherline Adolph, the 2014 Best Graduating Student for the Audiological Practitioners Training Programme

“Just think of the stroke patient lying helplessly in bed during the early phase of the condition and by the end of your rehabilitation sessions, think of his joy when he can actually do his activities of daily living once again and more importantly return to work.”

The Rehabilitation Assistants Training Programme in Guyana dates back to 1998. Since then seven batches of Rehabilitation Assistants have graduated following extensive theoretical and practical training sessions in the field. This latest batch, which comprises Rehabilitation Assistants from Regions One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight, were given 18 months of training at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Highly trained

They were trained in basic techniques in the disciplines of speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. With their certificate comes the responsibility to provide preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions to individuals and families in different settings, whether inside or beyond the doors of hospitals, health centres and rehabilitation facilities.

Deniesha McAllister, the 2014 Best Graduating Student for the Rehabilitation Assistant Training Programme

Deniesha McAllister, the 2014 Best Graduating Student for the Rehabilitation Assistant Training Programme

The Rehabilitation Assistant Training Programme Coordinator Geraldine Maison Halls disclosed that the programme has a success rate of over 98 per cent. According to her, the high success rate is due in no small way to the selection process, and the commitment of tutors and staff in the clinical education of students.

“Throughout the implementation of the training, emphasis is placed on the nurturing of attitudes which demonstrate respect for patients, families and colleagues and the public, a willingness to contribute to the further development of the rehabilitation field and the respect for the rights of persons with disabilities,” she explained.

According to her, the Rehabilitation Assistant Training Programme owes a great debt of gratitude to the staff of the rehabilitation services in all regions but in particular those at the Georgetown Public Hospital, Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, West Demerara Hospital, and Cheshire Home.

Shameka Devonish, a Guyana Defence Force rank, who graduated with a distinction, was deemed the Best Graduating Student for the Class of 2014. The Second Best Graduating Student Award went to Deniesha McAllister who also graduated with distinction. Devonish and McAllister are the only two students to graduate with distinction, while seven graduated with credit.

In the Audiology Class of 2014, there were only four graduates with Estherline Adolph, who hails from Region 10, topping the batch with a distinction. Dacia Ross, who resides in Region Six, and Tisha John and Vernaden Williams, both from Region Seven, graduated with credit.

The Audiological Practitioner Training Programme Director, Dr Ruth Quaicoe said the graduates have now joined the struggle of promoting primary ear and hearing care in Guyana. The programme also started in Guyana in 1998, with the launching of the “Earcare 2000” Project. Dr Quaicoe said they will now join a movement geared at removing the stigma attached to hearing loss and differently-able persons. (

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Duo charged with break-and-enter and larceny

Michael Lawrence (left) and Anthony Rogers (right)

Michael Lawrence (left) and Anthony Rogers (right)

A duo accused of breaking and entering two neighbouring Yarrowkabra houses escaped being remanded at the pleasure of the State when they were placed on $80,000 bail each by Magistrate Judy Latchman on Friday afternoon.

Anthony Rogers and Michael Lawrence, of Sand Road, Soesdyke according to the two charges, broke and entered the houses at Yarrowkabra, Soesdyke, on the same day. The first charge alleged that on August 26, they broke and entered the dwelling of Rita Hyman and stole one generator valued $90,000.

The second charge alleged that they then broke and entered the dwelling of Darren Canterbury where they stole a quantity of items, such as phones, clothing and cash valued $170,000 in total.

The details of the first charge were limited. The Virtual Complainant in the Canterbury matter said his baby’s cry woke him up and as he was heading to check on the baby, he noticed that five window panes were removed from a window and were on the ground in his kitchen. This discovery prompted him to check his home and he discovered the said items missing. A report was made to Police and an investigation was carried out.

The defendants both pleaded not guilty to the charges. There were no objections to bail raised by Police Prosecutor Simone Payne.

The matter was transferred from the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to the Providence Magistrates’ Court for October 18.

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Silence surrounds Colombia’s 92,000 disappeared – ICRC

More than 92,000 Colombians have disappeared during 50 years of war and at the hands of drug gangs, and the Government needs to step up efforts to find missing people, the Red Cross said.

Every day nine people are reported missing in Colombia. Of the total number of those registered as missing over the years, nearly 70,000 remain missing without trace, according to the Government’s official register.

Many are victims of five decades of armed conflict between Government troops, right-wing paramilitary groups and leftist rebels, while others are victims of ongoing drug-turf wars. “The problem of missing people in Colombia is as widespread as it is silent,” Jordi Raich, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Colombia said in a statement on Friday.

“We know many have disappeared because of the conflict and armed violence. The uncertainty and suffering of families which comes from not knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones is unacceptable.”

Government forensic teams and around 20 state prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office are searching for the disappeared and exhuming bodies across Colombia.

The Colombian Government offers up to US$8600 in compensation for relatives of those who have disappeared as a result of the conflict, and it recently adopted a protocol on handing back bodies to relatives to ensure they are honored properly and their rights to a private or public funeral respected. (Excerpt from Reuters)

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Anna Regina man remanded for abduction, possession of narcotics

A businessman from Anna Regina was on Thursday remanded to prison until September 17 on a charge for abduction and possession of narcotics when he appeared before Magistrate Sunil Scarce at the Wakenaam Magistrate’s Court.

Elbert Stephen was not required to plead to the abduction charge.

According to Police reports, on August 26, during a search at his home in Anna Regina, Police found 83 and a half grams of cannabis.

Stephen pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Meanwhile, on the same day, it was alleged that he abducted Ricardo Manchal of Anna Regina after accusing the man of stealing from him.

He was not represented by an Attorney and was therefore remanded to prison until September 17. The case was prosecuted by Ramsewak Hiawant.

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GNIC concerned about decline in contracts

GNIC CEO Clinton Williams

GNIC CEO Clinton Williams

The Guyana National Industrial Company (GNIC) said it has been overlooked for lucrative Government contracts to repair some of the state-operated vessels and is concerned that this might be a “subtle blacklisting of their drydock” facilities at Lombard Street, Georgetown.

“The pervasive, unchecked emergence of ship repair facilities” on the Parika Beach, East Bank Essequibo and in Berbice… has had an adverse effect on the number of jobs coming to GNIC,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Clinton Williams has said.

Williams said in recent times, the company lost out on tendered docking and repair works on the Lady Northcote and the MV Makouria, as well as the supply of spare parts for Transport and Habour Department (T&HD) vessels, despite having submitted the lowest bids.

“The company’s management is now concerned about this apparent subtle blacklisting of their drydock,” Williams said. Contacted on the issue, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn said he could not comment on the issue because he had not seen the GNIC release.

Williams said recently, the GNIC was declared the lowest bidder for a number of contracts for structural repairs to the MV Malali and the ML Thompson, and to fabricate unifloat pontoons and buoys for the bridges in the Amaila Falls Road Project and for the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

GNIC also submitted the lowest bid for fabrication of 30 pairs of connecting posts for the Harbour Bridge and is currently awaiting the announcement of contract awards.

The GNIC CEO said every ferry that plies the Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice Rivers, ferrying passengers and cargo into interior regions, have spent time in the large GNIC dry dock undergoing major and minor repairs and reconstruction.

“The MV Torani measuring 172’ x 37.5’ was actually built in this same shipyard and handed over spanking new to T&HD in October 1960. This was touted as the largest ship building job ever to have been undertaken in British Guiana and independent Guyana.   The main deck was designed by the Ferguson Brothers of Port Glasgow, Scotland. It was this same Scottish shipbuilder who constructed the Torani’s sister ferry, the MV Makouria.”

Williams said the history of GNIC dates back more than 150 years to the colonial era when the company was owned by a private Scottish entrepreneur, Hugh Sproston. Many remember the MV RH Carr that was pre-1970, the sole means of transport between Mackenzie and Georgetown.

“It seemed to hold a quiet romance,” one senior citizen reminisced, “slipping through virgin jungles on either side of the Demerara River”, adding that this ship was powered by steam originally (it was built in Saltney, Wales in 1927) before being converted in the Lombard Street Shipyard to use diesel fuel.

Sprostons became the Guyana National Engineering Corporation (GNEC) in 1976 then the GNIC in 1995. The company has always traded on its spacious drydock which, with a max capacity of some 800 tonnes, remains one of the chief ship repair facilities in coastal Guyana, equipped with the necessary human expertise and mechanical facilities.

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Caricom kicks off Government procurement consultations

The Caricom Secretariat has convened three regional consultations to discuss the findings of a major consultancy on Government procurement in the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The consultations are being facilitated by the European Union (UE) under the 10th European Development Fund (10th EDF).

Country missions to 13 Caricom member states (excluding Haiti and The Bahamas) were undertaken from April to June 2014 by the consultants, Analysys Mason Limited.

This consultancy was to provide the Caricom Secretariat and its member states with the recommendations on required Information Technology (IT) for the establishment of a fully functioning Regional Integration Electronic Public Procurement System.

The broader objective of this project is the liberalisation and integration of the regional market for trade in goods and services. This is to establish and maintain a regime for the free movement of goods and services within the CSME.

The consultations will involve two-day meetings with both the public and private sectors in the host countries. The first consultation kicks off in Jamaica on Wednesday, September 3 for that member state and Belize. Barbados will host the following consultations next week from September 8-9, and the final set of consultations will be held in Saint Lucia for the OECS.

These consultations will be preceded by a meeting of the CSME Task Force on Government Procurement from September 1-2 at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

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Contracts valued $697M signed for D&I works

Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy along with representatives of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the recipients of contracts for the building of pump stations, sluices and consultancy services

Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy along with representatives of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the recipients of contracts for the building of pump stations, sluices and consultancy services

The Agriculture Ministry and its National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) on Thursday signed nine contracts at a cost of $697.3 million for the construction of drainage pump stations and sluices, to improve drainage services.

Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy said for the construction of a sluice at Bagotville, West Bank Demerara, Jainul Hossain Civil Engineering Contracting Services was awarded the $48 million contract to build a sluice.

Nabi Construction Incorporated was awarded another contract valued over $57 million, to build a similar structure at La Grange, West Bank Demerara. Both contracts will last for six months.

After the sluice is constructed at Bagotville, 1100 acres of residential and farm lands will have a more effective and efficient drainage and irrigation system and 2500 acres of residential and farm lands at La Grange will benefit from the sluice to be built there.

In addition, a $181.896 million contract was awarded to Roopan Ramotar Investment for the construction of a Pump Station at Joppa Number 43, Berbice, and Samaroo’s Investment received a $191.5 million contract to build a pump station at Lima, Essequibo Coast (see related story on page 13).

The contract to supply steel sheets to the NDIA valued over $177.8 million was awarded to Suresh Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction Services. Both contracts will last for seven months.

A total of 7000 acres of residential and farm lands will benefit from the Joppa Number 43, Berbice Pump Station when it becomes operational and 4000 acres of residential and farm lands will benefit from the Lima Pump Station.

Further, contracts were signed with Suresh Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction Services for the supply of steel sheet piles to NDIA at a total cost of $177.82 million.

SRKN’gineering received contracts for the provision of supervisory services at La Grange and Bagotville for a total cost of $20.2 million, while Engineering and Agricultural Consultants Inc will supervise works at Lima at a cost of $10.584 million. Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants (CEMCO) received an $8.8 million contract for supervisory works to be done on the Joppa Number 43 Station.

All of the supervisory contracts are for a period of eight months, while the steel sheet piles will be supplied for a period of 10 months for the construction of pump stations at Joppa Number 43, Eversham, Gangaram, and Lima.

“These are very important contracts and I want to appeal to both the consultants and the contractors for us to complete these works on a timely basis and within the contract sum. In the last two years, I believe we have a good track record of staying within our contract price and of completing our work,” Minister Ramsammy said.

The Minister further stated that he will be visiting the work sites regularly along with NDIA Chief Executive Officer Lionel Wordsworth and his team, and hopes to see work being done all the time. “Too many of the sites I go to have no work going on sometimes.”

This infrastructural programme started in 2011 and involves installation of new pumps at new sites and the replacement of some old pumps. A total of 39 pumps are expected to be installed by 2015 as part of the five-year programme.

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Lions Club of Bartica hosts youth summer camp

Some of the participants with camp leaders

Some of the participants with camp leaders

The Lions Club of Bartica recently hosted its annual Youth Summer Camp, educating the young charges on a number of social issues in the community.

The camp was held at the Bartica Secondary School and saw a total of 450 children in attendance during the one-week session. These children were pulled from several nursery, primary and secondary schools in Bartica.

They participated in a range of activities such as spelling bee competitions, reading, tie dye sessions, football camp and played some cricket. After each session, the participants were treated to refreshments.

There were also special lectures on usage of the road, proper hygiene and more importantly, keeping their environment clean. These lectures were done during the week.

One the penultimate day of the camp, the children were taken on a trip to the Amerindian Village called Dogg Point where they interacted with children there. They also played a game of cricket and football which they won. The campers were also treated to a home cooked meal of cook up rice and fruit juices.

At the closing ceremony, President of the Bartica Lion Club, Anthony Murray and other members of the board had discussions with the participants on their week’s activities while committing to have the event on an annual basis.

Each participant was awarded a gift for their involvement in the camp.

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ECLAC hosts regional consultation on accountability

ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena

ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena

– for Post-2015 Agenda

Representatives of the Region’s member states and United Nations experts meeting at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, advocated a strengthening of existing regional mechanisms for the implementation and accountability of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, opened the meeting on the challenges of monitoring and accountability for the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will be held on Thursday and Friday for representatives of member states, civil society and the private sector.

The opening also featured contributions from the Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Jessica Faieta, in her capacity as Chair of the United Nations Development Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDG LAC); the Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed; and Luis Fernando Llanos, from Peru’s Development and Social Inclusion Ministry, in his capacity as Chair of the 35th session of ECLAC.

According to the Executive Secretary, “The development agenda should have equal rights at its heart, as well as environmental sustainability and full employment. ECLAC is reaffirming that equality is the aim, structural change is the way and policy is the means.”

Bárcena underlined: “We think that there are mechanisms in the Region that may be useful for accountability. At ECLAC, we have the subsidiary bodies in which member states can discuss the content and follow-up to the Post-2015 Agenda. We should take advantage of our Region’s institutional architecture as much as possible.”

ECLAC’s subsidiary bodies include the Statistical Conference of the Americas, the Regional Conference on Women, the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee, the Committee on Population and Development, the Committee of High-level Governmental Experts, the Committee on Central American Economic Cooperation and the Regional Council for Planning.

Mohammed reiterated that this meeting was in response to a request made in June by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to the five United Nations regional commissions to organise consultations on accountability in the Post-2015 Agenda. This must be approved by the United Nations General Assembly, and would begin to apply following the expiry of the time period for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

As part of the new agenda design, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which was set up in January 2013 with representatives appointed by member states, completed its work in July and put forward 17 major focal points. The content and targets will be discussed by countries in a process that will last into next year.

Faieta emphasised that the implementation of MDGs showed that global targets do not guarantee a closing of the gaps affecting the most vulnerable population groups; there is a need to build local capacities in accordance with each society’s specific needs; and development agendas should not be based on piecemeal sectorial interventions, but rather on structural and multisectoral strategies, particularly at the national level.

Mohammed, who took part via video link from Nigeria, stressed the challenge of implementing accountability mechanisms to monitor the fulfilment of a non-binding agenda, as well as the relevance of having robust and reliable statistical information systems to measure progress and demonstrate the inequalities that are sometimes hidden behind averages.

Llanos, Director General of Follow-up and Evaluation of the Peruvian Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, called on countries to get involved in the planning of this process and to set feasible targets aimed at reducing such inequalities within countries.

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New pump station for Lima village

NDIA CEO Lionel Wordsworth

NDIA CEO Lionel Wordsworth


National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) Chief Executive Officer Lionel Wordsworth said a new pump station will be established at Lima Village on the Essequibo Coast.

He said the station will be equipped with a high capacity 200 cubic feet per second pump that was obtained from the India Line of Credit.

Wordsworth was at the time speaking at a recent special farmers meeting held a Sparta on the Essequibo Coast.

He said the request for the station and high capacity pump was made by farmers for proper drainage and irrigation in the area.

The CEO said several complaints came before his office from Lima residents, particularly rice farmers, noting that they were suffering from irrigation problems.

Wordsworth said 3000 rice farmers from the area will benefit from the establishment of the pump station, disclosing that within three weeks, the contract will be awarded.

The project will enhance the efficiency of drainage and irrigation network system in the Lima area.

He told farmers that millions of dollars on a yearly basis is being invested into the drainage and irrigation network system in Region Two, noting that the empoldering works from Kabakaburi to Jacklow is on stream.

He said the NDIA will continue to make interventions in terms of cleaning facade, clearing outfalls and desilting sluices.

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