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Bridgetown, Barbados, February 00, 2019Twenty-seven nurses drawn from five countries across the region have all successfully completed specialised training in the care of children with cancer and other blood disorders.

The nurses all successfully completed the Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Nursing Diploma Programme at the University of the West Indies School of Nursing in Trinidad, with the last cohort finishing last April.

Twenty-six of the 27 nurses from Barbados, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who completed the specialised one-year programme, were part of SickKids-Caribbean Initiative.

In 2013, with the support of SickKids Foundation the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI), a partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Ministries of Health, hospitals and institutions in six Caribbean countries was established. This partnership focuses on building sustainable local capacity to diagnose, treat, and manage paediatric cancers and blood disorders.

Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank also came on board with the initiative pledging USD$1 million over a seven-year period (2014 – 2020) through its charitable arm, FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation. As nurse training partner, the bank funded the full training for all but one of the 27 nurses.    

“We are truly proud to be a partner with SCI and to support the life-changing work they have been doing across the region to ensure that hundreds of children diagnosed with cancers or blood disorders have access to the very best care delivered by trained professionals,” said Colette Delaney, Chair of the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

“The work of the dedicated doctors and nurses of SCI have greatly improved the outcomes and enhanced the quality of care and quality of life for so many of our most vulnerable citizens – our children,” Ms. Delaney added.

Officials of SickKids recently paid a courtesy call on Ms. Delaney where they updated her on the great strides which have been made in the treatment and management of paediatric cancer cases across the region.

To date the SCI has significantly improved the diagnosis and care of scores of children across the region. In Jamaica and St. Lucia alone 57, 790 newborn sickle cell disease screening tests were conducted.

In addition, seven telemedicine centres were established, 302 consultations have taken place, 179 specialized diagnostic tests were done on patients newly diagnosed with leukemia, 528 patients were registered in local oncology databases, 21 lectures held on the work of SCI and three doctors trained under the Haematology/Oncology fellowship programme.

The initiative has also added to the library of regional medical literature and resources with the completion of five supportive care guidelines and five clinical care guidelines documents. Seven custom built local data bases were established in SCI partner hospitals to record and track patients and seven local data managers hired and trained in those territories.


Captions: Photo 1: A nursing student facilitating a training session as part of leadership development.

Photo 2: Nurses and educators pause for a photo outside the UWI School of Nursing in Trinidad.

About CIBC FirstCaribbean

CIBC FirstCaribbean is a relationship bank offering a full range of market leading financial services through our Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail and Business Banking and Wealth Management segments. We are located in sixteen (16) countries around the Caribbean, providing the banking services that fit our customers’ lives through approximately 3,000 employees in 68 branches and offices. We are one of the largest regionally listed financial services institutions in the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean, with over US$11 billion in assets and market capitalization of US $2 billion.  We also have an office in Hong Kong. The face of banking is changing throughout the world and CIBC FirstCaribbean intends to lead these changes with the expertise, integrity and knowledge gained from banking in the Caribbean since 1836.

CIBC FirstCaribbean is a member of the CIBC Group. CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units – Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Capital Markets – CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world.

For more information about CIBC FirstCaribbean, visit www.cibcfcib.com , Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube.

Media contact:

Debra King, Director of Corporate Communications, CIBC FirstCaribbean, Barbados Head Office; telephone: 246 367 2248; fax: 246 421 7148 and email: [email protected].

Young Man Shot Dead While At Work

Photo by: Tristar Pursuits

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts( Tuesday 26th February 2019)- The young man shot dead yesterday morning (Monday) was working at the time he was fatally wounded and to date, two individuals are being questioned by police.

Such information has been shared by a source at the Police Public Relations Department.

Dead is 30-year-old Shavaughn ‘Chronic’ Hendricks of Lime Kiln Housing.

According to police, the shooting incident took at about 9AM “while working in his area”.

A lone gunman is being blamed for the crime.

More details to be provided.

Police Investigating Another Deadly Shooting

Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Investigation

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Monday 24th February 2019)- Police on St.Kitts are currently investigating a fatal shooting incident which took place earlier this morning, taking the homicide count to eight for 2019.

Such detail has been confirmed by a spokesperson at the Police Public Relations Department.

As gathered by this media house, the incident happened in the Lime Kiln community fatally wounding a young man-believed to be in his 20s or early 30s- nicknamed ‘Chronic’.

More details to follow.

Island Constables Urged To Take Work Seriously

Top trainees- Shamara O. Huggins (right) attained the best written test results while Amita C. Matthew landed the top spot for spoken presentation (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 22nd February 2019)- The first batch of twenty-four (24) trained island constables -20 females and 4 males-have been asked to take their jobs seriously which includes ensuring that beaches do not become hot spots for criminal activities.

That call was made by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty while speaking at the closing ceremony held last Friday afternoon (15th February) at the Police Training Complex in Basseterre.

“The special unit will play an integral part in the security system in St. Kitts and Nevis. This unit has been established to support law enforcement. You have something on your shoulder marked ‘POLICE’; you’re not really police fully but people see you and you’re marked ‘POLICE’ so you’re supposed to emulate police and do the right thing at the right time and so you’re supposed required to  provide security at spots frequented by tourists.”

“Tourism is an integral part of the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis and occupies an important position in the nation’s policies and plans for national development. The Ministry of National Security has therefore decided to establish this special unit exclusively for the protection and service of domestic and international tourists. Having completed your initial training, I’m sure that you will develop into an efficient and devoted tourist patrol unit,” he added.

Petty continued: “As island constables, you will have powers like any other police constables.

Your mission will be for the protection of tourists, prevention of crime perpetrated against them as you provide them with assistance. At the same time, you must ensure that while in the Federation, tourists conduct themselves within the mandates of the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis. You must be able to monitor what is happening around you in any prescribed tourists prescribed areas where you are stationed. In so doing, you will be providing a sense of security to those visiting the country.

He told that the vision of their role has to be clearly demarcated since the country depends largely as a tourism industry on much of the revenue in noting that “you will play significant role in ensuring that tourists feel safe at all times considering the role that tourism plays in the in the economy …25 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product); that’s a lot, the Ministry of National Security and by extension the government of St. Kitts and Nevis remains committed in keeping the place a safe haven for visitor. The training you have completed therefore enables you to assist government in fulfilling this mandate.”

The National Security official outlined his security concerns regarding the beaches.

“I am particularly concerned about tourists when they are on our beaches. We must ensure that our beaches do not become hot spots for criminal activities. Your active involvement on the beaches will ensure that they do not become a hub for nefarious activities. We want out beaches to remain clean, organised and safe places to visit.”

Petty told the island constable trainees that their ultimate evaluation “will be judged on the extent to which you assist in making tourists feel safe.”

He encouraged them to “live up to the expectation that we expect of you.”

“I really would be disappointed if we hear any one of you get involved in activities which would embarrass the police force or embarrass us at the ministry because we have put a lot in the formation of this…(plus) you would embarrass the people who have trained you,” the National Security official admonished.

The trainees are: Dion Liburd, Jessica Jones, Dashan Jacobs, Donnette Simon, Arlene Richardson, Mary Hodge, Fiona Challenger, Lavardo Cummings, Amita C. Matthew, Shamara O. Huggins, Nickeila V. Hodge, Tamarie M. Hazel, Dawnecia Matthew, Donna S. Bradshaw, Jackie W.  Campbell, Zakeemer D. Henry, Odessa A. Lewis, Laddona M. Wilkinson, Ramoya Lewis, Kerstina Carty, Aiesha Wilson, Corporal Alexis Jospeh, Shakquanda Thomas and Sahina Williams.

The course kicked off on Monday 21 January. Topics covered include Island Constables Act, Prescribed Areas Act, ethics in law enforcement, attributes of  a good constable , customer service as well as police subjects such as pocket book, station diary, report and statement writing and how to give evidence. 

Huggins attained the best written test results while Amita C. Matthew landed the top spot for spoken presentation.

On Monday this week (18th February), they took the oath of office and received instruments of appointment at a ceremony held at Government House located at Springfield.

Man Stabs Girlfriend Days After Deadly Domestic Incident

Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Investigation

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 22nd February 2019)-Police are currently investigating a second stabbing incident involving a woman attacked by her boyfriend which took place two days after a female became a surviving victim of a deadly domestic incident.

Police have informed that a domestic dispute occurred on Wednesday 20th February at about 4PM at Cardin Avenue in Basseterre in which a woman was wounded several times with a knife.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that Veronica Thomas of Cardin Avenue was stabbed and wounded several times with a knife about the body by her boyfriend.

She was transported to the JNF Hospital where she was treated for her injuries and discharged.

One person is in police custody assisting with investigations into the matter which are ongoing.

In relation to the first stabbing which took place earlier this week, on Monday 18th February, police responded to a dispute between Leroy and Unella Henry at about 1:30 AM at Upper Malone Avenue.

A source has informed that the woman is doing well physically.

Credible information reaching this media house also indicates that the married couple-both in their 30s- were separated.

Reportedly, preliminary investigations so far have revealed that upon arrival, police met Leroy Henry attacking Mrs. Henry with a knife. The police discharged his firearm at Mr. Henry.

Additionally, preliminary reports also indicate that Mr. Henry attempted to take his own life with the knife.

The Emergency Medical Service was summoned to the scene and Mrs. Henry was transported to the JNF Hospital for medical attention. She sustained stab wounds about the body and a knife wound to her neck. She is currently warded in a stable condition.

Mr. Henry was pronounced dead at the scene by the District Medical Doctor. An autopsy will be performed on the body of Mr. Henry to determine the cause of death.

Members of the Crime Scene Unit visited and processed the scene and collected items of evidential value. Investigations into the matter are ongoing.

Pertaining to both incidents, an appeal is being made to anyone who might have any information to contact the Special Victims Unit by dialing 465-2241 ext. 4232/4253, or via cell phone at 665-3091 or by contacting your nearest Police Station.

Religious Marijuana Use Undecided By Commission

An arrested Rasta man seen inside a police van, surrounded by two police officers, following the annual marijuana march and rally organised by the Organisation of Rastafari in Unity held in August 2017. He was later released that night without being charged as the incident did not stem from anything criminal or violent on the Rasta man’s part (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 22nd February 2019) – The legalisation of marijuana for religious purposes as well as for recreational are two areas that all members of the National Cannabis Commission-headed by Dr. Hazel Laws- could not agree upon as part of the recommendations put forward to the government following its work phase which began some 15 months ago.

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Timothy Harris during his presentation in Parliament on Wednesday 20th February, however, did outline thirteen (13) recommendations that commissioners have settled on which have been accepted for further consultation by Cabinet found at paragraph A of Chapter 11 of the report which includes topics such as medicinal and criminal record.

As understood, the Cabinet intends on first looking at the areas of undivided agreement by the commissioners before examining areas of mixed opinons.

“The Commission could not agree that cannabis should be legalised for religious purposes or that it should be legalised for recreational purposes. The Cabinet considers, therefore, that a phased approach is advisable, taking the unanimous recommendations of the Commission as first steps and thereafter considering the other areas on which unanimity could not be achieved would be the prudent approach to take,” PM Harris informed.

According to him, “the acceptance of these recommendations put forward unanimously by the National Cannabis Commission portends some fundamental changes to existing laws in St. Kitts and Nevis, which the Cabinet will have to consider carefully and consult further on.”

The agreed recommendations by the National Cannabis Commission are:

1. The blanket criminalization of cannabis as per the Drugs Act has been overtaken by passage of time and regional and international developments and should be amended.
2. The definitions in the Drugs Act relating to cannabis should be amended, having regard to scientific developments since the Act was passed in 1986.
3. The use of cannabis and its derivatives for medicinal and scientific purposes should be permitted under licence and a strict legislated regime.
4. The regime for the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes should include the following:
a. The establishment of a medicinal licensing authority to regulate importation, local cultivation and production.
b. A requirement that two tiers of practitioners must complete a requisite amount of Continuous Medical Education (CME) hours on cannabis (i) medical practitioners for prescribable marijuana products; and (ii) herbalists for non- prescribable marijuana products.
c. A requirement that prescribable marijuana products must meet international labeling standards.
d. The inclusion of other components should be allowed only under advice from experts in the industry.
5. Production and trade should be permitted under licence and a strict legislated regime of hemp and hemp products.
6. The penalty for possession of less than 15 grams of cannabis should be reduced to a ticketable offence without a criminal record.
7. The penalty for the growth of less than 5 plants per household should be reduced to a ticketable office without a criminal record.
8. The current regime for the rehabilitation of offenders should be amended to permit the Court to expunge the criminal records of persons convicted in the past of possession of cannabis in quantities below the amounts specified above.
9. Current healthcare services for the treatment of substance abuse should be substantially upgraded and increase the number of personnel trained in treatment and counseling of young persons and other vulnerable groups.
10. A massive public messaging programme should be created prior to any changes in the law and continuing thereafter informing the public of the benefits and risks and the potential harm to young persons regarding the use of cannabis.
11. The programme should be adapted for use in the school curriculum.
12. The smoking and use of cannabis in public places should remain a criminal offence and attract substantial penalties.
13. Offences and penalties of driving under the influence of cannabis should be introduced.

The National Security Minister talked about the welfare of individuals under the age of 18 saying: “In addition, the Cabinet has determined that the use and possession and sale to persons under the age of 18 years of cannabis should be strictly prohibited; we want to protect the children and so this would be consistent with the science that regular intake, particularly smoking of marijuana by young persons, is inimical to their neurological development.”

Douglas’ Lawyers To Address Passport Privacy Invasion

Lawyer Sylvester Anthony speaking to reporters this afternoon (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Wednesday 20th February 2019)-While the legal team for the Opposition Leader of the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas, is in celebration mode following this afternoon’s dismissed outcome inthe case brought against him by the Attorney General Vincent ‘Juicy’ Byron Jr.-the claimant, the next step is to address the manner in which Douglas’ diplomatic passport information became public in the first place.

As gathered, lawyers will be filing a motion in relation to the invasion of privacy in releasing his (Dr. Douglas) passport information to Mr. Cuthbert Mills in the matter that was brought before the court.

Byron Jr. of the three-party Team Unity Government led by Dr. Timothy Harris, was hoping that the court would have ruled that Douglas, the Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Six, is both a citizen of St.Kitts-Nevis and also Dominica thus making him automatically disqualified from his position in the National Assembly as an alleged Dominican passport holder who has pledged allegiance to a foreign country to attain such.

Dr. Douglas-the defendant- had been optimistic from the start in stating that he is not a citizen of Dominica and has never pretended to be one.

He is also on record bashing PM Harris on the positon that the court matter came about “because of the vindictiveness of Harris, refusing to issue a diplomatic passport to a former head of government, the present leader of the opposition of this country.”

More details in a follow-up report.

French Educator Highlights Importance Of Learning Another Language

Director of the Alliance Française Marine Moncaut

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 15th February 2019)- The Director of the Alliance Française de St.Kitts and Nevis, Marine Moncaut, is hoping that local students will see the importance of learning a different language during an upcoming student exchange programme to the French-speaking Caribbean island of Guadeloupe for a period of five (5) days.

In a recent interview, the educator who originally hails from France and is fluent in English and Spanish with French being her native language, revealed that it took her two decades before personally realising the significance of such.

The St.Kitts-Nevis group—comprising of 17 students and eight adults including Alliance Française committee members and parents- is scheduled to travel come next week (Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd   February) for the programme which comes in partnership with the College St. John Perse in Les Abymes in Guadeloupe.

The trip is expected to include a tour of the island, a cultural morning with traditional dance and music (Gwoka), a visit to The Memorial ACTe museum (Regional Museum of Slavery), the traditional night market at Sainte-Anne and a day at the island of Les Saintes.

Notably, the local students are involved with the Alliance Française but combined are different students from the Federation, mostly from the Basseterre area.

In addressing her view on the benefits of learning a different language, Moncaut talked about building friendships as she highlighted that a  male from Guadeloupe recently visited her office with a Kittitian lady whom he met  47 years after having been participants of an exchange programme.

“So that’s building lifelong friendships. As educator, for me, it is for the students to see the point of learning a foreign language. In our classes, sometimes we don’t have enough power to prove the students that it can be good to learn a different language and to speak it,” she remarked.

Moncaut continued: “For me I’m convinced because I’m working with a different language every day. I want them to see [the importance]; it took me 20 years to realise that so if we could give them an opportunity to see it from a younger age they will save a bit of struggle that you have to do when you’re a bit older to catch up so it’s for them to see the importance. The advantages that they can get  from learning a foreign language in terms of communication for career purposes , for studies purposes but also for personal benefits; you can meet other people  and you can open yourself to different people because language is what can separate people …but when you have information that you can share that is how you build bridges.”

The programme kicked off last month (January) with communication through videos sent by both institutions which according to Moncaut saw “a mix between the language and the culture.”

She informed that local students communicated in French while those in Guadeloupe  spoke English.

As gathered, the St.Kitts-Nevis group students presented information about national symbols of St.Kitts-Nevis including the flag and also sung the national anthem in both French and English.

On the other side, the Guadeloupians did a poem as part of their presentation and also a performance of a traditional dance by one of the male students.

“Those in Guadeloupe spoke English because they are students learning English and [those from St.Kitts-Nevis] are students learning French. So when they will meet, they will have two languages that they don’t manage super efficiently but at least, it sets a certain equality in terms of the knowledge of the language; those in Guadeloupe will not be very comfortable with English and the Kittitians will not be comfortable with French…because they will have the same challenge,” Moncaut commented.

Man’s Cause Of Death In Deadly Domestic Dispute Blurred

A December 2017 photo of Leroy and Udella Henry

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Tuesday 19th February 2019)- An autopsy will determine whether a husband died from an attempted suicide at the crime scene or from police fire during an officer’s attempt to intervene  in yesterday’s deadly domestic dispute that has left a wife nursing wounds at the hospital.

That day, police responded to a dispute between Leroy and Unella Henry at about 1:30 AM at Upper Malone Avenue.

Credible information reaching this media house indicates that the married couple-both in their 30s- were separated.

Reportedly, preliminary investigations so far have revealed that upon arrival, police met Leroy Henry attacking Mrs. Henry with a knife. The police discharged his firearm at Mr. Henry.

Additionally, preliminary reports also indicate that Mr. Henry attempted to take his own life with the knife.

The Emergency Medical Service was summoned to the scene and Mrs. Henry was transported to the JNF Hospital for medical attention. She sustained stab wounds about the body and a knife wound to her neck. She is currently warded in a stable condition.

Mr. Henry was pronounced dead at the scene by the District Medical Doctor. An autopsy will be performed on the body of Mr. Henry to determine the cause of death.

Members of the Crime Scene Unit visited and processed the scene and collected items of evidential value. Investigations into the matter are ongoing.

An appeal is being made to anyone who might have any information regarding this incident to contact the Special Victims Unit by dialing 465-2241 ext. 4232/4253, or via cell phone at 665-3091 or by contacting your nearest Police Station.

New Spa Owner Talks Beauty Inside Out

Owner of Beauty Inside Out Dimple Gidwani poses at the reception area during the opening event (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Tuesday 12th February 2019)- With a mindset of making people look and feel good, owner of the newly-opened Beauty Inside Out (dubbed St. Kitts and Nevis most exquisite salon and spa), Dimple Gidwani, is hoping that the luxurious experience would highlight and complement the importance of holistic self-care, both physically and emotionally.

Nestled at the St.Kitts Castle (opposite Silver Reef) in Frigate Bay, the commercial establishment officially opened its doors with a grand celebration on Saturday 2nd February.

Dimple Gidwani assist customers with the service menu (Spokesman Snap)

Over 300 specially-invited guests and other well-wishers from all walks of life collectively assembled for special merriment of scrumptious bites and musical entertainment.

“I’m over whelmed by the response and the appreciation I received from our guests. The event was so much fun and I truly appreciate each and every one who took their time out from their busy schedules and attended the event and made it so special for us, and to the people who could not make it I’m looking forward to seeing them soon,” Gidwani expressed.

Commenting on the inspiration behind the chosen business name, she shared: “There is an old expression ‘beauty is skin deep’; I’m in the beauty business and I love all beautiful things. I’m a very visual person and I love being surrounded by beauty. Feeding your skin from inside out is very important to me thus our natural and organic skin care products goes more than skin deep. A beautiful mind and a beautiful soul is what makes a person beautiful inside out and that is why this name came to my mind.”

As to why she has branded it as the most exquisite, she told: “I have designed the place myself and have worked on this project for a few months. I want St.Kitts to experience luxury, so every single furniture you see here is Italian and I have tried to keep it simple yet elegant and most of our products that we use are organic and natural and I want people to experience a great ambiance and a great service. I have tried my best to make it look and feel exclusive and I want to deliver quality products and services.”

One of the standout features at Beauty Inside Out is a bar.

“Hey, hey! Where in the world have you seen a bar in any salon?,” Gidwani boasted with a broad smile.

“That is my personal fav[ourite] spot in the salon,” she added with a wink.

The bar is located just outside of her office that has the door signage of ‘Boss Lady’.

Owner of Beauty Inside Out Dimple Gidwani poses outside her office (Spokesman Snap)

According to Gidwani so far business “has been good but it’s just the start; I have a long way to go. I want to deliver the best it’s just the beginning but I’m enjoying every bit of it.”

The Beauty Inside Out owner says the prices are reasonable.

“I want to cater to all so if you see in spite of the products being organic and natural, and looking at the ambiance you might feel it’s going to be over priced but I have kept the prices very, very reasonable for everyone to afford and enjoy luxury and yet feel at home,” she told.

Services include gel & acrylic nail extensions, 3D nail art, herbal massages, organic and natural facials, eye lash extensions, hair color & treatments, waxing and threading and much more.

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