Take up your cross

first_imgPhoto credit: rockrunner.blogs.comJesus says that every disciple must take up his or her cross daily and follow him. How this has been understood, however, has always been a cause of some confusion. The cross has been equated with all and every kind of suffering, with the implication that it all has to be “taken up.” The simplicity, however, is won at too great a price, because forms of suffering are not all the same.   You have, first of all, voluntary suffering, the highest form of which is martyrdom. This is the  story of countless men and women of all ages and cultures who have followed Jesus at the cost of their lives. They have said in a variety of voices and ways that their obedience was more important than life, and that taking up the cross was a cost they were glad to bear.Then there’s involuntary suffering, the sort of suffering implied in child and domestic abuse, for instance. You can’t speak of this as a cross that victims must take up. This is suffering that destroys, that must therefore be fought against. We must remember that the same Lord who said we must take up our cross also said ‘I have come that that they may have life and have it to the full.’In an imperfect world with imperfect people, however, there will always be room for cross-bearing. Anyone who works to not only to alleviate suffering but to improve and better less than human situations encounters disappointment, or feels discouraged at how difficult it is to change anything,  and how intractable obstacles often seem.We don’t have to pretend to be unaffected by this. By definition a cross is not lightweight; it’s  something one struggles under. Jesus fell three times under the weight of his.  Simon Tugwell, the Dominican spiritual writer, once remarked that the grace we receive to bear our crosses is the grace to bear them weakly.Another thing to think about is that a cross need not be an external or an exterior burden. The cross we may have to bear most routinely is ourselves. How so?  It’s when we see how deeply ingrained some of our habits are, how slow we are to become better, how progress often seems only to amount to contending with the same dreary faults and sins. At such times, bearing the cross simply means bearing with ourselves, and doing so courageously and without self-pity.Finally we don’t have to carry our crosses alone.  Bearing the cross is not a matter of independence and stoic endurance. It involves consenting to be helped, and being thankful for the encouragement and gestures of solidarity we receive from others. Our crosses also put us in solidarity with all suffering Christians throughout the world. It is an essential part of our eucharistic communion, part too of our solidarity in the communion of saints.By: Father Henry Charles Ph.d Sharing is caring! Share Tweet 37 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share FaithLifestyleLocalNews Take up your cross by: – June 27, 2011last_img read more

Malaysia establishes diplomatic ties with Vatican

first_img Share Sharing is caring! 27 Views   no discussions Tweet Sharecenter_img FaithLifestyle Malaysia establishes diplomatic ties with Vatican by: – July 18, 2011 Share The Vatican said the talks between the two leaders had been “cordial”The Vatican and Malaysia have agreed to establish diplomatic ties, following a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.The move comes after years of talks between the Catholic Church and the government of majority-Muslim Malaysia.Mr Najib’s visit was said to have been intended to reassure Christians in his country, who have long complained of discrimination.Ethnic and religious tensions have risen ahead of expected national polls.On Monday Mr Najib met the Pope at his summer home near Rome.In a statement, the Vatican said that during their “cordial conversations, the positive developments in bilateral relations were discussed and an agreement was reached to establish diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Holy See”.The Vatican said the two leaders had also discussed the importance of cultural and religious dialogue for the promotion of peace, Associated Press news agency reports.Mr Najib’s meeting with the Pope is significant for Malaysia’s Christian community, which makes up about 9% of the population.Malaysia’s constitution promises freedom of worship to all faiths, but a string of religious disputes in recent years has raised fears among the country’s religious minorities that their rights are being eroded, says the BBC’s Kuala Lumpur correspondent Jennifer Pak.Pigs headsIn 2009 the authorities tried to enforce a ban on Christians using the word “Allah” when referring to God in the Malay language – Christian leaders said the word had been used in their bibles for decades.The authorities’ efforts heightened tensions, leading to arson attacks on churches and tit-for-tat defacing of mosques, including the leaving of pigs’ heads at doorways to Islamic prayer halls.Ramon Navaratnam, who works for a Malaysian inter-faith council, said earlier that forming ties with the Vatican would give the concerns of Christians a better hearing.“We now will be saying things the way we have, what is right, what is wrong, what we like, what we don’t like about religious freedoms or the lack of it, and we know we will have somebody in the Vatican who would be able to at least talk to them, the government, privately and say ‘look, we can’t accept this. Please moderate your views’,” he said.Mr Navaratnam said the government could no longer ignore religious minorities, most of whom are ethnically Chinese and Indian.However, some Malay Muslim groups have become more vocal in demanding privileges and support from the government.In 2008, Chinese and Indian minorities across Malaysia, who are mainly Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, abandoned the government and voted for the opposition.Many complained of racism and a lack of religious freedom.BBC Newslast_img read more

Vatican bank chief and deputy resign

first_img Tweet Share Share 106 Views   no discussions BusinessFaithLifestyle Vatican bank chief and deputy resign by: – July 1, 2013center_img Sharing is caring! Share The Vatican bank has been plagued by financial scandals for decadesThe director and deputy director of the Vatican bank have resigned following the arrest of a senior Italian cleric over corruption and fraud allegations.Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli offered to step down on Monday “in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See”, the Vatican says.It comes three days after the arrest of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano.The 61-year-old and two others are suspected of trying to move 20m euros ($26m; £17m) illegally.Monsignor Scarano, a priest from southern Italy, worked for years as a senior accountant for a Vatican department known as Apsa (the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See).He has been under investigation by Italian police for a series of suspicious transactions involving the recycling through the Vatican bank of a series of cheques described as church donations.The two other men arrested on 28 July have been named as Giovanni Maria Zito, who is described as an Italian secret service agent, and Giovanni Carenzio, a financial broker. Ernst von Freyberg, the current president of the bank, will serve as its interim director, taking over from Mr Cipriani, a Vatican statement said.A new position of chief risk officer would also be created to improve compliance with financial regulations.BBC Newslast_img read more

CARICOM & National Accreditation Board training workshop underway

first_img 41 Views   no discussions Share Share Sharing is caring! EducationLocalNewsTertiary CARICOM & National Accreditation Board training workshop underway by: – August 24, 2011center_img Chairman of the National Accreditation Board Mr. Stephenson HyacinthThe Caribbean Community Market (CARICOM) and the National Accreditation Board had commenced phase two of a training workshop at the Garraway Hotel.At an opening ceremony for the workshop this morning, Chairman of the National Accreditation Board Mr. Stephenson Hyacinth said the function of the Board is to promote and improve education.“The National Accreditation Board is very interested in quality insurance, as it relates to a programme, an institution, or the whole higher education system. The promotion of the idea of improving educational qualities is one of the important activities within the overall mandate of the National Accreditation Board of the Commonwealth of Dominica.”Mr. Stephenson Hyacinth highlighted that as a quality assurance body, their main functions entails registering all institutions who offer tertiary level education in Dominica and to ensure that certain minimum standards are met, as well as to provide accreditation for degree and specialized programmes.According to Mr. Hyacinth the workshop has been organized in an effort provide the assessors with practical experience in the conducting external evaluations.“To fulfill this mandate the Board recognizes the need to train a cadre of external assessors in quality assurance and are conducting the second phase of the workshop where the first stage of the training took place last year on the 29th-30th of November. The training will enable the assessors to gain practical experience in the process of conducting and external evaluation for registering and accrediting post and secondary institutions,” he said.Dr. Ruby Alleyne – University of Trinidad & TobagoRepresentative for the University Of Trinidad & Tobago Dr. Ruby Alleyne noted that quality education of higher education for citizens of the Caribbean islands should be a common objective.“As Caribbean brothers and sisters we all have a common objective, and that is to improve the quality of higher education for our region and indeed for our citizens. One of the things that we are fully aware of is that quality higher education is really very significant and very important to sustainable, cultural economics and social development.”Mrs. Alleyne also explained that for the initiative to be successful, the Caribbean Single Market and Economy needs to support the quality accreditation system.She also noted while access to tertiary education has been made available and expansion of opportunities for citizens, the Board needs to ensure that they are not drawn into a situation where the focus is on quantity without focusing on quality.The workshop will continue for the next three days where the assessors will be trained in quality assurance of the phase two training project.Dominica Vibes News Share Tweetlast_img read more

CARICOM heads of state urged to focus more on region’s youth

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Share 13 Views   no discussions NewsRegional CARICOM heads of state urged to focus more on region’s youth by: – November 23, 2011center_img Share Share Sir Patrick Allen. Image via: thewestindiannews.comKINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Governor-General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, has encouraged Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of state to place greater focus on enriching the lives of the region’s youth.“I urge you fellow presidents and governors-general to continue to commit our offices and extend our influence to reach our young people. They are the future of the Caribbean. We have to build in them confidence toward the future, an indomitable spirit, and defiance in the face of adversity and challenge,” he said.Allen was speaking at the opening of the 14th annual conference of presidents and governors-general of CARICOM on Monday in New Kingston.He said CARICOM’s heads of state can do more “to advance our societies” and effect positive change in young people, given their ideal position as being “above the political fray and being able to act as mediators and conciliators.”“It is important to take stock of what’s right with us as we contemplate the future. I believe our values and attitudes will determine how we build our future. Our future is dependent on the values and attitudes we manifest and how we are able to inculcate these in our youth,” he argued.The governor-general reminded conference participants that the region comprises “a tough, resolute and defiant people,” that has produced brilliant historians who have documented the heroic struggles of the ancestors, and that “we need to use the history to ground our young people and let them know and appreciate the heritage that they have.”He pointed out that he launched the ‘I Believe Initiative’ because he passionately believes that there is need to build in people, possibility thinking and a can-do spirit.“We need to see ourselves, not as hapless victims and creatures of circumstances, but as a strong, resilient, resourceful, courageous people who are willing and able to take on the world – whatever it brings,” he said.Meanwhile, Allen said that despite the problems faced, he was proud of the region’s achievements, particularly in terms of democracy.“When I think about the challenges which the global community has had with democracy and with what is called democratic collapse; when I reflect on the many countries which have suffered from coups, dictatorships, tyranny and repression, I feel proud of our record as a region,” he said.The governor-general said even though the region has not been perfect, “we have been exemplary and have been a model,” in terms of commitment to democracy and the rule of law.“When we see that even some countries which have had a long democratic tradition have suffered serious reversals, we should pause to celebrate our rich, enviable democratic traditions… (which) are not just enshrined in Constitutions, they are enshrined in the hearts and minds of our people. We have nurtured a democratic culture, democratic ethos, and a democratic spirit,” he said.Governor-general of The Bahamas, Sir Arthur Foulkes, for his part, thanked the Allen and the government of Jamaica for hosting the conference.Pointing out this was his first time participating in the conference, Foulkes assured of his personal commitment to regional unity and the will of the government of The Bahamas to work towards that goal.He expressed the hope that “this conference and every other forum in CARICOM and every point of contact between us, will serve to advance the cause for unity.”Ten heads of state from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica are attending the four-day conference, which is being held under the theme: ‘Building Together for the Future’.The event will allow for the sharing of experiences and developments in the various territories. The programme will include a number of working sessions involving persons drawn from the fields of politics, economics, and academia, among others.The presenters will speak on various topics, such as: ‘Expanding the Role of the Office of the Governor-General’; ‘Initiatives of the Governor-General and their Impact on Nation Building’; ‘The Centrality of CXC to Educational Development and Change in the Region’; ‘Terms and Conditions of Service’; and ‘Matters of Protocol’.By Alecia Smith-EdwardsCaribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Best-selling author of hit children’s book “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z)” embarks on his own Caribbean journey.

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! LocalNews Best-selling author of hit children’s book “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z)” embarks on his own Caribbean journey. by: – December 15, 2011 Caribbean author and New York resident Mario Picayo will (almost) follow the text of his popular and best-selling title “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z)” as he travels from A (Anguilla and Antigua) to S (Saba, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Kitts, St. Vincent) on a month long trip through the islands. Picayo is presenting his book and donating other children’s titles by Caribbean authors to several libraries in the region.The journey will take him to a total of seventeen islands, where he will meet with librarians, educators, and members of the Ministries of Education. The final stop will be a return to his roots when the Cuban-born author joins hundreds of writers, and readers, at the Havana International Book Fair. This twenty-first edition of the Fair is dedicated to the nations of the Caribbean. “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z)” has been a best-seller for the last four years, and among the top selling books on Amazon.com’s Caribbean Children Books category. It was selected as Commended Title by the prestigious Americas Award and a copy, dedicated to Sasha and Malia Obama, was presented to Michelle Obama by the First Lady of the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2009.Silvio Torres-Saillant, author of “An Intellectual History of the Caribbean” wrote in his review of the book: “A Caribbean Journey from A to Y describes insular portions of the Caribbean region in a manner that truly teaches and delights the child reader for whom the book is intended. . . I can think of no better book for children to begin the lifelong adventure of knowing the Caribbean.”Picayo explained that the main purpose of his trip is to introduce his book to new audiences, meet local authors and illustrators for possible publication, and donate a set of Caribbean children’s books published by the company he directs, Editorial Campana, to the National Libraries. The books are signed by each author and dedicated to the children of the respective island.The author and publisher also wants to speak about an ongoing literary project started five years ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands with great success. It involves the creation of high quality, fully illustrated children’s books by local authors, which are given to every school-age child on the islands at no charge to them.The initiative addresses, and tries to remedy, the lack of access to Caribbean literature for children in the region, the little opportunities available for local authors to publish their work, the difficulties of inter-island distribution, and the high price of books. “It’s been a dream of mine to do a trip like this”, Picayo expressed. “We need to exchange books so that Caribbean kids understand early on the historical, cultural and geographical bonds that unite us. I envision a near future where Caribbean children can access a large range of books written by authors and illustrators that understand them because they were once children on these same islands. We need to get to know each other better.”Picayo’s first stop will be his old home of fifteen years, St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands where thousands of copies of “The Lesson Box” by Tregenza A. Roach and illustrated by Karen L. Samuel, will be given to the children of the Territory as a gift from the Office of the Governor. Picayo is the editor and coordinator of the publishing aspect of the project.Meet the author at the following free event:Children’s Reading & Caribbean Book presentation at the Roseau Public Library on 20th December, 2011 at 11am. Press Releasecenter_img Share 19 Views   no discussions Tweetlast_img read more

No word yet of missing Guyana cargo vessel

first_img Sharing is caring! Robeson Benn. Photo credit: kaieteurnewsonline.comGEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) — Guyana’s Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn reported on Monday that there has been no sign of the cargo vessel MV Oliver L in the territorial waters of Guyana, Trinidad, or in Venezuela.A team comprising Benn, Lt Col. Orin Porter, operations officer of the Coast Guard; Michael Tennant, river navigation officer, MARAD; harbour master, Volton Skeete; commanding officer of the Coast Guard Gary Beaton; and director of maritime safety Stephen Thomas met on Monday to study the reports that have so far come in from the search and rescue operations. Contact at the diplomatic level has also been made with both Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. The vessel registered in the name of Raymond Lord, which has been missing ostensibly, since December 25, 2011 was manned by Captain Wexton Andrews, and two seamen ratings, Ramdat Roopnarine and Clad Burnett. The Oliver L left Trinidad on December 21 destined for Port Georgetown, Guyana, and was expected to arrive in Guyana on Christmas Eve. They did not arrive. Additional time was allotted because of bad weather and a new arrival time was calculated to be latest December 26, Boxing Day. The vessel has still not arrived. Minister Benn said that local authorities have been in contact again with the both the Trinidad and Venezuelan Coast Guards with no positive results. He said, “Yesterday we did issue a search box for the mouth of the Orinoco (River) where it has been inferred by the experts, that if the vessel lost power and was adrift, it may find itself in that area. But so far there has been no success on that search, which is continuing.”Benn and other members of the Maritime Authority expressed concern about the crew of the vessel. “We are of course very concerned, not simply about the loss of the assets, but more particularly, about the captain and crew on board the vessel. And that is Captain Andrews, and the two seamen, Roopnarine and Burnett,” the minister said. “We will continue to be in contact with the owners and the representatives here for the vessel, to be able to determine more particularly, and to record the circumstances in relation to the vessel and the fact that it’s missing so far.”Work with the Venezuelan and Trinidad and Tobago coastguard will continue with the support of the local authorities, which include the Transport and Harbours Department, the Maritime Administration Department and the Guyana Coast Guard. Personnel at the lighthouse, fisher folk and coastal mariners, and all other seagoing vessels have all been alerted to be on the lookout for the MV Oliver L. Coastguard assets in the Northwest District have also been notified and have been on the watch for the vessel. “We will continue to work hard at this to bring what we hope to be a good closure to the matter,’ said minister Benn. Responding to the fear that the operation could at some time move away from a search and rescue operation and become a search and recover, Benn said, “We would have to await the outcome of the current search that is underway in the Orinoco before we determine that. There have been occasions where we have been told the vessel has been delayed on a number of occasions, and didn’t report after four or five days. This is an extended period and highly unusual.”If it is necessary, the call will be made the minister explained. However, that determination will be made based on the information received over the next few days. He added, “Of course when we would have concluded that we would have comprehensively searched all the areas along the Guyana coast and that we are satisfied too, that the help of Venezuela has been thorough, and the help of the Trinidad and Tobago coastguard too has been thorough and comprehensive, we will make the call.” There is no indication that the vessel and crew may have slipped through any port authorities and gone elsewhere, said Benn, adding that he would be surprised if they did that for any reason. “They have families. Their families are concerned about them. We are of course very concerned about them (too). We are informed that they have both cell phones and satellite phones. The vessel is also equipped with the VHF, UHF, SSP radios, so it is worrying from that point of view,” he said. On the issue of using a tracking system to locate the vessel and crew, Benn explained that they do not have instrumentation to be tracked in that manner, adding that while all the normal things are installed on the vessel such as the radios and satellite phones, the phones would have to be on to be able to track.Director of maritime safety, Stephen Thomas explained further that while the satellite telephone on the vessel is not a mandatory piece of equipment, it’s a good piece of equipment. Thomas added, “According to the owner, they have been trying to contact it but it’s not on. They did not get any response. We’ve tried the cell phone numbers given for the crew also, and we aren’t getting any response. We have done calls to the VHF and the high frequency radio, which is a long distance, and we are not getting any response either. We are hoping that maybe it’s some mechanical or electrical problem. I mean that’s our optimistic hope, and its something that can be rectified, and will be rectified.”Thomas said that they are actively pursuing all means to locate the vessel and crew through communications assets and collaboration with Guyana’s neighbours, “and all the vessels that are currently operating in our waters.”“We have contacted ships that are coming from Trinidad to Guyana to ask them to be vigilant if they notice a vessel that fits that description, so that they can inform us and we can actively engage,” he added.According to maritime records, the vessel has all the basics in the necessary communication equipment, and its inspection is up to date. “If they are anywhere, stranded anywhere on the coast, they will be seen, because our coast is relatively busy between here and the Northwest district,” Thomas said. “We are engaging our Venezuelan colleagues because between Trinidad and Venezuela, in the track that the vessel was pursuing, is a lengthy coastline with a lot of islands and islets. So we are engaging with our Venezuelan colleagues, and the Coast Guard over there to help us in that regard, because we cannot go and search in the Venezuelan waters, but we are actively scrutinizing our waters for any evidence of them. We’re hopeful that the crew is alive and well, and every effort is being made to rescue and recover them.”It is possible that the crew and vessel may have sought shelter from bad weather in the Orinoco Delta, on the leeward side of one of the islands, which is why there is so much collaboration with the Venezuelans. Meanwhile, Harbour Master Volton Skeete, said that the Georgetown lighthouse, the main coast station, is in communications with foreign vessels that would normally would frequent Guyana’s ports once they are heading to Trinidad or Venezuela. These vessels will be giving feedback to the lighthouse if anything comes up. The lighthouse is also in communication with fishing vessels that would be leaving to keep a look out. This will be ongoing as long as necessary. The search is continuing.Caribbean News Now 63 Views   no discussions Share Tweetcenter_img NewsRegional No word yet of missing Guyana cargo vessel by: – January 3, 2012 Share Sharelast_img read more

Dominica leading in ICT says Kevler Darroux

first_img Share Kelver Darroux. Photo credit: GIS NewsParliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Information Technology Kelver Darroux has announced that Dominica is leading the way in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the OECS.Darroux who was speaking on the heels of an upcoming ICT road show carded for Dominica, said the upcoming event will showcase the many opportunities and new initiatives the sector has to officer.“Dominica has taken a very forward position as it relates to ICT especially in the OECS countries. In fact I believe we are the leaders in many aspects in the OECS .We will continue to peruse innovated and creative ways to bring across the sector in a better manner. That is to say that there are a lot of opportunities in the sector especially for our young people. The upcoming ICT road show wills showcase several innovative forums, a number of opportunities and new initiatives,” he said.He said government is also looking at using the opportunity to proving creative ways to close the unemployment gap and through innovation, several young people could take advantage of employment opportunities created within the ICT sector.The programme which is designed to raise regional awareness of the innovative approaches required for the effective application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in every sphere of endeavour, the theme for the road show is “Harnessing the Power of Innovation – the engine for ICT-enabled Caribbean development”.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! 22 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Share LocalNews Dominica leading in ICT says Kevler Darroux by: – January 9, 2012 Tweetlast_img read more

Urban Harrigan – “served with honor not for honor”

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Share 117 Views   3 comments Sharecenter_img Share LocalNews Urban Harrigan – “served with honor not for honor” by: – January 20, 2012 Mr. Urban Harrigan. Photo credit: Janice Roberts.The community of Loubiere is today mourning the loss of a Veteran Master of Ceremonies, Carnival Organizer, Sports Organizer and Community Activist who served “with honor and not for honor”.Seventy years old Harrigan died last evening at the Princess Margaret Hospital following six years of lung and heart illness.Miscilda Harrigan, wife of Marcel Harrigan, told Dominica Vibes News on Friday that her father in law devoted his life to service with honor for his community.According to Miscilda Harrigan, he served in various capacities in the community of Loubiere and although he was originally from Roseau he lived and spent most of his life in Loubiere.“He was all about service not for honor, but with honor meaning that whatever he did, he did it because he wanted to help and serve his people. He served as Chairman of the Loubiere Village Council for a number of years, he was instrumental in sourcing funds for the Loubiere Community Centre as well as the Loubiere Catholic Church, a Catechetical Teacher, he hosted several shows including Queen and Calypso shows, he represented Dominica in the field of sports and worked at the Government Printery for a number of years.”Mrs. Harrigan noted that one of the things she admired most about her father in law was his monthly commitment to the Education Trust Fund.She said; “One of the things I admired about him was that he was a contributor to the Education Trust Fund every month from his salary. He ensured that every month he made a contribution to the fund to ensure that other children could get an education”.He will be missed by his widow Patsy, sons; Marcel, Brian, Damian and Jeff as well as many grand children, friends and relatives.Harrigan received several awards for his contribution towards the development of his community and culture and was named among the awardees for this year’s Calypso Hall of Fame.Dominica Vibes News sympathizes with the family and friends of the late Urban Harrigan and salutes him for his tremendous contributions he made to his community and country.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Dominica government launches new child health records

first_img Share 61 Views   2 comments Minister of Health, Julius Timothy displaying the booklets to the media.Dominica has joined seventeen Caribbean islands in implementing a new child health recording system which is an upgrade to what many people know as the child health passport.As part of this new initiative information will be collected on the child and mother after birth, developmental screening, child’s diet, dental history, immunization, illnesses, allergies and injuries and growth patterns and recorded in a large laminated booklet; blue covers for boys and pink for girls.Children who were born in December of 2011 will receive this new child health record booklet while children born 2007 – November 2011 will receive the new growth standards – growth charts only. This therefore represents a permanent record of a child’s health status and immunization which may be required for entry into institutions of learning for Visa purposes for some countries. Parents are required to take the records along with them when attending a clinic, hospital or doctor.Dr. Griffin BenjaminThe project which is collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) was launched in Dominica on Friday.Chief Medical Officer (Ag.) Dr. Griffin Benjamin noted that the project represents “a complete overhaul and improvement” of the old child health passport and further noted that the Ministry always aims to improve the capacity and ability of health care workers “to provide optimum care to our children”.“As you know between the age of 0 and 5 this is the age when our children are vulnerable to many things; many diseases; diseases that could be prevented and the nutritional conditions are also factors that affect the growth and development of our children; they influence their height, their growth, their weight and this growth chart will help us to monitor carefully what’s happening.”Nutritionist and Coordinator of the project Marynese Titre explained that these new booklets are in keeping with WHO’s New Child Growth Standards and highlighted their significance. Nutritionist Marynese Titre.“The new WHO Growth standards indicators are Weight for age, Weight for Height/Length, Height/Length for Age and Head Circumference for Age. These indicators will assist health workers to determine nutritional status of our children 0-5 years, whether they are; underweight, obese, overweight, thin, wasted, stunted or whether their head is growing along the normal curve for their age.”Meanwhile, Senior Community Health Nurse (CHN) Florestine Lewis highlighted the importance of the new booklets as it will better assist health officers to assess the growth and development of the children. “The old health passports were only one single card which documented the child’s weight for age but with this new growth record we do not only have the age we have the length or height for age as well as the length or height for their weight. So we are better able to assess the child’s growth and development based on those anthropometric measures. This document has some information to do with the feeding patterns of the children so it clearly outlines to them what they have to do at the particular ages that they have to do it even when it comes to the growth and the development like the milestones.”Community Health Nurse; Florestine Lewis. According to CHN Lewis; the booklets will afford parents the ability to observe and identify their children’s development as provide pointers to motivate those who are falling below the developmental milestones.“For example if you are 1 month old you are supposed to be able to do certain things whereas before we would only tell them, “is your baby doing this or your baby doing that?” Now they have a record that is able to tell them so they can see for themselves and they can assess their child’s development for their selves. We also have some ideas; say for example their child is falling below one of the developmental milestones there are some activities in the book that they can use to help them to motivate the child so the child’s development could be better.”CHN Lewis also made a special appeal to parents to ensure that the booklets are properly cared for. The first copy will be given completely free of charge however replacement copies will cost $30.00 each.The Minister of Health Julius Timothy described the launching of these new booklets as “another milestone” considering that the 0-5 year age group is the most vulnerable within any population. Timothy commended the healthcare providers, the offices of PAHO, WHO, CFNI, Ross University School of Medicine, the Health Promotion Unit, Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Resource Centre and the parents who participated in the pilot phase. The Ministry anticipates that by the 2015 the old health passports will be completely phased out.[nggallery id=119]Dominica Vibes News Share LocalNews Dominica government launches new child health records by: – January 23, 2012center_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweetlast_img read more