World Social Work DayAs the world observes World Social Work Day, President of the Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers (GAPSW), Arnold Mickle, said despite being agents of change, social work in Guyana has been battling to have the profession licensed, but to date, the situation remains the same.Some of the social workers at the luncheon“We are supposed to be change agents and from since the time I did my diploma (a number of years ago) we were trying to be licensed and until now we can’t change that position and we are change agents. Other professions have done that, long time ago and where are we? The only way the social work profession can be professionalised is when we as individuals professionalise it,” Mickle said.He added that despite hundreds of social workers graduating from the University of Guyana over the years, the GAPSW only has approximately 15 to 20 active members. He noted that number has to be changed while urging social workers to be proud of their profession.He urged the social workers to do everything to change the perception of the profession. Mickle added that there is a great need for the professionalising of the social work profession.“We would want to change the perception of those who graduate from UG. We need to change the mindset of our practitioners because many persons do not professionalise their practice. You must professionalise your service delivery so the rest of the world can know the magnitude and importance of the work you do,” Mickle urged.In observance of World Social Work Day, the Social Protection Ministry hosted a morning of reflection and luncheon for social workers across the country at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown. World Social Work Day is observed annually on March 20, and this year, the theme is “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability.”While delivering the keynote address, Permanent Secretary of the Social Protection Ministry, Lorene Baird noted that the theme is in keeping with the United Nations Strategic Development Goals as well as President David Granger’s green state development strategy.She, like others before her, noted that although social workers are highly trained and competent, their profession is quite often devalued owing to ignorance of the demands of their roles.“Although highly trained and competent, the sad reality is that the role of social workers can be lightened to that of an unglorified humanitarian who is always helping and extending themselves sometimes even at the risk of neglecting other personal areas of their lives. We are often guilty of devaluing their worth because social work is something seen as not being evaluated profession and people often underestimate what the profession entails,” Baird noted.“I would like to encourage social workers to continue being resilient and continue to fight for the change that you want to see as you endeavour to improve the wellbeing of society and the country as a whole,” she added.Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Social Services, Abike Benjamin-Samuels, said all over the world, social workers stand up every day for human rights and social justice to help strengthen communities adding that it is the broadest profession out there.Social Work Day is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession.
Story Highlights The Ministry of Health has implemented a five-year strategic plan aimed at tackling the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Jamaica.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the plan will address the four major conditions causing death and illness among Jamaicans, namely cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease.He said the programme will also tackle the four major risk factors for NCDs, which are physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, harmful use of alcohol, and tobacco use.Dr. Ferguson, who was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica National Building Society’s (JNBS) Wellfest Family Fair 2013 on October 25, at the institution’s headquarters in St. Andrew, said the government will continue to place great emphasis on the reduction of NCDs in Jamaica, noting that the problem poses a threat to national development.NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions and cancer, account for some 36 million deaths each year globally, and are the leading cause of death and illness in Jamaica. Statistics show that in 2009, NCDs accounted for approximately 60 per cent of deaths among men and 75 per cent of deaths among women.“What is of great concern is that more and more people are developing these conditions at a much younger age, because of unhealthy lifestyle choices. As policy makers, we have to put strategies in place to combat the incidence of these debilitating illnesses to improve the health of our population,” he stated.Dr. Ferguson said a “whole society approach” is needed to tackle the problem, including Government, civil society and the private sector.“The aim of the Ministry is to build alliances with various groups to promote physical, mental, social and spiritual well being, which will enhance the quality of life of the Jamaican people by empowering individuals and communities to make good decisions for their health,” he remarked.He therefore welcomed the JNBS’ Wellfest Family Fair, noting that the event is in line with the objectives of the Ministry, as it recognises the critical importance of health in facilitating the general wellbeing of any society.“We welcome partnerships like these as the Government alone is unable to address all the health needs of the population,” he remarked.Executive, Business Development and Research, JNBS, Dr. Dana Morris Dixon, said it is critical that the organisation not only encourages its staff to emphasise wellness as a daily part of their lives, but that measures are put in place to facilitate this approach.She said that Wellfest 2013 is just one of the many initiatives geared at encouraging staff to develop good health practices and to make wellness a focal point in their lives and that of their families.The JN Group Wellfest 2013 will be held on Saturday, November 16 on the grounds of Jamaica College, Hope Road, St. Andrew, under the theme: ‘Your Health, Your Wealth…Lifetime Investments’.Those in attendance will benefit from health screenings and consultations, as well as the opportunity to dialogue with suppliers and service providers in the health and wellness sector.There will also be three seminars focusing on financial wellness; diabetes prevention and care; and the health risks of smoking. Dr. Ferguson said a “whole society approach” is needed to tackle the problem. The plan will address the four major conditions causing death and illness among Jamaicans. The programme will also tackle the four major risk factors for NCDs.
zoom Dutch shipbuilder Ferus Smit launched MV Arklow Clan, an open hatch single decker, at its Westerbroek yard on April 7.The 5,200 dwt Arklow Clan is the fourth in a series of ten ships that will be delivered to Ireland-based Arklow Shipping.With a hold volume of 220,000 cft, the newbuilding features a length of 86.8 meters and a width of 15 meters.The ship has one single hold and an 1A iceclass notation and is propelled by a 1740 kW MaK engine with a single ducted propeller.Market value of Arklow Clan currently stands at USD 5.97 million, according to data provided by VesselsValue.The vessel, which will fly the flag of the Netherlands, was ordered by Arklow Shipping in August 2014.Arklow Castle, the third ship from the batch, was launched in January this year.