Mental Health Training held in Belmopan Print E-mail
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Friday, 09 November 2018 00:00

A two day training on the Mental Health Global Action Programme (MHGAP) was recently held with Medical Officers, Nurses and Nursing students at the George Price Center in Belmopan. Some 40 doctors from all over the Country were trained on topics such as depression, suicide, psychosis and generally how to approach persons requiring mental health care.

The objective of the training was to build capacity in the diagnosis and treatment of Mental Health conditions that present themselves usually at the first point of contact within medical facilities such as the Emergency Room area.

“We hope to make mental health care more accessible in the clinics so with this training anyone, who has a mental health problem in addition to a physical problem who goes to a clinic can receive both types of services at the same time rather than having to be referred to see a psychiatric nurse or a psychiatrist; the doctors are now able to manage basic mental health problems,” says Mrs. Eleanor Bennet, Belize’s Director of Mental Health Programs.

This is the third training of its kind under the collaborative efforts of the Pan American Health Organization PAHO and the Ministry of Health. Facilitators are Dr. Fidel Cuellar, Medical Officer, San Ignacio Community Hospital and Dr. Claudina Cayetano, Mental Health Regional Advisor, PAHO. The participating doctors were only able to cover certain modules so another round of training will be taking place within the next few months.

“It makes it a lot easier for people to have access to mental health services, very important that we start to pay attention to the mental health and start to discuss these things with their doctors at the level of primary health care, and it takes away that stigma of having to go to a mental health clinic and then be ashamed to be seen there, if they go to a regular outpatient clinic then it takes away some of the stigma and it makes it easier for them to talk about their mental health issues,” adds Mrs. Eleanor Bennet.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2018 15:06
Universal Hardware expands its services in Belize City Print E-mail
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Friday, 09 November 2018 00:00

On Friday November 2, Universal Hardware opened its doors to its newly renovated store on Chetumal Street. Managing Director, Norman Dueck explained to the Guardian that the new store was a couple years in the making. He says that the store was not a full retail store, and being in Belize City the expanded services was an absolute necessity. Belize is the commercial and population center, “if you want to do retail you have to be where the people are,” he said.

The store is a partnership with the True Value trade mark and will see it into a full fledged hardware store which will feature paints, plumbing and hardware. It is a marked move from the signature motorcycles, power tools and lawn mowers the store was known for. Shoppers can now do business in an air conditioned atmosphere. The store also features an escalator for a second floor shopping area.

Dueck said that the store is a testament to the confidence they have in investing in Belize City especially because of the marked infrastructural improvement the area has seen over the past few years.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2018 15:06
Edreena Lambey is Ms. Garifuna Belize 2018-2019 Print E-mail
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Friday, 09 November 2018 00:00

On Saturday November 3, 2018, the National Garifuna Council in Belize held its annual Ms. Garifuna Belize Cultural Pageant at the Ecumenical Auditorium in Dangriga Town, Stann Creek. The pageant followed the National Solidarity Mass held the same morning at the Sacred Heart Church.

Six young ladies vied for the title of Ms. Garifuna Belize Cultural Pageant. They were Shenell Nunez from Belize City; Edreena Lambey, who represented the city of Belmopan; Latoya Castillo, Ms. Garifuna Hopkins; Royisha Mena, Ms. Garifuna Seine Bight; Fredleen Roches, Ms. Garifuna Peini; and Taryn Nunez, Ms. Garifuna Dangriga.

During the pageant, the girls showcased their fluency of the Garifuna language through their introduction and presentation which focused on an issue facing the Garinagu community or relevant to the theme for the November celebration, “Lawanserun Garifunaduau….Hadasi Sun Garinagu” (Garifuna Progress…...A Task for All Garinagu).

The contestants also performed various cultural dances and displayed the traditional clothing. At the end of the night, Taryn Nunez was 2nd runner up while Latoya Castillo was 1st runner up. Edreena Lambey emerged victorious as the new Ms. Garifuna Belize.

HelpAge Belize’s 34th Annual General Meeting Print E-mail
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Friday, 09 November 2018 00:00

HelpAge Belize, a not-for-profit  non-governmental organization (NGO), which  partners with other agencies, private sector businesses and individuals to improve the lives of older persons recently held its 34th Annual General meeting (AGM) in the Capital City of Belmopan. The event brought together representations from its eleven (11) branches countrywide.

The theme for this year’s annual general meeting, “Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions”, coincided with that of the International Day of Older Persons which was celebrated on 1st, October 2018, and also marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

The celebration of older human rights champions provides an ideal opportunity to raise the visibility of older people as active members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately, while also raising awareness of ageism and age discrimination that older people face.

Remarks were delivered by the Mayor of Belmopan, His Worship, Mayor Khalid Belisle; HelpAge Belize Chairman, Mr. Evan Dakers and Helpage Belize Executive Director, Ivorine Bulwer. In addition, a special presentation on issues related to the upcoming ICJ Referendum was done by Ambassador David Gibson.

HelpAge Belize would like to thank the general public, partners, staff, and the Board of Directors for their unwavering support over the past fiscal year and looks forward to their continued support in the future.

Ms. Ivorine Bulwer tells the Guardian that two Cuban specialists have been acquired to boost services Countrywide. Given the costs involved, HelpAge has integrated that service with the Ministry of Health Central Region, offering geriatric consultations at the Matron Roberts and Cleopatra Health Centers. Geriatric services are also now being offered every other Friday in Laydiville and on every third week of every month clinical consultations are being held at the San Ignacio Hospital. While this is being done the Geriatrician is being trained in the use of the Ministry of Health’s Management Information System.

In doing assessments at both Sister Cecilia and Octavia Waight it was recognized that at these health care settings there are clients with health problems such as diabetes and hypertension. HelpAge will soon be sending a follow-up letter to the Ministry of Health so that nurses are assigned to residential homes.

“We would want to invite retired public and private sector personnel to come in and join HelpAge to be a part of HelpAge,  because there are opportunities out there for proposals and we want to improve upon what exists,” says Ivorine Bulwer.

“Working together for a safer world: Support Taiwan’s participation as an Observer in INTERPOL Print E-mail
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Friday, 09 November 2018 00:00

With transnational crime on the rise, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies worldwide establish mutual links and efficient cooperation. To achieve INTERPOL’s key aims, such as ensuring and promoting the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities, Taiwan must be included. Indeed, Taiwan seeks to work with law enforcement agencies around the world to jointly combat crime, fill gaps in the global security network, and create a safer world through joint cooperation.

Taiwan has earned widespread acclaim for its public security. The international community should not exclude Taiwan in the fight against transnational crime.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) is the world’s 22nd-largest economy and 17th-largest exporter, occupying a strategic location connecting Northeast and Southeast Asia. It was named the best place in the world for expats to live in a 2016 online report by Forbes, and was ranked 34th among 163 countries surveyed for the 2018 Global Peace Index by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace. In order to preserve its public security in a world increasingly challenged by cyber-crime and terrorism, Taiwan must cooperate with worldwide law enforcement agencies.

Taiwan’s exclusion from INTERPOL creates a gap in intelligence sharing and a loophole for criminal activity.

Due to political factors, Taiwan has been excluded from INTERPOL for 34 years. It lacks timely access to key intelligence shared via the I-24/7 global police communications system and the affiliated database concerning stolen and lost travel documents (SLTD). This has seriously hampered Taiwan’s ability to implement security checks at its borders and fight against terrorism, human trafficking, and other transnational crimes. Its long-term exclusion from INTERPOL has led to delays and disparity in the exchange of critical information, and prevented it from participating in related meetings, activities and training courses, creating a major gap in the global security and counter-terrorism network.

Politics should not override global security needs.

Taiwan applied to attend the 85th INTERPOL General Assembly as an Observer in 2016 and to host an INTERPOL major event support team (IMEST) in 2017 for security at the Summer Universiade in Taipei. INTERPOL rejected both applications, citing the 1984 resolution it adopted when China attained membership and suggesting that Taiwan contact the National Central Bureau in China. No resolutions or arrangements by INTERPOL should override the aim of strengthening police cooperation and the prohibition of political interference so clearly expressed in its Constitution.

Through participation in INTERPOL, Taiwan seeks to share experiences in fighting transnational crime.

Taiwan has spared no effort to combat cross-border crime over the years and has solved many criminal cases in collaboration with law enforcement agencies of other countries. Earlier this year, Taiwanese and Thai police conducted a widespread crackdown on economic crime, recovering 120 million baht (US$3.69 million) in illicit funds. Also this year, Taiwanese and Philippine police worked together to capture a Philippine City Councilor wanted for drug trafficking who had fled to Taiwan. And following a cyber-attack on a local bank in October 2017, Taiwan relied on intelligence provided by the National Central Bureaus of Interpol Member States to intercept stolen funds worth over US$60 million. These achievements have received international acclamation and recognition. In line with common values and ideals, Taiwan wishes to further contribute to global initiatives that help create a safer world. Indeed, a seamless global security network can be ensured only if Taiwan participates in INTERPOL.

Taiwan is a good neighbor and will help make the world safer.

Fighting crime is the common mission and responsibility of police forces worldwide. Nations cannot single-handedly address the three priorities under the INTERPOL Strategic Framework 2017-2020, namely counter-terrorism, cyber-crime, as well as organized and emerging crime. As a member of the international police community, Taiwan’s police force should not be left on the sidelines. It has the obligation, responsibility, willingness and ability to stand on the frontlines with its worldwide counterparts in the fight against cross-border crime.

Global security and social justice should transcend regional, ethnic and political differences. We urge you to support Taiwan’s participation in the INTERPOL General Assembly this year as an Observer, as well as in INTERPOL meetings, mechanisms and training activities. By speaking up for Taiwan at international events, you can make a real contribution to promoting Taiwan’s pragmatic and meaningful participation in INTERPOL.

Tsai Tsan-Po


Criminal Investigation Bureau

Republic of China (Taiwan)”


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