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Grenada heads to South Korea for International Brain Bee Championship

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Grenada’s National Brain Bee Champion Jevonie Thomas is heading to South Korea to compete for the Brain Bee World Championship title.

Thomas, an extremely bright 15-year-old who attends the J W Fletcher Catholic Secondary School, placed second in last year’s International Brain Bee, missing-out on the title by just one point. He was very upbeat as he and his coach, science teacher, Erin John, prepared him to engage in a battle of the brains for the 2019 title.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Sasha Matthews and Gale Blackett, Grenada National Brain Bee coordinator

“It can be a challenge preparing for the Brain Bee and keeping on top of my normal studies, as it can become all-consuming,” he said. “Before my science teacher entered me in the local competition the only thing I knew about the brain was that it is pink and in your skull! Now I’m determined to do my best and bring home the title,” he added.

He said taking part in the competition has given him a “number of treasured opportunities, one of them is travelling to different parts of the world and getting to meet with other young persons and understanding their motivation for being involved in the Brain Bee and how they see this shaping their futures.”

Before he departed for the finals which take place from 19-23 September, Thomas encouraged his supportive classmates to strive for excellence at all times. He also said that he would love to see others join the Brain Bee and eventually take his place in representing Grenada. The Grenada National Brain Bee commences in September each year.

JW Fletcher Catholic Secondary School Science Teacher, Erin John, receives sponsorship from CIBC FirstCaribbean to assist with expenses for Brain Bee in South Korea

The International Brain Bee competition started in 1998, its mission is to build better brains to fight brain disorders. This neuroscience competition for teenagers, from 14-18 years, challenges them to study and understand the brain and its reactions in both good health and when diseased.

Dr Norbert Myslinski, founder of the competition, felt this was a perfect forum in which to grow and nurture future generations of specialist researchers, neurologists and others by creating a forum in which to inspire and motivate young men and women to pursue careers in basic and clinical neuroscience.

For the 2019 finals, 30 countries will be represented in South Korea, making it no small feat for Grenada, the only Caribbean country to be represented at the Brain Bee World Championship.

Thomas and his school received a boost to their fundraising efforts for the trip from CIBC FirstCaribbean. The bank’s Country Manager Nigel Ollivierre said the bank was “very pleased to support both Jevonie and JW Fletcher Catholic Secondary School in raising the funds to go to the finals, and the Grenada National Brain Bee in their quest to push forward and grow the competition at a local level.” He said, “Such intense efforts to educate our nation’s youth and to encourage them to aspire to the highest levels of achievement deserve our support. The holistic experience, not only in the pursuit of academic excellence but also the lessons which can be learned from competing, collaborating and interacting with other motivated high achievers, both at home and abroad, have to make this a rewarding experience for all who have taken up the challenge.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean

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Caribbean & World

National Youth Parliament moves into a higher gear

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Preparations are moving into high gear, as Grenada prepares to join the rest of the Commonwealth, in recognising Commonwealth Day 2020.

It will coincide with an expo and the hosting of the first sitting of the National Youth Parliament 2020.

The sitting scheduled for 9 March, follows the hosting of parish-based sittings, in 2019. According to Project Officer for the National Youth Parliament Programme, Deslyn Williams, preparations began two weeks ago. “Training is ongoing every Tuesday and Thursday, at the Youth Development Centre, most of them have the experience because they were selected from the Parish Parliament, so far everything is going really great.”

Youth Parliamentarians will make presentations based on the resolution: “BE IT RESOLVED, That the National Youth Parliament of Grenada endorses the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act 2018 as an effective means of regulating the use of such products; thereby reducing impact of the inevitable disposal of single-use plastics, Styrofoam, and other non-biodegradable products.”

Training Facilitator, Aleshia Allert, said the training will cover a number of areas. “What we really focused on is getting them ready for presentation, so topics such as public speaking, presentations that would persuade, looking at resolutions through the eyes of ministers of government and facilitating strong debates, all of that comprise of what we did so far.”

The parliamentarians-in-training said they are 80% ready for the Monday, 9 March National Youth Parliament sitting.

Participant Elon James said, “Preparations are going great, I have already started noting some key points. My logics and statistics, I am putting together. I am just waiting on my portfolio to put the final pieces together.”

Grenada joined the Commonwealth in 1974. Observed by the 53-member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Day is a celebration that is held on the second Monday of March every year.

Its purpose is to recognise the work of Commonwealth members and to promote understanding and cooperation on global issues.

Ministry of Youth

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Interruption in services at St David’s Health Centre on Thursday

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) informs residents of St David that services at the St David’s Health Centre at Belle Vue, will be interrupted from midday tomorrow, Thursday, 27 February 2020.

This is to facilitate an important assessment and to rectify electrical fittings and supplies to the facility, as well as to ensure the safety of staff and patients.

The assessment will also determine the proper functioning of the equipment at the facility.

Clients are therefore encouraged to utilise the services as early as possible.

The MOH Community Health Services sincerely apologises for any inconveniences this may cause.

GIS

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Grenada on importation transmission watch

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has now spread to various countries. At this point, there are NO COVID-19 cases in Grenada.

However, in view of the current situation, Grenadian health authorities are expanding their surveillance to cover a wider area of travel to affected areas.

This means that the island is on what is referred to as Importation Transmission Watch (ITW). These include assessing exposure to risks, monitoring events in the region, and providing pre-travel training. Pre-trip risk assessment, education and preparation can markedly reduce the likelihood of an incident disrupting normal everyday life, trade and travel. One person while on a holiday/leisure or business trip can result in risk of transmission by virtue of contact importation.

Apart from mainland China, these include the following countries and cities: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Health authorities are also advising people to avoid non-essential travel to these areas, and are reminding those who choose to do so that on their return, they can be quarantined for a maximum of 14 days.

The Ministry of Health advises people who develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of visiting the above-listed countries, to contact their family doctor and the health authorities on 440-2649 during regular working hours (i.e., 8 am to 4 pm), 417-1079, or 417-2562 after regular working hours, weekends and holidays.

These travellers are advised to refrain from visiting health centres or the casualty department in the first instance.

The general public is reminded to take the necessary precautions for the prevention of respiratory infections:

  • CLEAN: Clean hands often by washing with soap and water or using alcohol hand rub.
  • CONTAIN: Contain germs by staying at home if unwell; do not go to work or school until your health condition is improved. Do not visit patients in hospital if you are sick.
  • COVER: Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze and not into to your bare hands.
  • BIN: Used tissues immediately. DO NOT leave used tissue laying around as it can lead to contamination.
  • DO NOT sneeze or cough into your hands as you may contaminate objects and people that you touch.

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