Gross negligence by Govt (Part 1)

first_imgDear Editor,Guyanese recently woke up to the news of another jailbreak. Three dangerous criminals are on the run.The Lusignan prison is once again the focus of attention by concerned, law-abiding Guyanese. Compounding the situation even more is the shooting of 10 inmates who were protesting the abominable conditions at the prison. Reports are rubber bullets, live rounds and tear gas were used to quell the unrest. Water tenders belonging to the Guyana Fire Service had to be called in to extinguish fires lit by angry prisoners.The situation is reminiscent of the disaster that befell the nation on July 2017 when the Camp Street Prison went up in flames.To date, no warning nor danger alert with phone numbers has been issued by law enforcement, calling on citizens to be on the lookout and to report any sightings of the escapees.Khemraj Ramjattan has portfolio for the Guyana Prison Service but it is becoming increasingly obvious to Guyanese that the Minister continues to be at his wits end, if not clueless insofar as solutions to problems that continue to plague the prison system of Guyana are concerned.On assuming office, Ramjattan rejected the sound policies he inherited from the previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration that kept the four prison locations secure and habitable with far less resources.Ramjattan pretending to know it all, dispensed with the security policies of the PPP/C Administration and replaced them with adhocracy and a set of hodgepodge directives handed down to him resulting in the current crisis gripping Guyana’s prison system.All the talk about setting up a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the 2017 fiery debacle at the Georgetown Prisons has come to nought. In fact, there was never any intention to do so. As far as the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government was concerned the CoI held in connection with the horrific events in 2016 was enough.Ramjattan abdicated his responsibility by not pressing for a CoI into the destruction of the Camp Street Prison deemed the worst disaster ever in the history of the Guyana Prison Service.Once again, deception became the handmaiden of intransigence and administrative laziness on the part of the APNU/AFC coalition Administration.Talk about dereliction of duty by a Cabinet headed by a President that likes show off his knowledge about security matters, failure to establish a CoI in 2017 is an excellent example of gross negligence by the Government over which he presides.From all appearances, CoI’s are established as a means to an end, especially when Granger wants to get rid of those he dislikes and undesirables holding key positions within an organisation which forms part of the disciplined services.Make no mistake. The CoI’s into the attempted assassination of the President and the Lindo Creek massacre were masquerades aimed at getting rid of certain senior ranks in the Guyana Police Force and Guyana Defence Force and to put in place ranks with whom the Commander in Chief was comfortable.The strategy plan for the Guyana Prison Service aimed at transforming the Guyana Prison Service into a correctional service remains on paper and the civilian unit established to oversee implementation of the plan been reduced to a virtual arm of the Prison Service.The Unit is denied the necessary human and financial resources by the National Security Council chaired by the President himself.We seem to be captivated by a sleepy and hollow syndrome characteristic of those who are responsible for keeping the nation and its populace safe and sound but who chose to spend their time looking out for opportunities to enrich themselves.Yours sincerely,Clement J Roheelast_img read more

Leguan plantain chip factory sits as white elephant

first_img…residents blast Govt for failure to operationalise …“not in the business of making plantain chips” – Minister GaskinBy Lakhram BhagiratThe residents on the Island of Leguan in the Essequibo River are concerned about the future of the multimillion-dollar plantain chip factory, which is yet to become operational some two years after it was completed.The project was started in 2015. However, since its completion in 2016 and several commitments towards operationalising the facility, the residents on the island of Leguan are yet to benefit.The factory, which has the capacity to employ over 30 persons, is yet to be opened and residents are growing concerned as they expressed disappointment at Government’s apparent disinterest in the facility. During a recent visit to the island by Guyana Times, residents said the Business Ministry needs to provide answers about the facility.Resident, Hans Buer, told this publication that they have received word that Government is considering selling the factory. He added that efforts to confirm whether this is the case proved futile since the Business Ministry does not respond to correspondences regarding the factory.“The factory was never opened and they said yes they would open the factory last year. They will open it this year and the Ministry don’t answer my messages via email or Facebook. I know nothing,” he said.“I hear they are going to sell out the building. If opened, that it can employ 20-30 people and it is good for the people, but we hear nothing. They have security guards but the factory is empty as it is,” Buer added.Presently, while the building is completed, this publication observed that electricity is yet to be connected and residents indicated the building has no equipment for the functioning of the factory. However, the regional administration is paying two persons to guard the unoccupied, empty building.According to Government, the size of the property is 8625 square feet and includes machines such as slicing processors, blanching, dewatering, frying, de-oiling, seasoning and packaging equipment.In 2016, the Business Ministry in a local newspaper advertisement invited interested investors to submit Expressions of Interest along with their business proposal for undertaking the factory. In addition, in May 2017, Permanent Secretary of the Business Ministry, Rajdai Jagernauth, told the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that the factory would be operational by the end of June but that never came to fruition.Plantain chips businessOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has repeatedly accused the Government of running a “plantain chip economy”, positing that there is no vision for proper economic development. In response to those allegations, last year President David Granger said that if it has to start with plantain chips then so be it adding that small things could end up big.“I know somebody who started off producing fruit juices at Timehri and today those fruits juices are being bottled or boxed…it may start with plantain chips… small things could end up big,” Granger was quoted as saying.However, when Guyana Times contacted Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, he related that the Ministry is not in the business of making plantain chips. Gaskin said they had previously advertised for persons or businesses who were interested in running the factory to indicate such, noting that they received one response.“We got someone who was interested and there was some issues relating to the suitability of the equipment and the electricity supply and a number of things and then we finally got it resolved they said they were no longer interested. So we have to start all over again looking for someone to take it up and that is the situation as it stands,” he said.When asked about whether the process has restarted, the Minister explained that there are some additional issues to be ironed out before they can proceed further on the project.“The equipment (for the factory) was ordered since 2014, before our Government came into office. This equipment was ordered, and I don’t know really how the specifications were generated for the equipment, but it was delivered afterwards, and the equipment met the specifications of the contract. However, apparently it looks like it is not the most suitable for what it is required for so we don’t want to advertise it again and run into the same problem. So we have to figure it out what to do with this, right now what is the problem,” Gaskin explained.This project falls under the previous Administration’s Rural Enterprise Development programme, which commenced back in 2014. These projects initially comprised the construction of two call centres – one in Tuschen in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and one in Enmore in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), and two chip factories, one in Leguan and one in the neighbouring island of Wakenaam. However, the Wakenaam factory was deemed unsuitable for a number of reasons.The main economic activity on the island of Leguan is farming, particularly rice, but since the announcement of the plantain chip factory, a number of farmer converted some of their property to facilitate the anticipated demand for the commodity. Ever since a number of farmers have been left with large plantain fields and not enough market.However, some residents say the increased plantain production is nothing compared to the lack of job opportunities on the island. They said they have accepted the fact that there are only so many jobs that would be available on the roughly 12-square miles island, nothing that is the reason the factory is even more important to them.“We got no jobs for the young people. They go to school here and write CXC and get all them subject but then them got to go to Parika or town (Georgetown) fuh look wuk. What sense that make because them can’t stay here and develop the island. Them got fuh move out. Government got to do something man,” resident Bharrat Narine said.The man then explained that the proposed 30 jobs that the factory was expected to create would have been a step in the right direction towards improving the standard of living on the island, as well as increase its economic standing.For now, the Leguan plantain chip factory sits idle, with no electricity, two security guards, and sheep grazing in the yard on overgrown grass.last_img read more

Kenya Trains Sight On India, Spain Tourists

first_imgKenya Tourism Board (KTB), has set its sights on India and Spain as it seeks to grow the number of tourists from the Asian and European states.The State agency said it would lead more than 10 Kenyan local travel agents on a marketing mission in the two countries.“Ten Kenyan travel trade partners will pitch a tent from January 23-25 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, India, to woo travellers to Kenya at the Outbound Travel Mart,” said CEO Betty Radier.Read it at Business Daily Related Itemslast_img read more

Researchers examine Twitter conversations to understand thoughts concerning OpenAPS technology

first_img With OpenAPS, self-reported A1C and glucose variability improved. OpenAPS reduced the daily distress and burden associated with diabetes. OpenAPS is perceived as safe. Interactions with health care providers concerning OpenAPS. How to adapt OpenAPS technology for individual user needs. To date, more than 700 diabetes patients are using OpenAPS to manage their diabetes. One participant likened OpenAPS to having an autopilot on an aircraft. While the patient still has to manage their diabetes, OpenAPS has reduced some of the burden of care. Some tweets include:”Finding OpenAPS literally changed my life. My numbers have been astounding. Last A1C was 5.4!”Related StoriesDiabetes medications mask euglycemic ketoacidosis at the time of surgeryIntermittent fasting may regulate blood glucose levels even without weight lossUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol use”Boring glucose is beautiful [photo of CGM with a flat glucose pattern for the previous 3 hours]””For those times when I’ve lost [connection to] CGM readings… fallback [to standard] basal.””Citizen scientists from all over the world are coming together to enhance existing diabetes technology,” Litchman said. “They are not waiting for solutions. They are making solutions to help themselves manage their diabetes with more ease.”Although the Twitter analysis exposes an active community that is exploring their options, there are limitations to the study, according to Litchman. It was not constructed using an experimental design or prospective cross-sectional data. In addition, the community participating in the conversation has a vested interest in OpenAPS. Social pressure may compel community participants to only post positive experiences with OpenAPS, reflecting a potential positive bias in the conversation.”There are some unknowns about this type of technology,” Litchman said. “While there are obvious benefits to many people who are using OpenAPS, there are some areas that may be concerning.”Patients do not need a prescription to create and use OpenAPS. They do not have a trained professional diabetes educator to help set up and train the user about the technology, a common practice when initially starting a new FDA-approved diabetes technology such as an insulin pump or CGM. Additionally, many of the hackable insulin pumps are no longer for sale through the device maker, opening a black market for used products.This do-it-yourself (DIY) system is not regulated or approved by the FDA or device manufacturers of the altered insulin pump or CGM; however, the FDA is currently exploring OpenAPS technology as another option for diabetes management.The pancreas produces the hormones (insulin and glucagon) that help regulate blood sugar. When this organ does not function properly, the body cannot control blood sugar effectively, leading to diabetes.”The open artificial pancreas system is the next technological frontier of diabetes,” said Kelly L. Close, Founder, The DiaTribe Foundation,an organization that seeks to empower readers with useful, actionable information that helps make sense of diabetes. “It promises to transform all aspects of care and create opportunities that no other therapy can approach. I take nothing for granted, but if successful, it will normalize a condition that has bedeviled humanity for thousands of years.” Ms. Close was not involved in this study. Source:https://healthcare.utah.edu/publicaffairs/news/2018/09/twitter-openaps.phpcenter_img Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 11 2018The diabetes online community is leading grassroots efforts focused on accelerating the development, access and adoption of diabetes-related tools to manage the disease. Researchers at University of Utah Health examined the community’s online Twitter conversation to understand their thoughts concerning open source artificial pancreas (OpenAPS) technology. The results of this study are available online in the September 10 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.”There is a large community that is actively exploring how they can manage their diabetes using off-label solutions,” says Michelle Litchman, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at U of U Health and first author on the paper. “Health care providers, industry and the FDA need to understand the wants and needs of people with diabetes in order to better serve them. OpenAPS was created out of a need for better solutions.”For the diabetes community, OpenAPS has been touted as an ideal technology for managing their illness. The off-label technology combines an off-the-shelf continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump that interact to minimize glucose variability.Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first technology to bridge these two devices in 2017, the community took matters into their own hands. They hacked into current CGMs and older insulin pumps and developed open source code to get the two devices to speak to one another, creating an OpenAPS. By crowdsourcing their code hacks, the community has improved this approach for blood sugar management.Litchman and colleagues followed the #OpenAPS hashtag on Twitter to understand how the community is discussing this option.After surveying more than 3,000 tweets using the #OpenAPS hashtag, generated by more than 300 participants from January 2016 to January 2018, Litchman found five overarching themes circulating around the community.last_img read more