Caribbean Briefs — April 30-09

CORBIN FLOWN TO U.S. FOR TREATMENT

 Georgetown, Guyana: People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) leader, Robert Corbin, has been flown to the United States to undergo further medical treatment after being hospitalized last weekend.

While on his way to a parliamentary committee meeting of the PNCR last Saturday, Corbin experienced chest pains. He drove himself to the Woodlands Hospital in Georgetown and was later transferred to the Caribbean Heart Institute, located at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Several reports have stated Corbin suffered a heart attack. However, they have not been confirmed as of press time.

Corbin was elected party chairman in 2000 and retained the role in 2002. He was chosen to lead the party in 2003, following the death of his predecessor, Desmond Hoyte.

 THRONE SPEECH BOYCOTT

 St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: The opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) has defended its boycotting of the Throne Speech by Governor-General, Louise Lake-Tack, at Monday’s opening of parliament.

After his party’s members of parliament were sworn in, ALP leader, Lester Bird, said the ALP remained uneasy with Lake-Tack as head of state because she is a campaign contributor to the governing United Progressive Party.

Bird also accused Lake-Tack of being openly partisan.

 CHANGING FOCUS

 Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Brazil says improving security in Haiti is allowing its contingent of the UN peacekeeping force in the country to switch its focus to development initiatives.

Brazil’s Defense Minister, Nelson Jobim, says his country recently replaced some soldiers with 100 engineers to increase the size of its engineering corps to 250.

The engineers are planning to construct a new hydro-electric dam that could provide as much as 40 megawatts of electricity for Port-au-Prince.

Brazil has 1,300 troops in Haiti, the largest and most visible contingent of the 9,000 member strong UN stabilization force in the country.

 EYECARE PROJECT RESUMES

 Kingston, Jamaica: Following a temporary break, eye screening of the Jamaica/Cuba Eyecare Project resumed on Monday.

Project co-ordinator, Claudetta Williams-Yearde, said residents in Westmoreland, St. James, Hanover and Trelawny will be able to visit select health centres for eye screenings until June 12.

Pterygium and cataracts have been added to the list of conditions that will be treated.

Williams-Yarde has asked residents to support the screening activities, which has expanded its target to reach 12,000 Jamaicans.

The procedure is conducted by a Cuban ophthalmologist, who refers those selected for treatment to the Ministry of Health in Kingston. Patients are then processed and scheduled for surgery in Cuba. (JIS)

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