Thursday, March 17, 2011

American National suffers Jet skiing accident

A female American National, identified as Cara Bray, suffered a jet skiing accident in the waters of the Boca Chica area shortly before 11:30am.

According to her husband Jack Bray, they were on the jet ski, with Cara in the back seat, when they hit another jet ski in front of them. Bray explained that when he released the throttle gear to slow down the speed of the jet ski, he tried to swerve out of the way of the jet ski ahead of them, but was unable to avoid collision. Upon impact, Cara was flung off the ski and into the waters.

According to an eyewitness aboard the SP Water Jets Express boat heading in to San Pedro from Belize City, passengers saw an obviously injured Bray floating in the water. Those onboard the boat rendered assistance and ensured that Bray was transported to the San Pedro PolyClinic II.
According to Dr. Otto Rodriguez, attending physician, Bray was complaining of a severe pain in the back area. She was stabilized, and because the San Pedro PolyClinic II is not equipped to treat such an emergency, Bray was airlifted to Belize City for further medical attention.

Ticks Are ‘Ick’ – Deadly Tick Fever

Press Release – SAGA Humane Society – March 15th, 2011 – Everyone dislikes parasites. They are unpleasant, unwelcome, they suck our blood and they spread disease. What many people don’t know is that those annoying pests, ticks, spread a deadly disease to our furry best friends, known as tick fever.
There are several diseases, commonly called ‘tick fever’, spread by ticks, but the two most common in Belize are Canine Erlichiosis and Canine Anaplasmosis. Big words for serious diseases that come from something as tiny as at tick.
Pit Boss was the name given to a very sad and sick young pit bull, who like many of his breed had been bought by irresponsible owners who cared little for him. When a local businesswoman found Pit Boss, he was a walking skeleton – every bone showing through his skin, his dark eyes bulging from his head, pleading for help. When he was taken to SAGA his life hung by a fragile thread. He had no energy left and was bleeding heavily from the nose. The SAGA staff team worked tirelessly for three weeks, giving him top notch veterinary care, special medication and plenty of love.Sadly, that thread finally snapped and Pit Boss’s life came to a tragic end. Not only did he have two types of tick fever, but he also had heartworms – another disease spread by parasites (mosquitoes) that is easily preventable. Pit Boss’s owners had neglected him for so long that his kidneys were too badly affected and he was never able to recover the strength he needed to survive. Another heartbreak for SAGA – but of course, for every sad ending, there are more happy endings.
Rex was found abandoned, wandering the streets of San Pedro and picked up by the SAGA animal welfare team. These are dedicated volunteers who collect stray, abandoned, neglected and abused dogs for SAGA Humane Society to make sure that they get a second chance. Rex also had tick fever and heartworm, but the good news is that SAGA got him before he lost his fight with the diseases.
Rex wasn’t a big strong looking dog – in fact he was the total opposite, but looks can be deceiving. After 6 weeks of intensive treatment he was improving, beating the sickness a day at a time. A lovely family came into SAGA and fell in love with Rex’s sweet personality and gentle nature. They were more than happy to agree to continue with his treatment and while it will still be a few more months before he is fit and healthy, there is no better place for him to recover than in the care of a permanent and loving home with people who love him dearly.
Tick fever can be treated easily and inexpensively if it is caught early, but the symptoms can be confusing. They can include a lack of appetite, fever, nosebleeds, runny eyes and nose, weight loss, depression, eye problems, bleeding through the skin and bruising, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain and lameness, stiffness of the neck and seizures. Any of these symptoms can be a sign that your dog has tick fever. Some dogs have tick fever and show no symptoms at all and then can suddenly become very sick. The only way to know for sure if your pet has tick fever is with a special test.
Dogs cannot catch tick fever from other dogs and people cannot catch tick fever from dogs either. But – people can catch the human type of tick fever from ticks. So, remember that ticks are not only ‘ick’ but they are dangerous too.
Ticks live in long grass so keep your grass cut and keep your pets away from areas with long grass. Use good quality tick prevention treatments such as Preventic collars, Frontline and Promeris –available from SAGA or Pampered Paws. Check your pets every day for ticks and parasites. If you find that your dog has even one tick it is better to be safe than sorry. Talk to the SAGA vet. Don’t let your best friend end up like Pit Boss.
If you’d like to find out more about protecting your pet from tick fever or if you are worried that your pet is showing any of the symptoms of tick fever, even if you haven’t seen a tick, please contact SAGA on 226 3266 – before it’s too late!


Press Release – Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation – March 15, 2011 – Serious and violent crime remains a major concern in Belize City. Recent research conducted by Dr. Herbert Gayle and Nelma Mortis on behalf of the Government of Belize, could hold the key to combating this growing trend. Diana Pook, coordinator of the Belizean Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP) in an interview at the annual coordinators’ meeting at the Savannah Hotel in Barbados, outlined the progress based on the research to date.

“The new research that has been done (“Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize: An Examination of Their Experience with Goals, Guns, Gangs, Gender, God, and Governance”), concerning the levels of violence in Belize City and the recommendations that have been outlined, have shown the pressing need for early childhood development programmes, such as the Roving Caregivers Programme.”

Ms. Pook further stated, “The government has started to look at early childhood development and parenting as two of the important things that can help combat the spread of crime within Belize City. More focus is being given to that at the moment and for 2011 we plan to expand our geographical reach, which is really positive because it means that we get more support for a programme that can really address some of the problems that we currently face with criminality.”

As 60 percent of the Belizean population is under the age of 29, crime is rapidly becoming a youth problem. In 2010 half the murder victims were 30 and under, who in turn were also the most frequent victims of gun violence.

Government’s Support

Suggesting that parenting initiatives such as Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP) can directly address these issues Ms. Pook said, “Dr. Herbert Gayle’s report that we just received last year shows the level of different things that Belizeans are taking action on to reduce the crime levels and we don’t want the whole country to be like what Belize City is becoming. We have the full support of our government when it comes to what we are doing so I think that is a plus. We are linking with other ministries who have understood the importance of RCP as well as education and early childhood development. The Ministry of Health is coming together to work with us and I think hopefully in the future, RCP will expand in Belize and become something more than just RCP.”

Impact of the RCP

Findings collated from the 2010 analysis of the Roving Caregivers Programme, highlights the integral role that early childhood development programmes play in providing an in-depth range of emotional, informational and educational support to families with infant and preschool aged children, which can tackle some of the risk factors that can result in negative behaviours, which if left unaddressed can lead to adolescent delinquency. Although the RCP programme has only been running in Belize for the last two years, there is an increasing recognition from the government of the benefits it brings towards tackling the issues of crime and delinquency in a holistic manner.

Noting the positive reception and the tangible results that the programme has offered she said, “It has been very well received in Belize and so far we started in Toledo and what we have noticed, especially with the teachers who are teaching the children, they have told us that these children are the brighter ones in the classroom and they can see which ones have been in RCP in relation to their levels of socialisation. They speak more English in comparison to other children their age who speak more Mayan, and the RCP children are not scared to go to school.”

Ms. Pook further reported that, “The parents of RCP children have also been mentioning that for them they can see the difference and it helps them, the parents, to speak more English at home. The children develop a lot more skills and at a lot faster pace than children who have not entered the programme. There have been benefits to the parents and guardians also, especially with the literacy programme that we started. The parents are starting to read more and before they did not sing or interact with their children, now they are doing it a lot more. They learn different things when it comes to the children’s health, and how to discipline their children so it is having an all round positive effect.”