Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Jamaica’s ports on alert against Swine Flu – Spencer

Posted by Dresonic on April 27, 2009

The island’s ports of entry have been put on alert for travellers arriving from Mexico, the US and Canada where human cases of Swine Flu have been confirmed, Health Minister Rudyard Spencer said yesterday.

“We have put the airport on alert and we are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that infected persons do not enter our borders,” Spencer told the Observer.

He said he would be meeting with health officials at the ministry today to assess the situation and decide if the alert is to be heightened. The ministry is expected to issue a statement following that meeting.

The North American cases of the human Swine Flu Virus reported so far have been spread by human to human contact. Its symptoms are similar to the Influenza Virus and include high fever, aches, coughing and congestion.

The Department of Homeland Security said it would release a quarter of the 50 million units of antiviral medicine it has on reserves to the affected stage and the White House has reported that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has begun the process of manufacturing a vaccine against the

Posted in Health, International, Jamaica, News | 1 Comment »

Swine flu fears sweeping the world

Posted by Dresonic on April 27, 2009

GENEVA (AP) – Canada became the third country to confirm human cases of swine flu Sunday as global health officials considered whether to raise the global pandemic alert level.

Nations from New Zealand to Spain also reported suspected cases and some warned citizens against travel to North America while others planned quarantines, tightened rules on pork imports and tested airline passengers for fevers.

Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, Dr Robert Strang said the east coast Canadian province had confirmed four “very mild” cases of swine flu in students ranging in age from 12 to 17 or 18. All were recovering, he said, adding that it was acquired in Mexico, brought home and spread.

The western province of British Columbia confirmed two further cases.

The news follows the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) decision Saturday to declare the outbreak first detected in Mexico and the United States a “public health emergency of international concern”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Health, International, Jamaica, News | Comments Off on Swine flu fears sweeping the world

Performance Enhancing Drugs For Jamaicans – too bad we can’t get rich off it

Posted by Dresonic on August 14, 2008


yellow-yam NEWS FLASH!! — China customs sieze package that was intended for the Jamaican Olympic team!!
A 200 kilo shipment of suspected PED’s (Performance Enhancing Drugs) addressed to the Jamaican track team at the Olympic Village in Beijing, was siezed by authorites at the Wong Hung Lo docks early this morning. Coming on the heels of the disclosure that a member of the Jamaican team has tested positive for a banned substance, the news has rocked the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) and cast an even greater shadow over the team’s preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior customs inspector told Reuters that suspicions were aroused by the bulky and lumpy shipment which was wrapped in rough, dirty burlap. Stenciled in bold letters on the bag, was the address of the Jamaican team at the Village and also the words:
Upon opening the package, dozens and dozens of a dirty, tubular product were discovered and immediately sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lab in Beijing for testing. Chinese customs are certain that they have intercepted a shipment of pure, unprocessed steroids, and have put the IAAF and the JAAA on notice that severe action will be taken as soon as WADA confirms their findings.
The picture below is of one of the mystery tubular ‘products’ from the shipment that was taken to the lab for testing.

Jamaican Yellow Yam (from Trelawny … Bolt country)

Posted in Asafa Powell, Comedy, Dresonic Stories, Entertainment, Food, Health, IAAF, International, Jamaica, Joke, Olympics 2008, Sherone Simpson, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell, Western Jamaica | 7 Comments »

Powell, Bolt cruise into Jamaica semi-finals

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

THE world’s two fastest men, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, have cruised into the semi-finals of the men’s 100m at Jamaica’s Olympic track and field trials. Powell was the more aggressive in his heat, racing to victory in season-best 9.90 seconds.

“I am just using this as my practice going into Beijing,” Powell said.

He continued to play down a clash with Bolt. Asked about the showdown, he replied, “whatever it takes to get to Beijing, I will be there”.

Bolt, in heat one, stopped the clock in 10.19 seconds.

“I came out here this evening to get a feel of the track and the atmosphere, but will come back tomorrow to take care of business,” Bolt said.

Reigning Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell meanwhile booked her spot in the women’s event.
Profile: Asafa Powell

own won heat one in 11.28 seconds but Kerron Stewart stole the show, winning heat three in 10.99 – the day’s fastest time.

Shelly-Ann Fraser (11.01) and Sherone Simpson (11.11) recorded the next-best times.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Isa Phillips, who won heat one in a season-best 48.78 seconds, leads Markino Buckley (49.21) and Danny McFarlane, the silver medalist from Athens (49.54) into Sunday’s final (EST).

Posted in Caribbean, Entertainment, Health, International, Jamaica, Kingston, Life, Lifestyle, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field, Western Jamaica | Tagged: | Comments Off on Powell, Bolt cruise into Jamaica semi-finals

How tiny Jamaica develops so many champion sprinters

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

– As late afternoon trade winds drift into Kingston’s National Stadium, the world’s fastest man ambles back to his starting blocks.

Usain Bolt’s performance in this training session is less than lighting-fast, however, and it fails to impress his coach, Glen Mills. “Make sure you do them good, otherwise you’ll do them tomorrow morning – early,” he barks.

A month ago, Mr. Bolt lived up to his name by breaking countryman Asafa Powell’s world record in the 100-meter dash. The two hold the five fastest recognized times in the event and will go head-to-head this weekend in Jamaica’s Olympic trials.

Yet these men are just two of dozens of top-flight Jamaican sprinters who are poised to put the tiny island nation on the map in the same way Kenyans and Ethiopians are known to dominate long-distance running. Jamaica’s Olympic track team is so deep in talent that these trials will be like watching American NBA stars vie for a spot on ™basketball’s famous Dream Team.

How does a poor Caribbean country of less than 3 million people produce such athletic riches? Improved coaching and a new system to develop raw talent at home have combined with a tradition of seeing sprinting as an inexpensive ticket out of poverty, observers say.

“Where we are today is [like] a flower,” says Anthony Davis, the sports director at Jamaica’s University of Technology (UTECH), whose programs and facilities helped shape some of Jamaica’s finest runners, including Mr. Powell and Bolt. “You’d have had to plant a seed long ago to get where we are today.”

And plant they did.

A little more than 30 years ago, former world-record sprinter Dennis Johnson decided to take what he’d learned at San Jose State University in the 1960s and set up a competitive, US-style college athletic program here in his home country. The goal: produce world-class athletes, especially track stars.

At the time, most considered this crazy talk.

Jamaica had long produced some of the world’s top high school track athletes, but then they left the island. There was no place in this former British colony’s college system for them. Postsecondary education is based on an older British model in which sports are merely a recreational break from the rigors of academia. The only hope of continuing track after high school was to get a scholarship to a foreign university.

Today, Jamaican sprinters still leave, and pad many NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) track rosters.

“In Louisiana, at a high school track meet, we’ll find maybe one or two athletes that could be good enough for [Louisiana State University’s track program],” says Dennis Shaver, head track coach of the 2008 NCAA championship LSU track team. “[But] in Jamaica, there are probably 50 women ready to fit right into the program every year.”

“Jamaicans have played a significant role in the 31 track and field championships we’ve won over the years,” he says, adding that Jamaica will be “very competitive in Beijing.”

Competing in the top US schools was, and is, a fast track out of poverty. The problem, as Mr. Johnson saw it, was that too many Jamaicans never came back home, and some even ran for other Olympic teams. (Donovan Bailey of Canada and Linford Christie of Britain are two examples of Jamaican-born Olympic champions.)

That’s why Johnson started a sports program at a two-year vocational college here, and that later became UTECH, a four-year college. Through Johnson’s work, which has since passed to Mr. Davis, the program now has 280 student athletes and houses the top professional track teams in Jamaica.

By US standards, the training facilities are second class. Jamaica’s top sprinters cram into UTECH’s tiny gym to pump rusty weights, and they often practice on the school’s basic grass track.

“We have to be creative, because we don’t have the resources,” says Davis, explaining that the lanes of the track are marked with diesel and burned because the school can’t afford the machine that lays down chalk lines every week or so. “We had a choice: complain about the resources and do nothing or work with what we have.”

Davis is pushing to attract more sponsors for UTECH’s programs. The British sports drink company Lucozade now offers two full track scholarships to UTECH, and Davis is hoping that success in Beijing will lead to funding for scoreboards and an indoor track surface. And he knows right where he’d put a new athletic center, if he ever gets the money. “We want someday to be the sports center of the Caribbean,” he says.

But UTECH’s program is only part of the reason for Jamaica’s sprinting prowess. “Coaches have played a very important role and are still playing an important role,” says Herb Elliot, a Jamaican member of the International Amateur Athletics Federation’s Medical and Anti-Doping Commission. “NCAA scouts come here in droves to recruit, but our athletes often come back [from four years at US universities] tired and mediocre,” says Mr. Elliot.

Among the most effective Jamaican coaches today is Powell’s coach, Stephen Francis, who founded the Maximizing Velocity and Power (MVP) team in 1999 after getting his MBA from the University of Michigan. “My background is different from most coaches, who were former athletes,” says the rotund Mr. Francis, explaining that the Jamaican track establishment did not appreciate his maverick style.

“My philosophy is based on doing things the hard way,” he says. “We don’t recruit superstars.” He looks for latent talent and chooses coachable sprinters who don’t have supersized egos.

Brigitte Foster-Hylton is one of Francis’s first success stories. When she started working with him in 1999, most didn’t see her potential. But she’s cut more than half a minute off her time in the 100-meter hurdles and won bronze in the event at the 2005 World Championships.

Powell – who says in a matter-of-fact manner that he is still the world’s fastest man despite Bolt’s record run – is another Francis success story.

Powell struggled as the youngest of six siblings growing up in the Jamaican countryside. He was a good sprinter in high school, but not among Jamaica’s very best. A few years ago, one brother was shot to death in a New York cab and another died of a heart attack. The tragedies might have derailed some athletes.

Both of his parents are pastors and he credits a strict upbringing for his focus. “I couldn’t miss one day in church and my mom and dad still call to see if I’m going to church,” he says. “None of this would’ve been possible without God, and I pray to him each and every day. But I know that God helps those who help themselves, so I try to help myself.”

He says he’s ready to win the Olympic gold medal that eluded him four years ago.

But given the recent convictions and confessions of steroid use by track and field athletes, some skeptics question the success of Jamaican sprinters. There have been no recent cases of Jamaicans caught using performance-enhancing drugs. “We are far in advance of the US record for [preventing] doping,” says Elliot, who’s the top enforcement official in Jamaica. “We preach, cajole, and test,” he says. Jamaica makes its athletes available for sudden testing 24/7.

Besides, Elliot says, Jamaica won’t tolerate cheats. “Sports is such a part of our culture that the disgrace [of doping] is so great that the Jamaicans that live here wouldn’t even consider it.”

For now, Jamaicans are reveling in having the world’s two fastest men heading into the Beijing Olympics.

“In the sprints, we’re as good as any,” says Fitz Coleman, a technical coach on Bolt’s team who is widely regarded as one of Jamaica’s best hurdles coaches. “In fact, we just might be the measuring stick at this point in time.”

Another reason for Jamaicans’ success: their attitude, according to Mr. Coleman. “We genuinely believe that we’ll conquer,” he says. “It’s a mindset. We’re small and we’re poor, but we believe in ourselves.”

Posted in Asafa Powell, Caribbean, Dresonic Stories, Entertainment, Health, International, Jamaica, Lifestyle, News, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Why are students cutting themselves?

Posted by Dresonic on April 22, 2007

ADMINISTRATORS in several prominent high schools in the Corporate Area are grappling with a relatively new but dangerous phenomenon- ‘cutters’, or students who purposely cut themselves.

Officials are cautious in discussing the practice, not wanting to blow it out of proportion, but are privately worried that if it is not dealt with adequately, the practice of cutting could escalate.

The number of reports of children mutilating themselves on purpose is worrying, says project co-ordinator for the Child Abuse Mitigation Project at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Rose Robinson-Hall.

Robinson-Hall put the issue on the table at a seminar in Kingston last month, after being surprised by the discovery in a mock survey conducted among adolescents from several high schools.
The survey showed that for the most part, the student population was familiar with the phenomenon. “I spoke with children from first to sixth form from several high schools and all of them knew of children who are cutters,” she says.

“One of the responses is ‘oh, you mean the cutters’. That means it’s something they know about and it’s part of their reality; it wasn’t a surprise to them,” Robinson-Hall adds. The majority of cutters are said to be females and come from the upper echelons of society.

She has since spoken to several counsellors who have also expressed their concern, she notes.
At least one school has a dedicated “suicide club”, according to a Sunday Observer source who did not wish to be identified and did not want the school to be named. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Health, Jamaica, News | 8 Comments »

Tune in, tone up and fire up that grill!

Posted by Dresonic on April 12, 2007

CONSIDERING the calorie count, many consumers are understandably thankful that the Easter season – with its abundance of bun and cheese, fish and Easter eggs – is behind us. So what’s the next retail move?

Hortense James, a PriceSmart customer, said that her hot new trend now that Easter has passed is barbecue – BBQ hot dogs, BBQ burgers, BBQ chicken and BBQ spare ribs – the must-have for the summer, she noted (complete with the bikini)!

“It’s almost summer, so that is what I am concentrating on right now,” she told Thursday Life.
And in agreement, Claudine Coley, membership marketing manager at PriceSmart, Red Hills Road, said that grills are now amongst the store’s hottest sellers, particularly the Nexgrill 30″ grill with its dual-use valves.

PriceSmart shopper Hortense James is all set for the barbecue: hot dogs, burgers, chicken and spare ribs. (Photos: Lionel Rookwood)

But the after-Easter purchase at PriceSmart goes beyond just barbecue grills.

“People are now buying television sets, refrigerators and beers!” Coley said.

“I guess people are buying the television to watch Cricket World Cup while they cool down with a cold beer,” she theorised.

But it was the shoppers’ trolleys here and at MegaMart that gave Thursday Life more insight as to what consumers are into these days: Svelty skim milk, soya milk, oats, wheat products, Kellogg’s corn flakes, and a whole array of fruits and vegetables. A long list that speaks to a healthy lifestyle (this could be a redemption after all the calories consumed from all those buns!).

“Definitely no more bun and cheese! Vegetables and fruits is the thing! That’s what I am buying now, along with the regular healthy stuff,” said Adrienne, a customer at MegaMart. “Bun and cheese was just a treat for me, so now it’s back to the healthy stuff! It’s back to normal meals.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Food, Health, Jamaica | Comments Off on Tune in, tone up and fire up that grill!

Marijuana Kills Cancer… hello FBI, DEA, KING FISH!

Posted by Dresonic on February 11, 2007

titlephoto.jpgThe largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.

The new findings “were against our expectations,” said Dr. Donald Tashkin, a UCLA pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

Federal health and drug enforcement officials have widely used Tashkin’s previous work on marijuana to make the case that the drug is dangerous. Tashkin said that while he still believes marijuana is potentially harmful, its cancer-causing effects appear to be of less concern than previously thought.

Earlier work established that marijuana does contain cancer-causing chemicals as potentially harmful as those in tobacco, he said. However, marijuana also contains the chemical THC, which he said may kill aging cells and keep them from becoming cancerous. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Health, Marijuana, News | 1 Comment »

Viagra-spiked wine nearly kills husband.(excuse my grin!)

Posted by Dresonic on January 30, 2007


An Italian man keeled over with a heart attack and almost died after his wife slipped Viagra pills into his wine hoping it would improve his performance in bed.

Fifty-five-year-old construction worker Frederico di Angelino from Frosinone in central Italy said: ‘I had been under stress because of my job for quite a while and my 50-year-old wife felt a bit abandoned.

‘She tried to secretly give me a bit of extra “motivation” in bed with two pills of Viagra in a glass of wine.’

He was treated by doctors who confirmed he had suffered a massive heart attack.

Di Angelino added: ‘I’m not angry with her over it.

‘In fact, the whole episode of having a heart attack has made me cut down the stress in my life and pull back at work. And because of that our sexual relationship has got better.’

Posted in Funny, Health | Comments Off on Viagra-spiked wine nearly kills husband.(excuse my grin!)

THE JAZZ RUN ……Great food, no fuss in MoBay

Posted by Dresonic on January 25, 2007


WITH all roads leading to Montego Bay, you’ll need, in addition to a Jamaica Observer Page 2 chair, a culinary map. so read on, as we reveal the best places to eat. And since you’re in the second city, all beverages are on Mark Hart of Caribbean Producers, and the bubbly of choice is Laurent Perrier.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Food, Health, Jamaica, Montego Bay | Comments Off on THE JAZZ RUN ……Great food, no fuss in MoBay

Coffee can relieve muscular pain resulting from exercise

Posted by Dresonic on January 23, 2007


ATHENS: Coffee can be an effective antidote to ease post-exercise muscle pain, according to new research. A study analyzing the effects of a caffeine supplement on a condition called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, in nine young women found they reported less pain on days they took a caffeine supplement, equivalent of two cups of coffee followed by the workout.

DOMS is a common pain a day or two among people when they undertake more intense workout than normal. It is caused by eccentric contraction of the muscles as a result of the exercise. During the eccentric contraction, the muscle produces a force while it is being lengthened.

Though researchers have tried several antidotes for DOMS, including painkillers, these have not been found to be effective. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Coffee, Health | Comments Off on Coffee can relieve muscular pain resulting from exercise

Interview with an LA Medical Marijuana Cardholder

Posted by Dresonic on January 23, 2007


What is the best/worst thing about having a medical marijuana card? “The best thing is always having the best weed. The worst thing is spending all my money on always having the best weed.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Health, Joke, LA, Marijuana, Medical, USA | 30 Comments »

Alicia’s Keys’ to Half Moon’s kitchen

Posted by Dresonic on January 20, 2007

MONTEGO BAY’S Half Moon hotel was recently featured in Morgan Freeman & Friends – Caribbean Cooking for a Cause – a cookbook that features various celebrities that have visited exclusive properties in the Caribbean. The recipes in the book reflect what they enjoyed at these resorts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Food, Health, Jamaica | 2 Comments »