News 2 (2)


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Soualiga News II (3564)

What Cyber Security Risks does Country Sint Maarten Face?

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - Cyber security has been defined as the protection of systems, network and data in cyberspace – which is a critical issue for governments and businesses.  Cyber security will only become more important as more devices, ‘the internet of things’, become connected to the internet.

Where are we as a country on cyber security?  This issue has become more prominent on the agendas of governments and stakeholders around the world after the hacking incident of Sony Pictures.  Today with so many sectors linked together via the internet, the necessary protections must also be in place to protect vital infrastructure.

For Sint Maarten, some of the vital infrastructure is NV GEBE (electricity), TelEm/UTS (telecommunications), SXM Airport and Air Traffic Control Tower, Medical Care, Social Insurance & Health Care (SZV), National General Pension Fund (ANP), the Banking system, individual businesses as well as the entire Government establishment. What are the cyber security challenges of the aforementioned if any?

A risk analysis should be carried out to see exactly where we stand at this point in time and where we need to be in order to address our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  It is better to be prepared rather than face an unfortunate cyber-attack on one of our critical infrastructures.

Some governments are currently in the process of establishing a specialized “Cyber Security Agency” that would provide dedicated and centralised oversight of national cyber security functions. 

The Bermuda Cyber Threat Intelligence Group says that hacking risks were real and could hit firms’ reputations and profitability.  A Bermuda Supermarket chain Arnold’s was recently hacked leading customer card details being compromised.

The Bermuda Group advises that as cybercriminals evolve so must countermeasures.  The group is committed to helping address cybersecurity issues faced by Bermuda and is made up of professionals from business and IT.

A representative from the Bermuda group pointed out that Bermuda may be seen an unlikely target for cybercrime, however this type of activity can and does happen there, and regardless of size or geography, retailers are at risks and are not immune to cyber-attacks. 

What Cyber Security Risks does Country Sint Maarten Face? How prepared are we for such an eventuality?

COMMENTARY - Roddy Heyliger


Minister Bourne-Gumbs meets Aruba’s Health Minister

PHILIPSBURG - Minister of Public Health, Elderly Care & Sports, the Honorable C. A. Schwengle, MD of Aruba onWednesday, February 4th 2015 met with Interim Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, the Honorable Rita Bourne-Gumbs regarding various health initiatives of mutual importance to the Dutch Islands.

Amongst other things Minister Schwengle personally highlighted the upcoming Health Care Conference to be held in ArubaJune 1-4. The Conference will focus on International Health Regulations and Public Health Inspection. (Press Secretariat, Government of Sint Maarten Council of Ministers)


Changes in opening hours at library

PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) would like to notify the general public of a change to its opening schedule on Friday, February 6th. This Friday, the library will be open from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

The library seeks to serve the community as best as possible and is grateful for the patronage of the general public.

The library apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the temporary change in the schedule and looks forward to welcoming you, the general public, when resuming its regular opening hours on Saturday, February 7th. (PJL)


Permanent Committee of Housing to meet on Thursday about dismissal of Housing Foundation Staff

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, will meet in a closed door session – not a public meeting - on February 5th.

The closed door Permanent Committee meeting is set for Thursday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda for the meeting is the dismissal of staff and functioning of the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation.


Nurse’s training at cancer conference in Toronto to help impact care of young patients and their families in Barbados

CARIBBEAN– A nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has returned from the46th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP 2014) in Canada even more enthused about strategies for the care of children with cancers or blood disorders, their families, and the nurses caring for them.

Virginia Leandre-Broome, one of three nurses from the Caribbean who attended the recent congress, spent a week in Toronto at SIOP 2014 and visited The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) to meet with Canadian counterparts, donors, and to tour the Hospital’s facilities. 

Ms. Leandre-Broome attended SIOP 2014 thanks to a partnership between CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and SickKids Foundation, a charity registered in the Caribbean, to fund training for Caribbean nurses as part of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative through the Centre for Global Child Health at SickKids.

The initiative is led by Dr. Victor Blanchette, former Chief of Haematology/Oncology, McCaig Family Medical Director and a native of Barbados, and Dr. Upton Allen, Division Head of Infectious Disease, a native of Jamaica. Both are physicians at SickKids.

Nursing education is a key component of the initiative.  Nurses have a critical role in teams caring for children with cancer and blood disorders, managing the delivery of patient care, supporting patients and families and in many cases leading implementation of best practices and protocols.

Ms. Leandre-Broome noted that areas of focus during the conference included: caring for patients with neutropenia (low white blood cell counts); dealing with side effects of chemotherapy; managing nutritional challenges and teaching families how to use and prepare healthy and affordable food stuff; as well as palliative care and home care. “With palliative care we were not only looking at the patients but also their parents and siblings,” she explained.

Families encouraged to eat healthily during treatment

One of the aspects of training which stood out most for Ms. Leandre-Broome was the idea of caring for other nurses.  Focusing on that made her realize how important the health of the team is while they care for patients.  “We need to care for each other if we’re to give proper care for patients and their families.” Family education was another aspect of the conference that impacted her heavily because of the importance of family in the patient’s care prompting the nurse to say that it was important to encourage the whole family, not just the sick child, to eat healthily during treatment and be aware of the importance of good nutrition. “And this needs to happen continually.”

Ms. Leandre-Broome has been with the QEH for 17 years and works closely with her young patients and their families in the hospital’s haematology outpatient department. There, about 30 children a month are seen with blood disorders, while in 2014, about seven children were seen with cancer.

She has already shared her experiences from the congress with both the inpatient care and outpatient clinic at the QEH. This is a fitting complement to the nursing-led Patient Care Education Rounds that started in May 2014 and are delivered via telemedicine. Telemedicine is the use of information technology to provide health care information and facilitate knowledge exchange from a distance.

In these monthly sessions, SickKids, the QEH and other participating institutions across the Caribbean examine areas such as pain management, use of natural health products along with chemotherapy, and psychosocial problems. At the QEH telemedicine sessions are attended by up to 13 nurses and for sessions on topics across different disciplines dieticians, doctors and pharmacists also attend.

Ms. Leandre-Broome, who is married with an 11 year-old son, recalled SickKids as feeling friendly and being family-centred. “There are areas of the hospital where families can stay with their children,” she noted.

Bank’s contribution raising awareness of childhood cancers

CIBC FirstCaribbean is the Nursing Training Partner for the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative project and is providing US $1 million over seven years to this end.

Ms. Leandre-Broome said the bank’s contribution was helping to raise awareness of childhood cancers and blood disorders in Barbados, the most common of which, she says, are acute leukemia, lymphomas and Wilms’ tumour (cancer of the kidneys). “The training has helped to raise awareness of these cancers and through the SickKids initiative we’ve found that it’s easier to make early diagnoses.” She added: “I’ve also gotten the opportunity to gain more knowledge and have been able to impart teaching and improve upon the care of our patients and their families.”

In terms of additional training being undertaken to help sick children in Barbados, the veteran nurse said the initiative was looking at implementing a train-the-trainer programme to advance nursing practice. There are a variety of roles nurses can play in the care of children with cancer and blood disorders.

“We’re also looking at training nurses to assist with the transition of the child back into the school system by, for example, speaking to classmates and staff about the child and his/her needs. [Overall], this [training] will lead to improvements of the standard of care and ensure that practice is evidence-based,” she said.

When asked what encouraged her to pursue a career caring for sick children, Ms. Leandre-Broome said that when she was younger she was part of a youth group formed to educate children about cancer. “A friend’s aunt had a son with a brain tumour and they started a group to hang out with the other siblings of the boy and assist his parents. Later on, nursing was something I wanted to do; it seemed like an interesting career and I wanted to work with children with cancer.” She has pursued courses of study at various facilities including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York as well as a certificate in cancer care with Staffordshire University, England.

Improving outcomes for children with cancer

In addition to Barbados, SickKids is working with five other countries across the English-speaking Caribbean - The Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago - to improve outcomes for children affected by cancer and blood disorders. Working with these Caribbean partners, SickKids has developed a five-year plan for addressing the region’s gaps in research, care, and education in order to advance diagnosis and management of paediatric cancer and blood disorders across the Caribbean.

Director of Corporate Communications CIBC FirstCaribbean and a Trustee of the CIBC FirstCaribbean Comtrust Foundation, Debra King, expressed pleasure at the progress of training and said the bank looked forward to the dividends that would be brought to bear on the lives of sick children, their families and the medical profession in the Caribbean.

Mrs. King added: “It is important for us to contribute to providing our region with wider access to specialised consultations, treatment and care that can eventually save the lives of Caribbean children. This is why the continuing training and development of Caribbean professionals is crucial.” (CIBC)


TelEm Group advising internet customers without service to call 611 helpdesk

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group’s 611 helpline was flooded with calls Saturday and Sunday following interruptions in internet service over the weekend.

The calls began coming in early Saturday morning after previously announced maintenance work on the Internet Service Providers (ISP) ADSL network was cut short and services reconnected.

Some customers, however, remained disconnected and could not re-connect to TelEm Group’s internet service.

TelEm Group Sunday informed customers via its helpdesk number (611) that the ADSL network has been stabilized following the interruptions Saturday, noting also that staff at the helpdesk had been briefed on how to assist customers who lost connections and could not get reconnected to the internet network.

Again, Sunday night and for the opening of the business day Monday, TelEm Group advises ADSL customers who may have lost their internet connections over the weekend to call into the company’s helpdesk number, 611 during regular business hours, to receive individual assistance from a trained technician who will talk them through the process of restoring their internet service.

“Any TelEm Group customer who lost their internet connection from Saturday morning to the present time should call us right away so that we can assist them in resuming their service,” said Manager Engineering and Planning. Mr. Jed Carty.

Mr. Carty has apologized for the weekend interruptions to the internet service, assuring customers that other maintenance work and a series of upgrades now being carried out on the ADSL network will continue since they are critical to the company’s plans to keep up with increasing demand for ADSL service and at the same time begin to put in place a firm foundation for a brand new internet network to meet projected customer demand. (TelEm)


Airlines to pass travellers travel agents, bank card, meal preferences and address details to EU security services

EUROPE - Air passengers flying in and out of Europe will have their personal information provided at check-in stored on police databases for up to five years if the European Commission goes ahead with an anti-terror plan hatched in the wake of the attacks in Paris.

The plan, published on January 28, would require 42 pieces of information on every passenger, including which travel agent they used, their bank card details, meal preferences such as halal and their addresses to be stored on a central European database, according to UK media reports.

Although civil liberties campaigners are trying to block the move, most European interior ministers including British home secretary Teresa May are backing the proposal, saying it will allow security services to track potential jihadists as they fly across the Continent.

Airlines are already obliged to provide data on individual passengers to British security services to allow them to intercept terrorist suspects.

Under the proposals agreed by European interior ministers on the day of the Je Suis Charlie march in Paris earlier in January, every airline operating in Europe would have to collect the same data from passengers and share this with the security services of all 28 EU countries. 


WANTED BY POLICE: Enock Luneus (48) for Trafficking and Human Smuggling

SINT MAARTEN/FRANCE – The Sint Maarten Police authorities has a public Red Notice, or international wanted person alert, at INTERPOL (International Police) for: Enock Luneus (48), born in Sint Maarten.

This person is actively being sought by the Police authorities and the public is asked to assist by contacting their law enforcement organization in their own country if they have seen this individual. 

Sint Maarten’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau currently has 13 operational notices of which eight are public via INTERPOL Red Notices. 

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries, with headquarters in Lyon, France.  Sint Maarten has been a member since 31 October, 2011.

A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant and INTERPOL cannot compel any member country to arrest the subject of a Red Notice.

Red Notices are one of the ways in which INTERPOL informs its member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority. A Red Notice seeks the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action.

INTERPOL’s role is to assist national police forces in identifying or locating those individuals with a view to their arrest and extradition.



Immigration and Border Protection Service Admittance and Residency Office will be open for half-days as of February 2

PHILIPSBURG - The Director of the Immigration and Border Protection Service (IBP) would like to inform the public that as of Monday 2 February, 2015 the Admittance and Residency Office at the IBP Headquarters on A. Th. Illidge road will be open for half-days. This is in conjunction with an internal reorganization of various systems that will take place for approximately two weeks.

The office will be opened to the public, starting Monday 2 February until Friday 6 February 2015 during morning hours only - 8:00 am until 11:30 am. The following week, from Monday 9 February to Friday 13 February, 2015 the office will be opened to the public in the afternoon from 1:00 pm until 4:30 pm.

On Monday 16 February 2015 operating hours will resume as normal. The Director apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

For more information please contact the Admittance and Residency Office at (721) 543 0352 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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