Mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya and the recent emergence of Zika virus has been of serious concern in the Caribbean region including the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Turks and Caicos Government in partnership with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO), the Airport Authority, Tourist Board, Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, TCI Hospital and other local and regional stakeholders has taken extensive measures to protect our residents and visitors from the threat of diseases.
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services has held several joint high level meetings with our regional and local partners to ensure that all available resources are accumulated and every measure possible is taken to ensure that our country implements the strongest possible Zika virus preparedness and response plan to address this issue. Thus far, the following steps have been taken:
- Increased countrywide clean up campaigns, fogging exercises and premises inspections;
- Expanded surveillance efforts;
- Provided regular training sessions and situational updates to health professionals; and
- Stepped up public awareness campaigns.
Since 2007, 65 countries have reported cases of Zika. Of the 65 countries, approximately 22 countries are located in the Caribbean region. As of Friday, July 22, 2016, the Turks and Caicos Islands has recorded 5 cases of Zika Virus. Three (3) of these cases are associated with a recent history of travel to areas where cases of Zika has been reported. The other 2 are being investigated. To date, there is no epidemiological evidence of in country transmission associated with the two non-travel related cases. Measures have been taken to ensure that these cases are managed and contained, and all affected persons are recovering.
Zika is a viral illness, which is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito is found throughout the Americas, including the TCI. Most persons who contract Zika are often not aware that they have the illness as they may not have any symptoms. Symptoms of Zika are similar to Dengue and Chikungunya and appear between four to seven days after someone has been bitten by an infected mosquito. These symptoms include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye), muscle or joint pain, and general malaise.
There is no specific medication to treat Zika and there are currently no vaccines to prevent the illness. However, symptoms of Zika can be managed by:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration
- Taking medicines, such as acetaminophen, or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain.
- Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve or Ibuprofen unless advised by a doctor.
The concern with Zika is a growing body of evidence regarding the connection between infection with Zika during pregnancy and possible abnormalities in the newborn. In addition, there has been an association with Zika and other neurological complications such as Guillain-Barre syndrome.
To protect yourself and your family, the Ministry advises persons in the TCI to take the following precautions:
- Prevent mosquito breeding in and around your home by keeping your environment clean (check your gutters and remove standing water from old flower vases, tires and other containers that might act as breeding sites such as water drums and barrels).
- Avoid being bitten by wearing loose long-sleeved shirts and long pants, applying insect repellents and using mosquito nets.
- Zika has been proven to be sexually transmitted therefore we recommend condom use.
- Pregnant women are advised to seek more information from their health provider at their next scheduled visit and not to travel to areas with Zika virus during pregnancy. If pregnant and you suspect that you have Zika, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Women and men who have been diagnosed with the Zika virus are advised to seek guidance from their health provider prior to planning a future pregnancy.
For more information, contact the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services on 338-3061 or 338-3058. The Ministry will keep the public informed with any new developments.
USA Caribbean Investment Forum: Partnering for Sustained Development in the Caribbean 2023 Event Recap
The USA Caribbean Investment Forum took place over two days last week at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square. The event, hosted by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) in partnership with representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps (namely, the Consulates General of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda), brought together government officials, investment promotion agencies, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from the Caribbean diaspora to connect, engage in thoughtful discussions, and explore investment opportunities throughout the Caribbean.
Fostering International Collaboration
The event featured distinguished speakers and representatives from both the US and Caribbean governments. Consuls General Mr. Mackie Holder (Barbados), Mr. Jerome Andre Laveau (Trinidad & Tobago), and Mr. Rondy McIntosh (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) along with Jeanette Moy, Commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services, Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs, and Molly Bauer, Industry Development Associate from the NY Governor’s Office, shed light on the initiatives that New York City, which is home to so many Caribbean Diaspora, is implementing to support economic collaboration between the regions.
Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands, and Chair of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands delivered insights via keynote speeches and held candid discussions during panel and Q&A sessions. The event served as a unique opportunity to communicate in an open and honest forum with two esteemed leaders from the Caribbean about investing in the region.
Promoting Investment Opportunities
CAIPA welcomed representatives from Invest Barbados, Invest Dominica, Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), InvesTT (Trinidad and Tobago), Invest Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), Invest St. Lucia, Invest St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), and the Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transport and Telecommunications, to discuss various opportunities for investment in their respective countries and how their agencies support and facilitate potential investors.
Private sector companies including the St. James School of Medicine, Century21 Guyana, Ethniv, and Homestrings joined the forum to discuss their current active projects in the Caribbean. They detailed how they’ve worked with local governments and institutions to successfully launch and operate their businesses in the Caribbean, along with the potential opportunities for continued growth.
Understanding How Caribbean Financial Institutions Facilitate Investment
The Forum brought together key representatives from Caribbean financial and economic development institutions: IDB Lab (Ms. Magdalena Coronel, Chief Investment Officer), the National Commercial Bank Jamaica LTD (Mr. Jeffrey Brown, Head, Loans Structuring and Syndications), USAID (Mr. Mervyn Farroe, USAID representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean), and the Caribbean Development Bank (Ms. Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist) to detail how these organizations facilitate and support private investment in the Caribbean.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet directly with CAIPA member countries during business meetings. These one-on-one conversations were valuable opportunities to speak directly with key stakeholders in order to advance projects and forge direct relationships.
The inaugural USA Caribbean Investment Forum was a great success due to the collaboration and engagement from individuals representing a wide range of sectors, organizations, and countries – all united under the goal of driving economic growth in the Caribbean and taking advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the region. https://www.investincaribbean.org/news-center/sign-up-for-our-newsletter to sign up for our newsletter.CAIPA and the representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps are proud to have facilitated these conversations and supported deepening of relationships with key stakeholders throughout the US and the Caribbean. We look forward to our next event, which will be held on 6-8 March in Miami (Caribbean Logistics Investment Conference 2024) – focused on attracting investments into logistics and transportation by sea and air as well as e-commerce logistics and industrial logistics parks throughout the Caribbean. Stay tuned for more details! If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the CAIPA mailing list, please visit:
Early-Childhood Institutions in St. Catherine Get Time Clocks
#Kingston, September 26, 2023 – Two early-childhood institutions in Kitson Town, St. Catherine, have received 15 time clocks each from educator, Jillian Wray-Robinson, with support from Food For the Poor (FFP).
Speaking at the handover of the clocks at the Kitson Town Basic School on September 25, Ms. Wray-Robinson said they are an important resource for the young students and can help them learn to value time.
“This is where my Foundation was dug, and as an educator, I am giving back and taking the time to invest in the future. It is very important; time is money and money is time, and if they learn how to read the clock, it will become of importance to them,” she said.
Principal of the school, Charline Nathon, said she was grateful for the items, noting that the donation was timely.
“I am sure the children will use it to the best of their ability. The clock is what we are doing in the curriculum – they learn to read the clock,” the Principal said.
Speaking at the handover of the clocks at the Old Road Early Childhood Centre, Ms. Wray-Robinson told the audience that her daughter spent her first year of formal education at the school, and it was a delight to assist them in obtaining the 15 items.
“After carefully looking at the curriculum, I know it will be useful to them (students). School begins on time, and ends with time, and we want our children to learn how to read the clock, and how to tell the time,” she said.
Principal of the school, June Maxwell, said the clocks will help her students, and “we will truly use the resources to the best of our knowledge, and ability”.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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