Providenciales, TCI, January 24, 2017 – Armed with facts, figures and well sharpened perspectives, battle ready is the most fitting description for the students who participated in the 19th annual HIV/AIDS debate. The moot this year “Be it resolved, societal awareness of HIV/AIDS is enough to guarantee zero new infections and deaths, fight stigma and empower people” was debated in an upbeat exciting and highly charged manner.
High schools participating this year were TCIPS, Elite High, Marjorie Basden High, Long Bay High, HJ Robinson High, Raymond Gardiner High, Wesley Methodist High and Clement Howell High. There were 2 new schools joining the debate for the first time Elite High and Long Bay High.
The Hon. Josephine Connolly stated during her remarks; “Despite the significant strides that have been made over the years by our government’s Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit, we recognize that stigma and discrimination continues to adversely affect HIV testing.”
She then asked; “Do you remember the early days of the AIDS epidemic and the devastation of those deaths, the sorrow, the loss? Today, that picture is transformed. Thanks to the courage and love of so many of you in this room and around the world, awareness has soared; research has surged. Prevention, treatment and care are now saving millions of lives. Getting to zero is a worthy goal and we as a country need to make sure no-one is left behind.”
The Hon. Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human Services Edwin Astwood made mention of his love for debates and the skills demonstrated by the body of students who took part in the day’s competition. High in commendation for the level of preparation displayed by participants, he also made mention of the ability of the students to develop their points with pinpoint accuracy like the gladiators of old to best their opponents.
The Minister mentioned that as a health professional he was particularly impressed with the standards set by the students in not only their delivery, but also in the construction of their arguments and efficient use of content.
In closing the Minister of Health Agriculture and Human Services stated; “Addressing stigma and discrimination at all levels is a priority within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services. This includes continuous training of health care workers; improving workplace policies; sensitizing school staff and students; promoting education and training programmes on sexuality, gender equality and anti-bullying; advocating for law reform.”
First place went to Clement Howell High while Raymond Gardiner came in second with Long Bay High directly on their heels in third place. The quality of the debate was evident in the close scores among the victors of the competition. Best female speaker Jameika Noel of Clement Howell High and best male speaker Joshua Maghoo of Raymond Gardiner High schools.
Mrs. Robinson expressed how pleased she was with the level of debating skills of students and that there has been significant improvement over the years. She also looks forward to seeing more high schools participate in the next debate. She congratulated all debaters and debating teams stating; “Although there can only be one winner in a competition, each student was a winner in their own right.”
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services wishes to say thanks to the hard working students, head teachers, teachers, parents and guardians, judges, RTC and Beaches Resort and Spa for making the 19th Annual HIV/AIDS debate a success.
News Release and Photo Credit: TCIG Press office
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year. In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.
In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”
Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.
A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
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