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TCI: Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services celebrates Vaccination Week in the Americas

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#TurksandCaicos, April 26, 2018 – Providenciales – This April marks the 16th anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas and the 6th World Immunization Week.  This year the theme is inspired by the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer games in Russia; the slogan is “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork.”  Vaccination week in the Americas is celebrated April 23rd to 27th 2018.

 Since its inception, more than 720 million people of all ages have been vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases.  The vaccination week initiative has been used to integrate other promotional and preventive health procedures into vaccination activities as well as highlight the importance of maintaining the achievements obtained in the region through vaccination.  The goals of vaccination week are to:

  1. Improve access to vaccination for people of all ages through outreach to the underserved communities.
  2. Increase vaccination coverages of all vaccines.
  3. Raise awareness about vaccine preventable diseases and the importance of being immunized.
  4. Promote vaccination in the whole family.
  5. Boost other public health activities.

The Region of the Americas has been the global leader in the elimination of vaccine preventable diseases for many years.  We were the first to eradicate small pox and the first to eliminate polio, measles, rubella, congenital rubella syndrome and neonatal tetanus.  It is important for the region to sustain the elimination efforts particularly because of our risk of importation of these diseases from other areas such as Europe, Asia and Africa through travel.  The TCI has been doing well in achieving and maintaining high coverages in the protection of its population from vaccine preventable diseases (VPD).

The expanded programme on immunization is in its 41st year and since its inception has seen much growth and achieved many milestones.  We have seen the addition of both new and improved vaccines to the programme locally and regionally.  This year the Turks and Caicos will see the addition of a new vaccine that is proven to prevent cervical cancer among women and the planned introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine which prevents pneumococcal disease by 2020.  In 2017, we began works on an electronic immunization registry which will offer easier access to immunization services; this year we will fully implement the registry into the programme.

 

The activities for vaccination week are as follows:

  1. Outreach in daycare centers
  2. Outreach in schools
  3. Outreach in communities.

Vaccines are offered free of cost at all TCIG operated clinics to persons of all ages.  Strengthen your defense get vaccinated today. #GetVax #VaccineWorks.

For more information on vaccines contact your health care provider or any of the public health nurses on the following numbers:

 

Grand Turk 338-5462

South Caicos 946-3216 or 946-3800

North Caicos 946-7194

Providenciales 338-5474 or 946-5613

 

Let us keep the TCI VPD free!

 

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TCI Health Launches COVID Booster Shot program

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#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands launches its COVID-19 vaccine booster programme commencing on Monday 4th October 2021.  This comes following the approval by Cabinet, of the COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Strategy which was submitted by the Ministry of Health for consideration.

Members of Cabinet including the Governor, Deputy Governor, Honorable Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health were in strong support of the vaccine booster strategy which will provide greater protection to those vulnerable individuals within the country who had previously been fully vaccinated more than six months ago and who are most at risk of severe effects of the disease.

The strategy is based upon the UK guidelines and focuses on priority groups who would benefit from a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. These groups are as follows;

1) Chronic non-communicable diseases clients

2) Elderly – Adults 50 years and over

3) Health care and frontline workers

4) Caregivers of the vulnerable

All persons in the groups listed above would have to have completed the two-dose series more than 6 months ago to be eligible for the booster dose of the vaccine. Eligible persons should reach out to their health care providers to schedule their booster dose.

The booster vaccine programme rolled out in the UK on 20.9.2021 and in the USA on 24.9.2021. On 9th September, Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), which regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK, issued the following statement; “We know that a person’s immunity may decline over time after their first vaccine course. I am pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination programme, which has saved thousands of lives so far. The regulatory decision followed a careful review of available data on safety and effectiveness of booster or supplementary vaccine doses by the MHRA and the independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), which advises the government.”

The TCI is currently progressing on its fifth tranche of the vaccine which was received from the UK and anticipates the receipt of additional doses of the vaccine to support the ongoing roll out of the vaccine to all eligible residents as well as the booster programme.

The vaccine is critical to the ongoing national response to the COVID19 pandemic. The vaccines are safe and can prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization. All eligible persons are encouraged to get vaccinated to continue protecting themselves, their loved ones and the wider community. All eligible persons who are unvaccinated are encouraged to take the vaccine.

 

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JAMAICA: Bustamante Hospital for Children Gets Specialty Beds From Chase Fund

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#Kingston, September 28, 2021 – A bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture in any healthcare facility and forms a large part of patient care and recovery.  The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, through a generous donation of $4.4 million, has gifted the island’s only public children’s hospital, the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), with 15 specialty beds.

The beds will improve the standard of care received by patients and shorten recovery time, thereby increasing bed availability for new patients.

“Those beds were used a day after they were delivered and have helped BHC tremendously, because they came when we started to see an increase in the patients,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BHC, Camile Wallen-Panton, tells JIS News.

“The BHC, unlike other hospitals, has not been badly impacted by the patient load due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but at the same time we have seen a rise in other illnesses,”  she added.

Mrs. Wallen-Panton points out that the beds were allocated to the various wards and explains how they met the required bed specifications.

“The beds that we received were the right specifications. They have the required two-side rail that can be adjusted, and they also have safety wheels that can be locked to make the bed immobile. The beds are outfitted with an Intravenous (IV) stand and are beautifully coloured, which brightens the ward,” she notes.

The CEO shares that the donation was greatly welcomed by staff, patients and parents.

“It is very important that our local hospitals are fitted with adequate beds. You can see the added stress on the patients, parents and caregivers whenever there is a shortage of beds,” Mrs. Wallen-Panton says.

“Our patient load is always growing, and from time to time, furniture and equipment outlive their useful time and they must be taken out, so when an institution such as the CHASE Fund answers our needs, patient, parents and staff salute them. They have made a huge difference in how we serve,” she adds.

Mrs. Wallen-Panton highlights that the hospital administration believes continual improvements in patient care are crucial and welcomes partnerships and collaborations to achieve this.

“As the only dedicated children’s hospital that serves Jamaica and the other English-speaking Caribbean islands, the BHC has to be prepared at all times to accept referrals that require secondary care,” she explains.

“The hospital currently has 23 services, including emergency, medical and surgical, and the social services that cater to the holistic needs of the patients we serve, and we are always trying to find ways to improve on our service delivery,” she notes.

The CEO reiterates her appreciation of the CHASE Fund’s investment in the healthcare sector and wishes the entity success in all its current and future projects.

Acquisition of the beds for the BHC forms part of a larger project by CHASE Fund, valued at $110 million, to purchase beds for secondary-care institutions within the South-East Region.

The facilities include Kingston Public, Victoria Jubilee, Spanish Town,  Linstead, Princess Margaret and National Chest Hospitals, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, and Hope Institute.

Meanwhile, CEO of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, tells JIS News that the donation of beds to hospitals, including the BHC, falls under the CHASE Fund’s Health mandate.

“In funding health projects, we are always mindful of how many people a project will benefit, whether it will improve access to healthcare and will result in better healthcare delivery and how our intervention can improve efficiency and the overall health system in Jamaica,” Mr. Heaven says.

He notes that the CHASE Fund is pleased to have aided the operation of the only specialist paediatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean, which sees approximately 70,000 patients per year, catering to children from birth to 12 years of age.

 

By: Colleen Dawkins

 

 

 

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Cuban Nationals Apprehended in Bahamian waters

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#TheBahamas, June 24, 2021 – A group of Cuban Nationals are currently being detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Center after they were apprehended in the south west Bahamas by a US Coast Guard vessel earlier this week.

The fifteen individuals were captured after being sighted on Anguilla Cay on Tuesday 22 June. They were taken aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter, CHARLES SEXTON, and handed over shortly after 7:00 pm to the Defence Force patrol craft, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald.

The Cubans were subsequently brought into the capital early Thursday morning, where they were handed over to the relevant authorities. The Cuban Embassy has since been notified. 

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to maintain a vigilant presence while patrolling and protecting the territorial waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and working with other law enforcement agencies.

Photos shows: Cuban nationals shortly after their arrival at the Defence Force Base, Coral Harbour on Thursday June 24, 2021. (RBDF Photo by Petty Officer Al Rahming)

 (For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel)

-rbdf-

#GuardOurHeritage

#OperationMarlinSpike

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