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TCI: Over 500 visitors flock to first leg of Vector Control Awareness Month Fair

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#Providenciales, May 9, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Students and teachers and others who attended the Vector Control Awareness Month Fair walked away thoroughly educated due to the informative and interactive expo put on by the Environmental Health Department and its partners.

“The planning phase was about nine months and I told them I wanted something that was going to be better than what we have been doing over the last two to three years, so they came up with this and we had the support from the Ministry and all of our other stakeholders,” shared Kenrick Neely, Environmental Health Director. 

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. there was a steady stream of residents to the Gus Lightbourne Gym who came to learn about vector control efforts, the players in the industry and what role they individually play in reducing the negative impact of vector agents.

In the Turks and Caicos, more commonly the focus is on reducing rodents, fleas, ticks, flies, roaches and the most troublesome of all, mosquitoes.

From an art and craft area where children learned while constructing rat and mosquito head-wear, to a spot for learning about and collecting mosquito-eating guppie fish for water tanks; to an on-site mini-laboratory where you could get an up-close look at dead roaches and mosquitoes; to learning about the equipment and materials the Environmental Health Department uses to keep mosquito populations down… it was an outstanding experience according to those to whom Magnetic Media spoke.

Oseta Jolly Primary student, Sharif O’Brien articulately commented: “I think the government did a good job hosting this, because I really learned a lot and I can share with my classmates what I know about the mosquitoes and the vectors etc.…” the ten-year-old continued with a response to our question on what was the most intriguing factoid of the day for her. 

“How something so small could have such a big effect on your body, like a mosquito.  I was really surprised about that!”

A theatre setting featured a mini-movie edited by the EHD team; the star of the flick was the ‘rat’ and the focus was on the magnitude of a rat problem; we learned that a male and female rodent can breed their 15,000 offspring in a lifetime together.  There was also a movie on the mosquito.

The Department of Agriculture, Parkway Pest Control and Truly Nolen (pest control) were a part of the expo with advice for home and business owners and naturally, the very curious children who attended with their teachers.

Pretty ideas for patios to keep mosquitoes at bay and three hilarious mascots were also at the Vector Control Awareness Month Fair; namely a Rat, a Fly and a Mosquito.

Students were thrilled to take photos with the trio of vector agents and to walk away with fly swatters, prizes from games set up at the fair, reusable shopping bags, plants and larvae eating fish.

Next stop for the Vector Control Awareness Month fair is South Caicos on Monday; North and Middle Caicos next Tuesday and Wednesday and dates for Salt Cay and Grand Turk are to be announced, said Kenrick Neely, Environmental Health Director.

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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News

New Rules for Turks & Caicos JPs

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Rules governing Justices of the Peace in the Turks and Caicos are now significantly stricter after the passing of the amendment to the Magistrates Amendment Bill in July 2022.

Despite the fact that Justices of the Peace are allowed the same powers as a magistrate previously the only requirement for their appointment was the discretion of the Governor and that they be under 65-years-old.

That power has now been transferred from the Governor to the Chief Justice.

Justices of the peace have always by law been allowed to receive complaints, sign charges and issue warrants for the apprehension of persons charged with criminal offenses. They can also issue search warrants summons and administer oaths.

Considering the potentially unchecked execution of these powers, the attorney general’s chambers lobbied for a change in the system.

“These are very wide powers and there is no framework for the supervision and regulation of the whole of justices of the peace in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The amendment rectified this and the Chief Justice now has the power to make binding rules and regulations governing the appointment of JPs, a code of conduct disciplinary action and orientation and periodic training for JPs.

In addition, to maintain separation of powers the governor will be stripped of the power to disallow laws made by resident magistrates. That power now belongs to the Chief Justice.

Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, TCI Attorney General maintained that the amendment was short but necessary.

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Health

Young People in TCI are having sex, Rapport wants to ensure they’re doing it safe

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Young people in the Turks and Caicos are very sexually active and while there are no concrete statistics, the newest members of the Rapport all said “Yes” to the question about whether there is rampant sexual activity.

“As a young person I totally agree that they are having a lot of sex,” Arean Louis said.

This is particularly concerning given wider statistics point to a very young age group which is still contracting HIV/Aids.

“Caribbean statistics are showing that between the ages of 15 and 25 those have the highest amount of HIV rates.”

A five person delegation was this past  week representing the Turks and Caicos Islands at the International Aids Conference, staged in Montreal, Canada July 29 – August 2, 2022.

Young adult members of Rapport TCI all agree that youth in the TCI must be made aware of HIV and other STIs. Arean Louis, Denae Dennie and Arielle Neely spoke to Magnetic Media on their way to the International AIDS Conference.

All three agreed that our young people are having a lot of sex.

“I would say that our young people are having sec the only thing that I would say is I hope that they are letting their partners know their sexual history, their status, and that they’re being safe.” Dennie said.

Louis added, “As we talk about HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands we most definitely need to bring awareness to our young people because there is no set age— kids nowadays just like to experiment.”

He stressed safe sex, using protection and abstinence to maintain sexual health.

“What we aim to do is keep them safe here, we’re tired and we don’t want to see anymore STD and STI new cases in the Turks and Caicos.”

Dennie says she still thinks there is fear surrounding HIV but with education and protection, the world can get to zero new cases and it was something she was looking forward to.

The final member Arielle Neely explained that there were not enough tools and resources to educate youth.

“There are not enough tools or enough record to educate them. Our parents think they’re doing a good job by telling us don’t have sex but telling us don’t have sex isn’t enough. You have to teach us about birth control planned parenthood.”

The three members had high hopes for Rapport and stressed that they need more members to make an effective change on sexual health in the TCI.

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