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TCI News

JAIS donates $4,000 Cash To Inpatients at TCI Hospital



#Providenciales, 28 December, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A group of predominantly acute-care inpatients on the general wards at Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital received a surprise Christmas giveaway of $400 cash each, courtesy of JAIS. 

Interhealth Canada (IHC), the private health care management company of the facility, held a press conference to announce and distribute the donation to patient rooms on Friday, December 20th 2019. Remarks were given by Nikira John, IHC Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Daniel Carriere, IHC Chief Executive Officer and Manish Lalwani, Representative of JAIS, respectively.

Patients were selected by clinical leaders based on a criteria, which also covered their medical and personal circumstances.  The eight recipients were De Vera Jose, 66, Daniel Kerns, 69, Elizabeth Mckenzie, 64, Ella Miller, 91, Beverly Fulford, 67, Stanley Stubbs, 81, Philip Lewis, 65, and Jasmin Moreau, 51. The group comprise of persons from all walks of life, medical challenges, nationalities and different personal circumstances.

The inpatients were unaware of the value and in some cases, the nature of the giveaway. Seven of the inpatients were based at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and a single inpatient at Cockburn Town Medical Centre. The latter facility is smaller and statistically has a lower volume of inpatients.

JAIS donated a total of $4,000. The total value of the cash giveaways equated to $3,200. The remaining balance of $800 will be used along with an additional $1,000 donation from another benevolent donor to purchase care packages for non-acute care inpatients. The initiative will be entitled Operation Gratitude Part II and is scheduled for early 2020.

InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital expressed gratitude to JAIS Jewelers for the partnership and generous initiative. The cash recipients were elated and expressed appreciation for the kindhearted gesture.

Release: InterHealthCanada

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Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

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.


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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“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.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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