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TCI News

TCI Health reports suspected cases of Hand, Food and Mouth disease in Grand Turk



Photo from Mercy.Net

#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 13, 2020 — The Ministry of Health, Agriculture Sports and Human Services (MOHASHS) of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) wishes to inform the public that there have been reports of cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) on Grand Turk.

The Primary Health Care Department is in the process of collecting specimens to be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for confirmatory testing. Primary Health has embarked on an enhanced surveillance and education campaign to ensure that suspected cases are identified as quickly as possible and schools and daycare facilities are educated on the proper implementation of prevention and hygiene measures (e.g. hand washing).

HFMD is a contagious viral illness that primarily affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. It is transmitted by direct contact with nasal secretions, (droplets produced by coughing or sneezing), saliva, fluid from blisters and stool of infected individuals.  HFMD is most prevalent in child care settings due to frequent contact with soiled diapers and children putting their hands in their mouths. HFMD occasionally occurs in adolescents and adults.

Symptoms include some or all of the following: painful sores in the mouth, rashes on the hands and feet, which may be associated with blisters, fever, headache, feeling generally unwell or irritable, runny nose, and/or sore throat. It is mostly a mild and self-limiting illness lasting for a few days. 

However, there are more severe, albeit uncommon, forms of the disease which are associated with neurological complications as a result of meningitis (associated with fever, headache, and neck stiffness) and encephalitis (resulting in paralysis). Affected persons can sometimes be contagious for days or weeks after the symptoms have ended


There is no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Symptoms are controlled by the use of paracetamol (Panadol or Tylenol) for fever and pain relief, it is often all that is necessary. In some cases, HFMD can cause a sore mouth and throat, which makes it difficult to swallow.  It is therefore important to maintain adequate fluid intake to avoid dehydration that could result in hospitalization. Symptoms usually resolve within ten days.

Persons with suspected HFMD should abstain from school and report to a healthcare provider to obtain guidance, including when to return to work, school or daycare.

The MOHAHS will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate.

For more information on HFMD contact your primary health care provider or visit one of our primary health care clinics.

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Bahamas News

Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean  leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues.  Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.

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Caribbean News

Woman who lost foot is Alexandra Truwit, Yale Grad & All American Swimmer



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A champion swimmer, marathon runner, Ivy League graduate and world traveler with a huge smile– that is Alexandra Truwit; at only 22 years old, she has a whole life ahead of her, one that may have now been made exponentially harder by the loss of her foot in an incident which continues to be unconfirmed, but reported as a shark attack off the coast of Providenciales.

Magnetic Media learned Truwit, who is a very experienced swimmer, was on a private charter captained by an employee of Big Blue Collective (not a Big Blue Charter).  She was bitten by what eyewitnesses think could have been a Caribbean Reef Shark and her foot below the ankle was completely severed.

It’s a heartbreaking incident exacerbated by the young woman’s obvious love for- and proficiency in- the water.

The Yale website describes Truwit as a Two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American.  Featured as a ‘Teen Titan’ in her high school, she was one of ten young people chosen for the school’s magazine. 

Truwit, who has a twin brother, cites nail art and baking as her life joys. Already having survived ‘mono’ as a teen, she volunteers as a Special Olympics “hugger” and started a Special Olympics club at her high school.

She was airlifted from the Turks and Caicos on the day of her accident and there have been no updates on her condition so far.  Residents in the TCI and the US have expressed via social media their best wishes for the young achiever and must now wait, hoping for the best possible outcome.

One resident said, “So sorry Alexandra you had to encounter such a traumatic experience while on vacation on our beautiful Island.  I am praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you, hopefully, the surgeon can work their magic for you.”

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Governor’s Appointed Member touts Civil Service Upgrade during Budget Debates



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

“For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience.”

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.

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