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Newly Elected MPs make inaugural tour of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre to assess the COVID-19 response



#TurksandCaicos, March 1, 2021 – The incoming Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders, and Member of Parliament, Honorable Jamell Robinson conducted a tour of the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales on Tuesday, February 23rd 2021 to review the hospital’s current operational status and the COVID-19 response.

The island of Providenciales has been the epicenter for COVID-19 cases and the medical center has cared for 98% of COVID-19 patient admissions. The national management and stabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major issue on the incoming Government’s agenda, and the newly elected officials were eager to understand the latest developments at the secondary health care level.

Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant and General Manager of Facilities, Martin Dawtry, spearheaded the 2-hour tour. Special areas of interest were the hospital’s 749 square meter shelled space, which can be developed to increase the hospital’s capacity as a long-term resolution. The area was constructed since the inception of the hospital as a spare unfinished space for any future expansion needs, and is temporarily used as storage for hospital supplies.

The Outpatient Department renovation project was another key area. The duo examined 12 consultation rooms, which were retrofitted with medical gas lines for oxygen support, inpatient beds and other biomedical equipment late last year. Resources are pre-deployed into the area only under circumstances where the number of COVID-19 patient admissions exceed the bed capacity of the General Wards. Six Outpatient Department consultation rooms were also retrofitted at the Cockburn Town Medical Centre in Grand Turk for the same purpose.

Other departments visited during the tour include the Maternity Ward, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, General Ward, Surgical Suites, Radiology, Laboratory, the Emergency Department and designated areas used for the assessment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. The tour was followed by an introductory meeting with the hospital’s senior management team. The incoming elected officials are due to be officially sworn into parliament this week after the national General Election, which was held on February 19TH, 2021.

Commenting on the tour, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders stated: “It was a great tour. I am happy that we were able to conduct this tour of the facility from the top to the bottom to see what is happening. I believe the team is doing a fantastic job with the available resources, and we look forward to working with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital in a partnership approach to provide the community with quality health care.”

Honorable Jamell Robinson stated: “As a first visit, it was great to see the inner workings of the TCI Hospital as a Member of Parliament rather than a patient. I think we are blessed to have the facility and the ability to do the type of expansion that we need to be able to cater to our normal patients, in addition to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ongoing. It is very promising, and we look forward to working closely with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital and the Ministry of Health to stabilize the pandemic until the vaccines have been fully distributed.”

Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite -Tennant said: “It was a very productive visit, and we are grateful that the Members of Parliament took the opportunity to see the excellent groundwork that has been reached with the Outpatient Department Renovation Project, and other projects that were achieved collaboratively with the TCI Government. It was also important for the MP’s to examine the shelled space as this is a pivotal moment in time that requires a discussion on the development of this space to expand critical care and additional inpatient beds. This would allow us to remain sustainable and resilient for the future.”


Misick announces Longer terms in Office, Bi-Partisan Constitutional Changes 



#TurksandCaicos, February 19, 2024 – Magnetic Media SOTS23 COVERAGE:  Premier WASHINGTON MISICK announced that there is bi-partisan agreement on the CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES which the people of the Turks and Caicos can expect including a FIVE YEAR term for the elected Government.

The House of Assembly will finally leave the HJ Robinson High Auditorium to return home at the NJS Francis building and when it does, it will be called a PARLIAMENT with only ELECTED MEMBERS; (as reported) ending the four year term and ending the APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS for a truly democratic composition of the house of representatives.

The State of the State Address, a creation of the Progressive National Party Administration, was carried live from Yellow Man and Sons Auditorium in Grand Turk, tonight February 19 which is also the three-year anniversary of the Misick-led government.

#TCIPremier #WashingtonMisick #SOTS2023 #TurksandCaicosParliament #tcinews

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How to protect against HIV 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, February 15, 2024 – HIV/AIDS has killed more than 40 million people globally since it first appeared in the human population in 1959 according to the World Health Organization WHO and even though there are effective treatments there is no cure making prevention practices a top priority for vulnerable groups.

In recent months claims have emerged of rising cases locally creating concern in some Turks and Caicos residents.  The Ministry of Health has remained silent on the issue and has not published relevant statistics despite repeated queries from Magnetic Media.

Given the continued presence of the virus, individuals are still at risk from infection. In fact the WHO says in 2022, when 630,000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.3 million people acquired HIV.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus behind AIDS, the most advanced form of HIV.

The virus spreads through the body fluids of an infected person, including blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. It is not spread by kisses, hugs or sharing food.

With this in mind there are several steps that residents can take to protect themselves including

  • Using condoms during sex
  • Limiting sexual partners
  • Being tested regularly
  • avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
  • Using personal protective gear when dealing with bodily fluids

Vulnerable populations can be administered Pre Exposure Prophylaxis which work to prevent infection and Post Exposure Prophylaxis which can prevent the virus from taking hold.

An HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence.  In 2024 HIV can be treated and prevented with antiretroviral therapy (ART). These drugs strengthen the immune system which HIV weakens significantly.

Still the WHO encourages residents to take preventative action.

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CARPHA: Take Action to Avoid the Harmful Effects of Saharan Dust



February 16, 2024 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging persons to protect themselves against adverse health effects of a Saharan dust plume, which has covered many parts of the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in a Dust Bulletin dated February 9th, 2024 stated, “it is highly likely that particulate matter levels will be above the 24-hour outdoor air quality guidelines” as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA, explained “Saharan dust worsens air quality and increases the levels of particulate matter in the air.  This can be hazardous, especially to small children, older adults and people with underlying lung conditions and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases”.  Dr St John added, “Saharan dust can also worsen the health symptoms of those who suffer from asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”.

In light of the poor air quality levels, CARPHA is encouraging persons to take steps to avoid the harmful effects of Saharan dust. These include:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and when outdoors, wear a dust mask (eg. KN95)
  • Utilise a HEPA filter indoors to purify air in individual rooms
  • Persons who use medications for pulmonary conditions should carry them at all times and use as prescribed
  • At the first sign of difficulty while breathing, seek professional medical advice immediately
  • For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays may alleviate symptoms

For more information, please see excerpts from the attached CIMH Dust Bulletin.

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