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TCI: Renal Failure surges in TCI, more nurses needed



#TurksandCaicos, March 19, 2021 – The TCI Hospitals will get two full time nurses for the Dialysis Unit it explained in a media release as a result of that extra funding approved at Cabinet last week. 

Consultant Nephrologist at TCI Hospital, Dr. Vancelee Forbes, stated: “The dialysis unit welcomes this much-needed increase in staff as an interim measure to improve safety and increase the capacity of the dialysis unit at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to improve services, including facilitating the growth of the home dialysis program and increasing opportunities for kidney transplantation.”

Chief of Allied Services at TCI Hospital, Eleanor Hall, stated: “We are thankful for the approval of the additional nursing staff for the dialysis unit. The treatment session for a dialysis patient is four hours in duration and occurs three times per week. The additional nurses would help us adjust treatment shifts to better hours, prepare for new patients, and reduce the extended working hours currently required to deliver treatments. The hospital’s senior management team will continue to proactively discuss and seek support from TCI Government on long-term measures to meet the growing patient demand.”

The need for the new staff raises serious red flags about the escalation in people requiring the Hemodialysis Services unit.  Renal failure, more simply put, kidneys which are not functioning properly; unable to filter out waste and toxins from the body, unable to ensure the body stores and then uses vital nutrients from what is consumed and with the inability to function, a machine is employed to do the work for them. 

It was explained: “The increase in the number of patients presenting to the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital with chronic diseases complicated by renal failure has been the catalyst for an expanded hemodialysis service. There is an average of six to eight new patients per annum who require dialysis treatment. There are 55 patients currently on dialysis across both medical centres, and dialysis is a life-saving treatment.”

The Hemodialysis Services serves clients in Grand Turk and Providenciales.  The increase in patients and the pressures on health care due to the Coronavirus Pandemic required a request for greater support from the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.

“The private health care management company submitted a request to the TCI Government seeking additional infrastructure, equipment, and human resources to support the growing number of dialysis patients. The recent cabinet approval was to recruit two additional full-time dialysis nurses to serve 12 months as an interim measure and on an emergency basis.”

Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause for renal failure.  “According to the Pan American Health Organization, chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been identified as an increasing public health issue worldwide and deserves focused attention in the Americas. Globally, diabetes mellitus and hypertension are the major causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). A similar picture is also accurate for the Turks and Caicos Islands,” said the TCI Hospitals in the statement issued Thursday.

There are 55 people across the islands who need this service several times a week and the InterHealth Canada operated hospitals explained, “six to eight new patients are being added annually.” 

Thanks to the recently approved additional human resources by the TCI Cabinet, there will be greater capacity within the department “to cover treatment shifts for the next 12 months. The Hemodialysis Service consists of ten (10) Specialist Nurses and one (1) Dialysis Technician. A full-time Nephrologist supports the service. There are six dialyzer machines and four back-up machines at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre. Cockburn Town Medical Centre has three dialyzer machines and two back-up machines.”

Bahamas News

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



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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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package



#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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