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Caribbean News

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.”

Caribbean News

Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter  



#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.

MIUS ANDRE, a mason by trade from Blue Hills, Providenciales, was charged with the offences, following advice received through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.

Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.

Two female minors -ages six and seven-  died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Press Release: RTCIPF

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Bahamas News

Press Release: Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Bahamas



February 3, 2023 – ILM Bahamas Centre held its Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Cohort 7.  The cohort consisted of fourteen (14) Senior Immigration Officers from the Department of Immigration.  This Cohort was a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Four of the Immigration Officers were from the Family Islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Eleuthera).

Present at the ceremony were:  The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Madam Justice J. Denise Lewis-Johnson, Permanent Secretary Ms. Ceceila Strachan, Executive Chair of NTA Ms. Agatha Marcelle, Executive Director of NTA Mr. Terry Murray, Director of Immigration Mrs. Keturah Ferguson, Deputy Director of Immigration Mr. Dwight Beneby, Ms. Esther McKinney Office Manager at the Department of Immigration.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Donald M. McCartney a Leadership and Management Consultant with Motivation Incorporated Bahamas and the United States. He was a former senior public servant.  He was also a First Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for the Northern Bahamas. He was also a former educator and professor at various colleges in the United States.

In his address to ILM Cohort 7, Dr. McCartney spoke about having the courage to lead and that leadership goes beyond SELF.  It’s not about you or your ego but rather more about contributing to nation building. He said, “We must be prepared to take the bold steps that would not lead us into the abyss of despair but on the road that leads us to lift up our heads to the rising sun and press onward to the mountaintop experience, which will lead us to become the proud and productive people we were destine to be.”  He also expanded on the four fundamental virtues: COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM.  Additionally, he expanded on the focus and influence of courage, on the ego and discipline.

The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration brought brief remarks on the occasion.  Some of the highlights of his speech were that Immigration is one of the highest revenue earners, challenges within the Department of Immigration such as lack of autonomy from the Public Service as compared to the other armed forces. He also talked about that the fact that the top tier is going to be retired within two years and this would be an opportunity for many of the graduates of this Cohort 7 to gain upward mobility.

He also stated that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Immigration Act, and a review of the Asylum Bill.  Furthermore, he discussed the inevitable need for the relocation of the Department of Immigration from its current location. Lastly, he stated that we must tread a delicate balance between enforcing the law and being humane, in regards to shanty towns.

It is noteworthy that the ILM Centre at the National Training Agency recently obtained a Centre upgrade.  The ILM Centre Bahamas now hold the statue of Direct Claim Status with City and Guilds of London. Additionally, the Centre is now registered with the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for all of its current course offerings. The ILM Department is lead Miss Pamela Gomez as the ILM Centre Coordinator. Registration is now open for Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skill and Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. Our mission statement is, “Helping people, organizations, and economies develop their skills for growth.”

For more information, contact the ILM Centre Bahamas located in the Gladstone Road Business Centre by calling 461-6021 or 461-6008.

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Bahamas News

Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam 



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 



February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.

The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.

The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent  or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.

Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.

Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.

Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.

Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.

The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.

The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.

For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.

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