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TCI: Health Minister visits the SNAP Center

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#TurksandCaicos, April 17, 2021 – As April is observed as Autism Month, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Hon. E Jay Saunders, accompanied by Deputy Permanent Secretary Mrs. Tamera Howell-Robinson made an official visit to the Special Needs Association of Providenciales Center (SNAP Center) on 8th April, 2021.  This visit allowed the team to view and observe the program and services offered.

The SNAP Center provides intellectual and life skills opportunities for children and young persons with special needs, inclusive but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Speech/Language Disorder, Learning Disorder and Down Syndrome, Ages 4 -21. 

The SNAP Center is staffed with trained teachers, operating under an adequate ratio student to teacher population, imparting life skills programs, sign language and outdoor programs, all within a friendly learning environment.

In commenting on the visit, the Director, Ms. Betty-Ann Been stated that, “Our goal at the SNAP Center is to provide intellectual and life skills opportunities for the students with multiple disabilities; thus enabling them to function as productive citizens where possible. Each student is evaluated. This is followed by diagnostic reports and treatment plans to help parents and teachers as a guide to the development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) inclusive of life skills. Once this plan is completed and implemented it is reviewed quarterly using the combination of various international standard programs.”

During the visit, officials had the opportunity to view the various international programs applied, based on the student aptitude. Prior to departure from the SNAP Centre, Minister of Health, Honourable E. Jay Saunders stated, “This Government and in particular my Ministry will ensure that every action is taken to guarantee that our vulnerable children and young people have equal opportunities to succeed by providing the right educational support and health care. I am very proud of the stellar work being done by the staff of the SNAP Center. The students are in good hands”.

While pledging a personal donation of $2,000 to be used for life skills training, Hon. Saunders further shared that his desire is to “be a champion for those most vulnerable”.

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Dog Tales to rescue 500 dogs from the Turks and Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Stray dogs in the Turks and Caicos will be getting a new lease on life in the coming months as Dog Tales Rescue will be coming to the islands. Up to 500 stray Dogs will be recovered from Grand Turk and flown to Canada in a bid to control the dog population and give the existing strays better lives. The visit has been approved by the Turks and Caicos Islands government who revealed the project in a cabinet meeting on May 31st.

Dog Tales rescue is a Canadian-based rescue mostly focusing on dogs, cats, and horses. The sanctuary is massive, sitting on over 50 acres of land. It was started in 2014 by husband and wife duo Rob and Danielle Eden-Scheinberg.  The animals at Dog Tales Rescue get the 5-star treatment (as they should!) while they wait to be adopted into their forever homes.  The rescue provides a space for neglected and abused dogs to heal with resources including kilometers of walking trails, therapy pools, a grooming spa, and medical care if needed.  Dog Tales does not put dogs down, those who are not adopted immediately remain with the sanctuary permanently.  Since 2014 more than 2000 dogs have passed through the sanctuary.

Rather than kennels the dogs at Dog Tale have rooms that they share or occupy alone and the sanctuary really jazzes up the spaces making them as luxurious as possible.  The volunteers at the sanctuary also actively use social media to campaign for potential adoptees by doing photoshoots to entice families to take the chance to adopt animals. Soon strays from the Turks and Caicos will be in that number.  You can see Dog Tales’ most recent photoshoot here.

Dog Tales even had a TV show back in 2018 that lasted for 2 seasons!

The TCIG says they will provide “logistical and regulatory support” for the program but Dog Tales will be funding the recovery and everything else on their own. You can donate to Dog Tales here

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Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Education

TCI Agriculture launches Plant Clinic

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.

Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.

Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.

Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”

Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.

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