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TCI: Work Permit & Permanent Residency now mandatory for Covid Vaccine says TCIG



#TurksandCaicos, July 20, 2021 – Turks and Caicos Islands Government is doubling down on its mission to ensure all guest workers in the country are fully vaccinated for Covid-19, and expanding the scope on who will be subject to the same rule. 

Not only are Work Permit Holders and those on Government Stamps, employed by TCIG under a mandatory order to be vaccinated for employment in the Turks and Caicos, this rule is now extended individuals applying for PRCs or Permanent Residency Certificates. 

A media statement and an official internal memo from the Deputy Governor Anya Williams have been issued to inform of the change, which officially extends the deadline to August 31st

Just 42 days away; no work permit will be renewed, no PRC will be granted unless there is proof of full vaccination. 

It is also important to note, that now with a more firm understanding of how many are on work permits and when those permits expire, if someone whose work permit expires after the vaccine deadline day has not had the vaccine by the deadline day of August 31st, their work permit will be immediately flagged for non-renewal. 

As for who will police this tedious process, it’s the employer. 

From the statement, “The onus is on each employer to notify Employment Services Department and provide evidence of vaccinated staff. Employers should notify their work permit holder / Government Stamp holder staff of the vaccination requirement for employment as defined by this policy.” 

Over 3,500 people can become vaccinated using the fourth batch of Covid-19 vaccine which landed in Providenciales on July 7. 

The TCIG report: Policy to Promote Vaccination Among Migrant Population in the Turks and Caicos Islands informs that as of 25th May 2021, 8,081 individuals within the Islands are work permit holders with an additional 469 individuals who are dependents of the work permit holders. 

It also said, approximately eighty-five percent (84.6%) of these work permits will be expired within a year and a further 15.3% will expire within two years.  The majority of the work-permit holders are of Haitian nationality (49%), followed by nationals from the Dominican Republic (12%), Philippines (10%), and Jamaica (10%). British, Canadian, and Americans account for two percent (2%) of work permit holders within the country. 

These figures however, do not reflect the number of illegal migrants that are also residing in the Turks and Caicos Islands that may not be vaccinated.

While the policy speaks specifically to renewal of work permits, the policy also serves to encourage persons with Permanent Residence Certificates, Residence Permit Holders, Spousal Residency Permit holders, Government Stamp Holders and illegal migrants, residing in the TCI to be vaccinated if they want to be considered in the future for any permit applications. 

The information comes, verbatim from the report which is striving to get higher uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine among non-citizens.


90% of strokes are avoidable with a few lifestyle changes!



Cleveland Clinic Expert Shares Six Simple Steps to Prevent Vast Majority of Strokes


December 5, 2023 – According to the World Stroke Organization (WSO), stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The WSO says one in four people will have a stroke in their lifetimes, and each year over 12 million people worldwide have strokes. However, it adds that 90% of strokes are preventable by addressing a small number of risk factors that are responsible for most strokes. In The Bahamas, on average 224 people (or 9.56%) die annually from strokes. 

Here, Andrew Russman, DO, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and a vascular neurology specialist, offers advice on how to reduce stroke risk by better managing existing health conditions and also through implementing lifestyle changes. “These tips are interrelated as most of the lifestyle changes mentioned also play a role in improving management of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, which all increase stroke risk,” Dr. Russman points out.

  1. Reduce hypertension

Uncontrolled hypertension – that is, blood pressure that is consistently above 130/80 – is the single most important modifiable risk factor in stroke worldwide, says Dr. Russman.

Aside from medication, an important step in reducing blood pressure is to reduce salt intake, which Dr. Russman says is good advice even if you don’t have high blood pressure. “We recommend consuming no more than 2g of salt per day. I advise my patients to check food labels and nutritional websites for sodium levels as their intake is usually far higher than they realize,” he adds.

  1. Be wary of diabetes

It is important to be tested for diabetes, and if diagnosed, to manage the condition wells, says Dr. Russman. He explains that diabetes causes narrowing of small, medium and large blood vessels in the body, including vessels of the eyes, kidney, heart and brain. Owing to this, diabetes can contribute to a variety of vascular, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular problems including stroke. In addition, for patients who have survived a stroke, the risk of having a second is three times higher in those patients whose diabetes is not controlled.

Dr. Russman says that as part of their treatment plan, people with diabetes should have their condition monitored through HbA1C tests, which provide a three-month snapshot of their blood sugar control. “We                                      recommend that these individuals aim for an HbA1C result of 7.0 or less. Taking prescribed medication correctly, watching their diet, exercising regularly, and following their healthcare provider’s recommendations                          will help them achieve this.”

  1. Address atrial fibrillation

The WSO says atrial fibrillation is associated with one in four strokes, and Dr. Russman says these strokes tend to be more severe and disabling than strokes associated with other risk factors.

“Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm condition characterized by very rapid heartbeats that don’t allow the top left chamber of the heart – the left atrium – to contract normally. Instead, it fibrillates and flutters so blood                         is not ejected normally from the chamber,” he says. “Anytime blood is stagnant for too long, it can form a blood clot that can travel elsewhere in the body. This clot could cause a stroke by blocking a blood vessel in the brain, depriving that part of the brain of the oxygen and nutrients it needs.”

Dr. Russman says atrial fibrillation is the most common acquired heart rhythm disorder in older adults, and its associated risk is strongly related to age. “The older you are, the more at risk you are of acquiring the condition, but also the higher the risk of stroke associated  with the condition,” he says. “It is estimated that up to half of all patients with a heart rhythm condition are not aware of it. However, once diagnosed, atrial fibrillation can be treated with a blood-thinning medication. These do carry some risks, but the benefits far outweigh these in the vast majority of patients.”

  1. Manage cholesterol levels

In addition to reducing high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol through diet, for example, by avoiding saturated fat, individuals might be prescribed statin medications that reduce future risk of heart attacks and strokes. Dr. Russman says these medications, particularly rosuvastatin and atorvastatin, may benefit patients beyond simply reducing cholesterol levels in that they also appear to reduce inflammation and stabilize plaque build-up in blood vessels.

  1. Stop smoking

“Any type of smoking is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and is strongly associated with accelerated hardening of the arteries and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, heart and   elsewhere,” says Dr. Russman. “We therefore strongly recommend everyone completely stop any form of nicotine ingestion to significantly reduce their long-term risk for a multitude of diseases.”

  1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Dr. Russman recommends following an eating plan that is low in saturated fats and sodium, and to avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine consumption. Regular physical activity is also important as it can reduce the risk of stroke directly, but also indirectly as it helps to lower high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help to reduce stress, as can other activities such as meditation or deep breathing, which is important as stress causes the body to release chemicals that can increase blood pressure, affect hormones and raise blood sugar levels, says Dr. Russman.

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Deaths due to HIV/AIDS down 50 percent as World Aids Day marked Dec 1



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


December 5, 2023 – Deaths due to HIV/AIDS have been cut dramatically by fifty percent in the past thirteen years and on December 1, which is the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization called on communities to stand up to reduce the risks even further.  The 2023 theme is “Let Communities Lead” as a testament to the notion, shared by the WHO, that “we can end AIDS with communities leading the way.”

In the past five decades, treatment surrounding AIDS has increased exponentially and stigma is decreasing. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 69% since the peak in 2004 and by 51% since 2010. In 2022, around 630,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, compared to 2.0 million people in 2004 and 1.3 million people in 2010.

“Much more than a celebration of the achievements of communities, it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership role,”  the WHO encourages.

The WHO is now focused on spreading awareness about the status of the pandemic and encouraging progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care around the world.

Locally, among the events planned in the Turks and Caicos Islands is the annual Surf and Turf Horse Racing night on Friday 8th December at Opus Wine Bar and Grill, residents are invited for an evening of food, luck, and chances. All proceeds go towards the Turks and Caicos AIDS Awareness Foundation and Edward Gartland Youth Center.

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Communities lauded for dropping dreary HIV/AIDS statistics, still 9.2 million need help



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

December 5, 2023 – Despite progress gained in treatment over the years, HIV remains a major public health issue. This is pointed out by the World Health Organization (WHO) as we marked World AIDS day on Friday December 1, 2023.

On the day, the WHO and its international partners, recognized the resilience, dedication and innovation displayed by community leaders and organizations in the response to the HIV epidemic.

Today’s world has come a long way regarding the diseases, from the time it was first discovered, and WHO in a release expressed the growth in our response to HIV over those years.

“People living with or affected by HIV have left an indelible mark on the world with their activism,” said Dr. Tedros  Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General.

“The affected communities who fought for tools to prevent, test and treat HIV enabled 30 million people to access antiretroviral therapy, and helped to avert an unknowable number of infections,”  he added.

Additionally, today’s daily pill for HIV management has propelled treatment tenfold as those who stay on their medication, have no virus in their blood, with zero risk of transmission.

However, amid all the accomplishments and coming accomplishments regarding HIV, WHO expounds on its current nature as a public health issue, pointing out that across the globe, 9.2 million people do not have access to the treatment they need.

Also, the release mentions that every day about 1,700 people die from HIV-related causes and a massive 3,500 infected daily, many not knowing their status or having access to treatment.

Tedros highlights the dedication to end the disease as a threat saying, “We stand together with communities to help end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030,” and with the progress made, despite  current setbacks, this is indicative of hope to reach the 2030 goal.

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