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National Health Sector Strategic Plan Consultation Exercise Commences in TCI

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#TurksandCaicos, October 26, 2021 – The Ministry of Health and Human Services along with its wider stakeholders on Monday, October 18, commenced a 3-day consultation and think tank exercise aimed at formulating a 4-year National Strategic Health Plan for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This plan is expected to ensure that all residents have access to sustainable, comprehensive, high quality and affordable health services and programmes.

TCI Minister of Health and Human Services, the Honourable Jamell Robinson in his welcome remarks, commenced with thanks to the assembled team for both their presence and support in what he described as a multisector initiative targeted at developing a national health sector strategic plan.

Hon Robinson said, “I look forward to seeing this type of support continue throughout the entire process as we focus on achieving one common goal. If we are to succeed, it will be together, as a network of partners recognizing that each sector of society has a role to play in influencing population health.”

Hon. Robinson went on to state his and his government’s commitment to the attainment of the sustainable development goals and universal health care through collaboration, a resetting of health strategies and programming which will undoubtedly strengthen our health system. The Health Minister said, “The next four years will offer us significant challenges, but there has never been a greater opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of the TCI residents than now. There must be that renewed commitment to tackle the wider determinants of health by adopting the Health in All Policies (HiAPs) approach across all sectors. We have the opportunity to make improving the public’s health a top priority by strengthening the collaborative approach between stakeholders to better use resources and information in order to build a more resilient health system.”

Also addressing the group comprising Ministry of Health personnel, wider government partners, stakeholders, NGO’s and private health care facilities was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Human Services, Mrs. Desiree Lewis. Mrs. Lewis said that her aim is to see the production of a continuously edited and updated dynamic paper, which she referred to as a living document. She also commented, “It is my desire to have a living document that provides a strategic roadmap for HealthCare services within the Turks and Caicos that incorporates lessons learned particularly from Public Health diseases such as COVID-19. As a country, we have to continue to think outside the box and utilize modern technologies in HealthCare.”

TCI’s strategic planning exercise is being supported by its key regional partner the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Office. The PAHO/WHO representative (PWR) Dr. Eldonna Boisson commented on the exercise stating, “The National Turks and Caicos Islands Strategic Plan for Health is essential to give direction to all health-related work, that of the health sector, as well as that of other sectors and partners. This COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of partnership and a whole of government approach to tackling health and health-related issues. This plan will specify the public health results to be achieved during the period of the plan, The plan will also define concrete health outputs and outcomes, keeping in mind national, regional and global commitments, that will directly measure the health sector’s progress in delivering quality healthcare to the people of Turks and Caicos Islands. The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is pleased to be collaborating with the Ministry and partners on the development of this new national strategic plan.”

Hon. Robinson recognised the many past accomplishments made in the health sector which he attributed to the shaping of government’s primary objectives as well as the health sector. Minister of Health Robinson in closing said, “This plan once finalised must align with the overall strategic direction of the government and respond to the challenges facing our health and community service systems and our residents. Our health system is extremely important and must realise the health development of the individual, the family and the society throughout our beloved Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The Ministry wishes to thank all of the participants for their commitment and support in this exercise as well as PAHO for their ongoing support and guidance.

 

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Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!

 

November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”

 

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Health

Dental Digits; Health Minister gives Update on Great Shape Inc & Sandals Foundation partnership

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2021 – Minister of Health and Human Services, Honorable Jamell Robinson, announced in the House of Assembly on Monday November 22 that three thousand six hundred and sixty-eight persons in Providenciales benefited from the 1000 Smiles Dental Clinic’s two weeks project.

The programme, which was started on October 15, by Great Shape! Inc., a non-profit based in the United States and facilitated by the Sandals Foundation Beaches Resorts, provided free dental care and education to citizens.

Minister Robinson said the project was valued at $1,1400,701, and 5,431procedures were provided. These included cleanings, extractions, sealants, and fluorides that involved three dentures and 18 root canals.

He said that 103 volunteers, including 45 dentists and hygienists, visited and worked with the Department of Dental Staff.

The Oral Health Education team visited most schools in Providenciales, where 400 children were impacted. The team provided interactive sessions and lessons on nutrition, home care prevention and professional dental care. Most children were also given a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste.

Minister Robinson thanked Joseph Wright and the volunteers for the visit that he described as impactful and said he looks forward to similar partnerships in the future.

 

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Health

US Deaths to COVID higher, Dr. Fauci floundering on Fully Vaccinated definition

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#UnitedStatesofAmerica, November 24, 2021 – Vaccine manufacturers are predicting that booster shots for Covid 19 will be needed every six months for years to come, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, US infectious disease expert and advisor to the president has gone on record with the hope that this will not be the case.  But anytime Dr. Fauci says he hopes something won’t happen in relation to the vaccines… it always certainly does.

“We’ll continue to follow the data, because right now when we’re boosting people, what we’re doing is following them,” Fauci said. “We’re going to see what the durability of that protection is, and as we always do, you just follow and let the data guide your policy and let the data guide your recommendations.”

The vaccine is not working to keep Covid-19 deaths lower; more Americans have died in 2021 due to Covid 19, than in 2020.  CDC data says 14,700 more people have died in 2021 than last year due to COVID-19 — and there’s still more than a month left in the year for that number to grow.

Overall, the US has lost 770,000 people to the coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci is also floundering on the definition of fully vaccinated; saying people who have taken the third shot are being monitored to see how long efficacy holds up; he simply does not know if it will wear off again in six months.

“…fully vaccinated right now, by definition, is the original two doses… of the Pfizer and Moderna and a single dose of J and J.”

Media reports indicate there are plans to redefine fully vaccinated as having received three shots, evidence however could prove that in six months, the inoculated are back to square one.

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