By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, March 22, 2022 – Three months before the start of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the Department of Disaster and Emergencies in the TCI has launched its new mobile app called DDME Alert and you can find it on both the Android and the Apple platforms.
At a ceremony held Friday at the Shore Club and attended by Governor Nigel Dakin; Deputy Governor Anya Williams; Minister of Immigration and Border Services Arlington Musgrove; Opposition member Alvin Garland and several other members of government and the Royal TCI Police Force, the striking mobile application was launched.
The UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office had announced it would support the development of an app for the DDME, now the tool is here and provides real time hazard information, weather updates and access to emergency services to islanders.
Minister with responsibility for Disaster Management and Emergencies is Arlington Musgrove, at the launch on Friday afternoon he expressed being impressed but not surprised.
“You know, when I met Team DDME, they wasted no time in telling me they are a force to be reckoned with. They said they are very small, but they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Not only in TCI, but in the whole region.
This app is a good thing and I really want to encourage every turks and Caicos islander, residents and visitors alike to please download this app.
This is very important, especially in disaster, not only in hurricane, but there could be airplane crashing, fires – this app will be able to tell you things like where flooding is.
I want to thank DDME for bringing this app to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. I applaud you,” said Minister Musgrove.
An ‘IM OKAY’ feature to let friends and family know your status in the event of a disaster is another vital feature. A ‘friend walk’ feature allows one to share location with a friend and allows one to be tracked; both are designed to prove useful when communications are limited.
TCI remembers in 2017, when back to back hits of Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed over 70 per cent of buildings and cut off vital communication. These days earthquakes, tsunamis and man-made catastrophes are all equally as possible.
When the Governor spoke, he too acknowledged the hard working DDME team, particularly Joanna Wilson-Forbes and Mark Wilkinson, who he said not only have ideas but have been able to deliver on them.
“It’s intimidating being a small island state in the hurricane belt but there are two amazing things that now give us an edge, perhaps we did not want them to give us an edge. But the first is because we have had three category five hurricanes in 13-14 years, we’ve got an extremely experienced Government – by which I mean public service and ministers who’ve done this before and will do it well again and a really experienced public as well, who have been through it.
If you’ve got that type of experienced public, the best thing you can do, is give them the very best information so they can make really smart decisions and that is exactly what your application is doing, thank you for that.”
Governor Dakin, who is co-chair (along with the Premier) of the National Emergency Operation Center, NEOC, which is mobilized in the event of any kind of disaster, said the DDME App also gives leaders great information.
The Governor, Nigel Dakin issued a challenged. For everyone at the launch to get 10 individuals to download the app, asking those individuals to repeat the process for there to be maximum access to the information contained in the hub.
You can download the DDME app at DDME alert in the App Store or on Google play.
Misick announces Longer terms in Office, Bi-Partisan Constitutional Changes
#TurksandCaicos, February 19, 2024 – Magnetic Media SOTS23 COVERAGE: Premier WASHINGTON MISICK announced that there is bi-partisan agreement on the CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES which the people of the Turks and Caicos can expect including a FIVE YEAR term for the elected Government.
The House of Assembly will finally leave the HJ Robinson High Auditorium to return home at the NJS Francis building and when it does, it will be called a PARLIAMENT with only ELECTED MEMBERS; (as reported) ending the four year term and ending the APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS for a truly democratic composition of the house of representatives.
The State of the State Address, a creation of the Progressive National Party Administration, was carried live from Yellow Man and Sons Auditorium in Grand Turk, tonight February 19 which is also the three-year anniversary of the Misick-led government.
#TCIPremier #WashingtonMisick #SOTS2023 #TurksandCaicosParliament #tcinews
How to protect against HIV
#TurksandCaicos, February 15, 2024 – HIV/AIDS has killed more than 40 million people globally since it first appeared in the human population in 1959 according to the World Health Organization WHO and even though there are effective treatments there is no cure making prevention practices a top priority for vulnerable groups.
In recent months claims have emerged of rising cases locally creating concern in some Turks and Caicos residents. The Ministry of Health has remained silent on the issue and has not published relevant statistics despite repeated queries from Magnetic Media.
Given the continued presence of the virus, individuals are still at risk from infection. In fact the WHO says in 2022, when 630,000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.3 million people acquired HIV.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus behind AIDS, the most advanced form of HIV.
The virus spreads through the body fluids of an infected person, including blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. It is not spread by kisses, hugs or sharing food.
With this in mind there are several steps that residents can take to protect themselves including
- Using condoms during sex
- Limiting sexual partners
- Being tested regularly
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- Using personal protective gear when dealing with bodily fluids
Vulnerable populations can be administered Pre Exposure Prophylaxis which work to prevent infection and Post Exposure Prophylaxis which can prevent the virus from taking hold.
An HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. In 2024 HIV can be treated and prevented with antiretroviral therapy (ART). These drugs strengthen the immune system which HIV weakens significantly.
Still the WHO encourages residents to take preventative action.
CARPHA: Take Action to Avoid the Harmful Effects of Saharan Dust
February 16, 2024 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging persons to protect themselves against adverse health effects of a Saharan dust plume, which has covered many parts of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in a Dust Bulletin dated February 9th, 2024 stated, “it is highly likely that particulate matter levels will be above the 24-hour outdoor air quality guidelines” as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA, explained “Saharan dust worsens air quality and increases the levels of particulate matter in the air. This can be hazardous, especially to small children, older adults and people with underlying lung conditions and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases”. Dr St John added, “Saharan dust can also worsen the health symptoms of those who suffer from asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”.
In light of the poor air quality levels, CARPHA is encouraging persons to take steps to avoid the harmful effects of Saharan dust. These include:
- Stay indoors as much as possible and when outdoors, wear a dust mask (eg. KN95)
- Utilise a HEPA filter indoors to purify air in individual rooms
- Persons who use medications for pulmonary conditions should carry them at all times and use as prescribed
- At the first sign of difficulty while breathing, seek professional medical advice immediately
- For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays may alleviate symptoms
For more information, please see excerpts from the attached CIMH Dust Bulletin.
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