#TurksandCaicos, April 4, 2022 – To stay on the cutting edge of medicine, from April through August 2022, Interhealth Canada Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital will be transforming parts of its Diagnostic Imaging department by replacing the existing CT and MRI scanners with more advanced units. The MRI scanner will be the first to be replaced. The scanners will be replaced sequentially.
The innovative Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI) scanner will be installed at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre on Providenciales. This newest model of MRI has advanced Artificial Intelligence enabled technology and intuitive features and will be the first unit GE has installed with this software in the Caribbean. This is a significant investment in health services with a capital project that replaces the CT and MRI scanner worth almost $2 million dollars.
The GE SIGNA™ 1.5T MRI is designed to have shorter scanning times, increase the number of patients that can be scanned and maximize the image features and promote an enhanced user experience from both the imaging team and the patients.
The first phase of work is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 4th, 2022 and will commence with creating a pathway in the building that will be used to remove the old MRI and install the new MRI.
MRI appointments will still be conducted during this initial phase. The removal of the existing MRI is scheduled to take place on April 20th, 2022 and the installation and launch of the new MRI takes place in early August if not sooner. After April 20th, 2022, when the MRI service is offline, when clinically indicated, alternative modalities will be used to scan patients. Installing the MRI will mean that construction work will change the patient pathways to our Diagnostic Imaging department and signage will be available to guide patients along with the assistance of our staff. When a patient arrives for their diagnostic imaging or MRI appointment, our patient service associates and front desk staff will provide them with information and direction and help the patient safely navigate in the department.
“The addition of the 1.5T system showcases our commitment to providing advanced imaging services to the community of the Turks and Caicos Islands. We are proud to be one of the first hospitals in the Caribbean to install this new technology and play a part in the development of health care” , C.E.O. InterHealth Canada – TCI. Hospital Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant.
“We have a comprehensive imaging program, a strong imaging and project team dedicated to providing the best patient care possible and executing a well-coordinated, safe and successful project. We are not doing it alone but in partnership and input from our key stakeholders in the Board of Directors of InterHealth Canada, Ministry of Health, National Health Insurance Board, Contract Management Team, Service Review Board and Community Advisory Committee. We will take all reasonable steps to minimize disruptions to services and keep you informed each step of the way. I want to thank our patients and families for their patience as we seek to advance innovative and quality care for everyone. ” added Dr Braithwaite-Tennant, C.E.O. TCI Hospital
“There will be a need for some particularinfrastructure works during the MRIreplacement due to the size and weight capacity of the new machine. There are required building works before and after the new MRI is installed. Once the building works have been completed, the construction team will then be able to start the first phase of work to remove the old MRI machine. Once the old MRI machine is removed, we will be required to refurbish the MRIroom, and this involves us removing the internal walls, floors and ceiling to allow room for the arrival and new MRI. I want to thank our patients for their understanding as we move further to provide a service that is unprecedented in the Turks and Caicos Islands and, by extension, the Caribbean” , Martin Dawtry- General Manager, Facilities Management. The TCI Hospital will provide further communications through press releases, social media updates and video blogs throughout the MRI installation project.
Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring
By Sherrica Thompson
#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.
“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.
Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”
Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.
“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,” Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.
The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.
Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
The Incredible Story of David Avido of Kenya, 24 Year old designing for the Grass Roots to the Stars
By Dana Malcolm
#Africa, February 2, 2023 – One Kenyan designer began a sewing business out of the slums where he was born; now he dresses some of the Caribbean and Africa’s most famous faces.
Born the oldest son of a single mother and from Kibera Nairobi, David Avido Ochieng did not have an easy start. In Kibera, the largest urban slum in East Africa opportunities for international success are hard to come by and yet Avido can now say he has dressed the likes of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Beyoncé, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Ty Dolla Sign, Koffee and many more.
As explained on his website, David dropped out of school to work and support his family quite young. In just first form he was working on a construction site but he knew he wanted more from life. After quitting his job he danced and saved what he could and tried his best to complete his education.
He told Vogue magazine: “When I started dancing I used to save money in order to go back to high school, with the little that I could get from dancing and my mom’s money from doing work as a house help, we were able to raise 15,000 shillings and with that, I joined an adult school and skipped forms two, three and four.”
David picked up a sewing machine to make costumes and realized his talent. By 2015, his brand LookslikeAvido was born. He completed a fashion & design diploma at Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and began to sew incredible pieces right at home in Kibera. Even as his brand is globally recognized, Kibera is where his workshop remains; David says, his homeland is his great inspiration.
“There is no barrier if you believe in your talent and take the next step. I want to encourage and create beauty, where people don’t expect.”
Talented and thoughtful Avido is well aware of the stereotypes surrounding him, his home and the black community globally.
“We know about injustice and violence, prejudice, racial and social discrimination – we experience it within Kenya and we experience it globally, as people look at us as the poor, the uneducated, the needy,” he said.
Featured in Vogue, CNN and other international publications, Avido remains connected to his origins in a tangible way and as his success grows his roots just go deeper. Twenty per cent of all sales of his jackets and other clothing items go directly back to Kibera; his website explains that all the tailoring, product photoshoots and collaborations ‘is all done here in Kibra.’
There is no fabric waste from his garments, instead, scraps are repurposed into masks and shopping bags for residents, all his tailors are local residents, a portion of profits are used to pay school fees and Avido and his team put in extra time to make school uniforms as well.
On his website, is a photo of him sitting around a sewing machine, his worktable resting on hard-packed earth with presumably a group of family and friends surrounding him, a source of pride. The introspective photograph could have been taken in Nairobi, Trinidad or Barbados, so nostalgic is the picture, the bench and the story of community success that it represents.
In a video posted to his YouTube, David sits at his new work desk, and beside him hangs a rack of clothes in the cramped space that serves as his kitchen as well.
“I’m the firstborn of Kibera,” He explains, “Every kid in Kibera is looking up to me— my main dream is to open up a place where I can inspire people to work.”
David has a dozen employees and is listed in Beyonce’s directory of black businesses; with an uncommon wisdom, the designer knows that his successes so far are not parking spaces but rather stepping stones as he faces his future announcing that the journey, for him, continues.
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