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Migrant Health Back in Operation says Health Ministry



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, August 20, 2022 – Interim upgrades to the Migrant Health Unit are complete and the Unit is ready to go after the moratorium on the health certificates, which the office supplies, expired on August 1st.

The public was informed that the moratorium was placed on the certificates after the Ministry of Health found ‘integrity issues’ with the database holding the certificates earlier this year.

“In an attempt to rectify the [Integrity issues] it caused a lot of issues to back up.  That’s simply because we were trying to ensure that all of the records that are in the database are records that we can rely on,” said E. Jay Saunders, acting Minister of Health in a press conference held on August 8.

The acting minister would not say where the integrity issues originated, offering only that the ministry had been concerned that they could not authenticate every record.

“I wouldn’t want to come here at this point and speculate why they were having integrity issues because otherwise you could be causing people to jump to a conclusion that isn’t the case.”

Dr. Jeremy Myers, Deputy Chief Medical Officer confirmed there had been severe levels of fraudulent certificates being presented across the island especially from Haiti.  The certificates contained discrepancies with names and date of vaccination.

“We’ve seen cards that were not in keeping with any world standards, we can write a book in terms of the discrepancies we’ve seen. It was really bad.” He said, “We don’t have an exact percentage of documents that we were receiving but we did receive quite a number and when we received the applications the information on them in terms of where it was coming from, the doctor who would have signed it and the stamp used was extremely concerning.”

This led to more stringent controls in who can submit certificates to the migrant health unit.  Now there are only two hospitals in Haiti approved for official documents to the Turks and Caicos on direct recommendation from the Haitian consulate.

Saunders said the interim measures were not only meant to curb the high rate of fraud but to make the migrant health experience easier.   Additionally, the unit will only accept medical applications from locally licensed healthcare providers and pre-approved employers in the country of origin.

Unlicensed individuals will no longer be allowed to submit applications on behalf of individuals looking to live or work in the Turks and Caicos.  Employers must now also be pre-approved by the Ministry.

These new layers of controls are however concerning to the public which has suffered extreme wait times.  As TCIG tries to curtail corruption, it continues to create more work for its employees and narrows the ways in which critical national documents can be processed in a timely manner.

Thankfully work permit holders will no longer have to apply every year for a certificate; their health certificate will now carry the same expiration date as their work permits.

The government said they were still having problems with data migration and were working with the digitization unit to fix those.  Myers promised that once the process was complete the government would be able to provide statistics and other relevant information regarding migrant health.

You can find the complete list of updated interim protocols on the Ministry of Health health Facebook page.


Worst COVID case count for China, Supply Chain interrupted and protests erupt over ZERO COVID strategy



By Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer


#China, November 25, 2022 – Mainland China is experiencing record levels of Covid-19 even as the government struggles to enforce some of the strictest Covid-19 protocols in the world.  Upwards of 31 thousand cases were recorded on Wednesday, the highest ever according to the National Health Commission of the PRC.  Mainland China does not include Hong Kong or Taiwan.

An inspection of China’s COVID infections from March 2021 straight to February 2022 would look like an almost completely flat line.  There were no major recorded spikes over the 12 month period and case counts hovered largely under 2000 cases per day.  It took the swift spreading omicron to break that streak sending cases as high as 29 thousand in April.  Now this winter outbreak shot past those numbers.

With less than 6,000 deaths the country has been one of the most successful in the world at keeping its citizens alive but many disagree with the strict and often long lasting lockdowns.

Several cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have tightened COVID restrictions as cases surge.

Violent protests erupted last week in Guangzhou after the city was locked down over less than two thousand Covid-19 cases.  This week protests at an Iphone factory in Zhengzhou erupted once more this time over a pay dispute.

So far officials have not bowed to pressure to lighten the protocols and the economy is suffering, stocks fell steeply on Wednesday.

Supply chain issues have started to rear their heads once more as Apple is already warning that there will be delays in deliveries of their newest Iphone thanks to the Zhengzhou dispute.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: New Feature Added to Tourism Health and Wellness Conference



#Kingston, November 23, 2022 – A trade show will be the added feature at this year’s staging of the Tourism Health and Wellness Conference.

The new segment will showcase health and wellness products and services offered by local businesses.

The conference, being organised by the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), a department of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), takes place on November 24 and 25 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day.

It aims to strengthen connections between the health and wellness industry and other sectors, particularly manufacturing and agriculture. This, while promoting and presenting Jamaica’s distinctive health and wellness tourism products.

Chairman, Health and Wellness Linkages Network, Kyle Mais, told JIS News that the tradeshow kicks off at 11:00 a.m. on the conference’s first day and will remain open for the event’s duration.

“It’s the first stand-alone tradeshow for [the] Health and Wellness [Linkages Network]. We always take part, and there is a section, normally, in the Christmas in July event that we put on, via the TLN. This is an extension of that, but focusing on health and wellness products,” he said.

The trade show floor will feature various businesses, with a focus on skincare products, wellness excursions and tours, nutrition and wellness products, technology, and spas.

Meanwhile, the conference will facilitate presentations and panel discussions covering several thematic areas.

These include global wellness trends and insights, wellness travel experiences; nutrition; medical tourism, the health and wellness tourism value chain, wellness in the community, spas, wellness music, and investing in wellness.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, head the list of slated speakers.

They will be joined by Head, Department of Government, University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Professor Lloyd Waller; recording artiste, Jeffrey “Agent Sasco” Campbell; Caribbean Maritime University President, Professor Andrew Spencer, and Mr. Mais

Persons wishing to attend the conference, which will be held in a hybrid format, are invited to register online for free at

Those who want to watch online, may visit @tefjamaica on Facebook and YouTube.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Dominican Republic gives statement rebuffing report saying hundreds of children were deported without parents



By Deandrea Hamilton



#DominicanRepublic, November 23, 2022 – A UNICEF report to CNN is being rebuffed by the government of the Dominican Republic, after it exposed that hundreds of children were expelled from the country, mainly to Haiti without due consideration and without parents.

It was labelled in the report as a sweeping government push to remove undocumented migrants from the DR, where the United Nations Children’s Agency informed they had some 1,800 unaccompanied children in their care.

The children were delivered, says the November 20 report by Dominican immigration authorities; it’s been happening since the start of the year.

But the General Directorate of Migration of the Dominican Republic affirmed in a government statement on November 22 that, of the more than 150,000 foreigners who have been redirected to their country since 2020, there are no cases of minors who have been separated from their parents.

“At all times and in compliance with the laws of the Dominican Republic and international treaties, all deportations are carried out in total and absolute respect for the dignity of people and their human rights,”  said Venancio Alcántara, general director of Migration, emphasizing that “there are specific procedures when there are minors involved in the process. At all times the minors are with their parents and, when they have not been located, the minors are referred directly to the National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONANI) which is in charge of their care”.

Government in the DR said the clarification from the director general of migration was given after the international news channel CNN stated that “the Dominican Republic this year expelled hundreds of children to Haiti without their families.”

The UNICEF maintains that many of the children arrive without identification and are shipped into Haiti with adults; the child protection arm of the UN questioning how Dominican authorities were able to ascertain the nationality of the children given they lacked the documents.

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