September 9, 2022 – The Caribbean Community is celebrating Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) 2022 under the theme “Our Neighbourhood, Our Health”. In commemoration of the day, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), are calling on the region to “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” around three main themes – Active Societies, a Smoke Free Caribbean and Healthy Schools.
In a statement commemorating the occasion, Dr. Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA noted that, “We take this opportunity, at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, to create a renewed vision and re-commit to the practices and policies that we know support the health and wellbeing of our Caribbean people.”
Built spaces and urban planning laws can significantly impact the level of movement in society and is a crucial element in ensuring a healthier Caribbean.
“The commitment of governments towards the implementation of intersectoral public policies and programs so that all neighbourhoods have basic services, safe public transportation, areas where we can socialise, safe streets, places to walk and green spaces, is so important.” PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne said. “I want to recognize the efforts of many municipalities in the region that are working on making their municipalities healthy, responding to the needs of people, and facilitating strategies that improve the conditions of places where they are born, work, study and have fun,” she added.
Another issue to be addressed during the “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” campaign is the negative impact that cigarettes have on both public health and the environment.
Dr. St John noted that, “Millions of trees are cut down annually to produce the number of cigarettes that the industry demands to maintain profits, while cigarette butts and packaging can contribute to environmental pollution.” She asserted that, “This reimagining of a smoke-free Caribbean, that limits the negative impact of the tobacco industry on our health and our environment is necessary, not just for our own health but for the health of the next generation.”
Sir Trevor Hassell, President, Healthy Caribbean Coalition noted that “Healthy Schools are a cornerstone of our neighbourhoods and a building block of a productive society. A Healthy school is smoke-free, promotes inclusive physical activity and is protected by healthy school policies.” He elaborated, “These policies would limit the sale and marketing of foods full of sugar, fats and salt both in and around schools, while increasing the availability of healthy foods and drinking water.” In keeping with this, the recently launched digital campaign, ‘#ActOnFacts – The Food in Schools Matters’, encourages public and policymaker support for the introduction of policies that puts the health of our children at the centre.
Caribbean Wellness Day
Caribbean Wellness Day is celebrated each year on the second Saturday in September to address the threat posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The day was originally conceived by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and is an integral part of the Port of Spain Declaration where the region united to fight the epidemic of NCDs. The event aims to increase awareness and promote activities to address non-communicable diseases including mental health issues.
The overall theme for Caribbean Wellness Day for the five year-period, 2020-2024 has been, “Power Through Collective Action”. It is this collective power that can be harnessed to affect the much-needed changes that can transform our spaces into enabling environments for a healthier Caribbean people. Collectively, the region has the power to bring the vision of a healthier Caribbean to life – one person, one neighbourhood, one nation at a time.
CARPHA, HCC and PAHO invite the public to join the celebration by visiting our social media pages to share your vision of Healthy Spaces. The campaign will feature key facts around the need for change, enable conversation in our communities and encourage our leaders to continue to build on the commitments made in the historic Port of Spain declaration.
Follow the campaign by using the hashtags: #CaribbeanWellnessDay, #CWD2022, #CWDHealthySpaces
South Caicos Development Plans shared with Washington-Misick led Administration
On Monday, 12 February 2024, the Premier led a delegation to tour the island of South Caicos to view the ongoing public and private sector projects, involving the remodelling and rebranding of the airport terminals, historical districts, and the East Bay Hotel.
The tour of the various developments reinforced the Government’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to boost the island’s activity and economy.
Photos courtesy of the TCI Office of the Premier
Ministry of Tourism continues to get rid of dilapidated structures
By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation is continuing to rid areas of derelict and dilapidated structures posing safety problems, and a threat to the overall tourism product.
In this vein the recent structure to be demolished was the Gaming Board building owned by the Hotel Corporation. Located adjacent to Goodman’s Bay Beach on West Bay Street, it was formerly the Sir Harry Oakes property; the northern portion once housed Bahamas Information Services for several years.
On hand to witness the demolition were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper, and Senator Randy Rolle, Global Consultant, MOTIA.
The demolition started on Monday, February 5, 2024 by Virgo Construction headed by the contractor Terry Delancy.
DPM Cooper explained that the government felt the Gaming Board building should no longer sit there in a derelict manner, and continue to be an eyesore and pose safety concerns.
“Goodman’s Bay will be enhanced as a result of getting rid of this building. It will be more aesthetically pleasing for residents who traverse this area. Women who walk in the mornings in particular through these areas will be pleased to see that this has become a green space, rather than a derelict structure,” he said.
DPM Cooper also noted that his ministry consulted broadly with the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC), and other historians before proceeding with demolition.
“We are sure not to take any actions as it relates to buildings, without consultation. So they were very comfortable with the process and we continue to work closely with them on all of the buildings that we have demolished in the downtown area,” he said.
Ms. Camilla Lightbourne joins Experience Turks and Caicos team
Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Ms. Camilla Lightbourne to the post of Executive Assistant to the CEO effective February 06th, 2024.
Ms. Lightbourne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree a DeVry University in Florida and previously worked as an Import Logistics Associate at Graceway Trading Ltd. and a Business Account Executive at Digicel.
In welcoming Ms. Lightbourne to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said Ms. Lightbourne’s appointment underscores the growth of the organisation.
“Experience Turks and Caicos is growing as we fill out key positions and responsibilities in the organization. As such, it has become necessary to bolster the CEO’s office by adding an Executive Assistant to work with the CEO on the effective administration of the day-to-day tasks. I look forward to working with Ms. Lightbourne in this regard,” she said.
Ms. Lightbourne said she is pleased to be part of the Experience Turks and Caicos team.
“I am elated to join such a dynamic organisation. I am looking forward to making my mark in the future development of our country’s tourism product,” she said.
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