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Ministry of Health Opens Mental Care’s Center for Hope



By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff


#TurksandCaicos, December 9, 2022 – For the first time in history The Turks and Caicos islands has a designated mental health facility and Dr. Alicia Malcolm, director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence has the keys to prove it.

The all new Center of Hope opened with flair on Thursday December 8.

For now the Health Ministry says the facility can accommodate a maximum of 30 individuals and is ‘specifically designed for persons with mental health or substance use disorders that require:  residential treatment services, community mental health step down services or forensic mental health services.’

It is expected this new facility will be the conduit linking support agencies of Government and offering expert care to families in the Turks and Caicos Islands, who are coping and often overwhelmed by the toll of mental health issues.

The tragic death of Garrick Tucker, as a rare but heartbreaking example comes to mind with a realization like this one.  Tucker, who struggled with mental instability and whose mother had pleaded desperately for help online mere hours before her son would die in a car crash, fueled calls for a space for the mentally challenged.

“The primary objective of the facility is to provide treatment, psychosocial rehabilitation, and links to support networks and other services.  Additionally, the facility will provide person-centered, recovery and rights-based approaches in mental health by upholding key principles that are important in the delivery of mental health services,” explained the ministry in a statement.

The Center of Hope was labored over by both PNP and PDM administrations and dates back to 2016.   Former health minister, Jamell Robinson had announced delivery of the center by the end of 2022 and on Thursday it finally opened.

The opening could also signal the a return home of  some of the country’s mental health patients living overseas, ushering in an era where specialized care could be delivered nearer to loved ones.

In the case of Garrick Tucker, it was explained that procedure and placement were issues in the case, but also professionals.

It is less clear who will staff the site as TCIG continues to struggle with severe staff shortages compounded by a globally competitive environment for qualified individuals in the field of medicine and education.

Nonetheless, Center for Hope’s opening is a milestone in health for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The event was attended by Anya Williams, Acting Governor; Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health and Human Services and stakeholders from the TCI Hospitals, Police Department, the Judiciary and Social Development.

Caribbean News

Women’s Health Connectivity and health a study for TCI’S benefit



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – As the country moves toward new fiber optic connectivity, bridging the digital divide could be a game changer for healthcare and other family-friendly services in the TCI. 

The power of universal digital connectivity across countries was one of the recurring themes when the United Nations in partnership with the Network of Afro Caribbean Women and the Diaspora recently explored how technology, innovation and education are being used to address women’s health issues. 

The session aimed to highlight success stories and  explore how those processes can be replicated to help women and girls globally including in The Turks and Caicos.  

The UN explained that despite holding a 70 percent majority in healthcare jobs, women are poorly represented in leadership roles and subject to systemic gender inequalities that can make receiving healthcare challenging.

As delegates from Chile and Rwanda, who were also partners in the session, shared the upgrades to their countries’ systems that had significantly improved the level of care available to their women, digital connectivity was a deciding factor.

In Rwanda the health ministries have begun to use drones to deliver medicine, SMS messages to alert about health threats and a completely digitized health care that eliminates paper documents for pregnant women and makes records accessible to any doctor,  immediately. 

Rwandan delegate, Rose Rwabuhihi shared tips that countries should keep in mind when trying to implement new processes to benefit women and the wider community.

  • Partnership and sustainability are key factors to successful programs. She urged governments not to give up on projects or allow their partners to give up on them halfway.
  • Education campaigns to introduce residents to the technology: “We need to build skills and deepen the knowledge so they can use the innovations that have been put in place especially in rural areas.

Poor connectivity and technological issues have plagued the TCI for years especially in the islands outside of Providenciales.  Government has substantially acknowledged this disparity in communications services and is investing in a new undersea cable to augment services in the Turks and Caicos.

The UNs perspectives can now ignite a fire for even more family friendly, digital services.

In fact,Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, the Chilean Delegate explained how connectivity and videoconferencing had been used to reach the county’s women in the most rural of areas. Chile is a long country, its landmass spread lengthwise creating unique communication challenges. While healthcare in Chile is separated by length the Turks and Caicos islands are disconnected by the ocean and solutions that prove useful for the South American country could well be worth implementing  locally. 

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A short look at Celery  



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer     



March 17, 2023 – Celery is a great food for people trying to lose weight or just put healthy meals on the table. It’s mostly made up of water and with only ten calories per stalk, you can add it into juices, salads, stir frys and more, without worrying about large amounts of sugar.  

There are other health benefits as well. Healthline says it is rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation, supports digestion and it can help with heartburn from spicy foods! 

TCI farmers have hopped onto the celery train and the nutritious vegetable will be available to purchase, in a debut for celery, at the Farmers Market this Saturday March 18th from 8:30 am to 1pm.  

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Caribbean News

WHO Ranks Air Quality, Grenada ranks high others not measured 



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer  



 March 17, 2023 – A new air quality report from IQAir claims only six countries met the World Health Organization’s Guidelines on Air quality in 2022, Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland and New Zealand but the Northern Caribbean was almost totally excluded from the list.  

There were no results for The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Haiti or Cayman. The blame for that though may lie with the countries themselves.  IQAir said there were major gaps in government-operated regulatory instrumentation in many parts of the world. The organization revealed that it was citizens who were picking up the slack. 

“Low-cost air quality monitors sponsored and hosted by citizen scientists, researchers, community advocates, and local organizations, have proven to be a valuable tool to reduce the massive inequalities in air monitoring networks across the world, until sustainable regulatory air quality monitoring networks can be established,” it said.  

It may be time for more Northern Caribbean Governments to look into outfitting their countries with air monitoring devices for the health of their residents. 

The Caribbean countries including Trinidad, Barbados, the US Virgin Islands etc, that did make the list, ranked very low in the pollution index with air quality just outside the WHO standards and much better than most major cities, except Grenada, which ranked in the bottom six which for this list means best in class.  

The WHO measures air quality based on how much fine particulate matter and other basic pollutants are in the air.  

Aidan Farrow, Air Quality Scientist at Greenpeace International said, “Too many people around the world don’t know that they are breathing polluted air.  Air pollution monitors provide hard data that can inspire communities to demand change and hold polluters to account, but when monitoring is patchy or unequal, vulnerable communities can be left with no data to act on.”  

The report is now encouraging citizens to take air pollution into their own hands and not wait for their Governments to attack the issue.  

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