By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, December 19, 2022 – Chilling screams echoed through the hall of Bethel Seventh Day Adventist, where the funeral of almost an entire family was held on Sunday (December 18); the grief simply gut wrenching as a father, his toddler son and the boy’s pregnant mother were laid to rest.
The mass funeral practically unheard of in the TCI was held at the Maranatha Academy hall of the church, rekindling the emotions once news of the horrifying event emerged. Shots fired at the unsuspecting family, having no care for the children in the vehicle the murderer or murderers’ riddled it with bullets. Everyone was hit, only a little girl survived.
That heartless attack, on October 31st claimed the lives of pregnant mother, 35-year-old Phenix Gertrude; the father, Videm Caesar, 37; and their 3 year-old son, named after his father, Videm Cesar Junior.
As three stark white caskets sat at the front of the chapel it was an extremely somber affair for the remaining loved ones.
Attending the service was His Excellency Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor. But notably and disappointingly absent was any elected government official.
Deputy premier E. Jay Saunders faced tough questions in late October when he flew to the US and attended the burial of Kent Carter, an American who was killed in the Turks and Caicos. Carter’s last act said to be one of heroism as he threw himself over his girlfriend and saved her life was mirrored by the elder Cesar who threw himself over his son in an attempt to save his life as well.
It’s not clear why none of the officials attended or have yet acknowledged the funeral, the circumstances of which rocked the Turks and Caicos and made international headlines.
As the family tries to find peace, they and residents are also waiting for the contents of the internal review promised regarding the TCI Police response time in the incident which was discovered by residents 12 hours after it occurred.
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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