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Find out if your Kidneys are Healthy at Free Screening Clinic TODAY

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By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 6, 2023 – The absence of health check-ups has led to a high instance of KIDNEY DISEASE in the Turks and Caicos Islands, now the Ministry of Health in partnership with the TCI Hospitals is running an intervention program aimed at getting residents ‘in the know’ about the health of their kidneys.

Ahead of World Kidney Day, which is on Thursday March 9 residents of the Turks and Caicos are being encouraged to check up on their kidneys for earlier detection of damage or risk.

Because the statistics are so alarming, the TCI Hospitals in collaboration with the TCI Ministry of Health and Human Services will host a free kidney disease prevention drive in Providenciales, today Tuesday, March 7th where you can get your kidneys screened free by doctors at the government’s Mobile Clinic.  The program opens from 10 am to 2 pm in Butterfield Square in down town, Providenciales.

In Turks and Caicos, there is cause for concern when it comes to kidneys.  The organs which are responsible for:  removing waste products from our bodies; removing drugs from our bodies; balancing our body’s fluids; releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure; producing vitamin D which promotes strong, healthy bones and the kidneys manage the production of red blood cells.

“Up to 50% of persons starting dialysis were not previously being monitored by a Nephrologist.  It is therefore important that high-risk individuals check their kidney function on a regular basis. High-risk persons include those with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and those with kidney disease in their families,” said Vancelee Forbes, Nephrologist (Kidney Specialist) at the TCI Hospitals.

Dr. Forbes revealed that there are currently 60 individuals with renal failure receiving dialysis across both sites at Cheshire Hall Medical in Providenciales and Cockburn Town, Medical in Grand Turk.  However, it is the nearly 300 other residents who were unaware of chronic kidney disease which raised red flags; only detected when these hundreds sought care at clinics across the country.

Renal failure means the kidneys cannot clean the blood on their own any longer and affected individuals require hours of dialysis weekly to stay alive. Chronic kidney disease which has very few symptoms until it is in the late stages can cause this. It can occur over months or years with early detection increasing patients’ survival chances.

Dr. Forbes shared with Magnetic Media the workings of their Hemodialysis Unit.

“Persons requiring dialysis are managed in dialysis clinics. Services include hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. These persons require a living donor.” The doctor said, “Additional support services include access to a dietician, physiotherapy as needed, psychology and psychiatry services as needed.”

And locally, transplant surgeries are not possible but donors are welcomed.  Dr. Forbes said a UK overseas territory programme allows for the procedure.

“A TCI resident received a kidney from a relative via the programme. Currently, we need healthy people who are willing to donate one of their kidneys,” the specialist implored.

Patients with chronic kidney disease who are not on dialysis are treated in the Renal and Internal Medicine clinics but, for the TCI Hospitals, the aim is to catch these issues early before  they balloon into complete renal system failure.

These partners in health agree that the Free Clinic is a good first step.  Adults, that is residents over the age of 18, can access the screening today beginning at 10 a.m.

Caribbean News

PAHO Calls Americas to Increase Aedes aegypti Mosquito Control

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#PAHO#Dengue#Americas, February 23rd, 2024 – With nearly seven thousand cases of dengue and 102 deaths reported in the Americas as of early February 2024, the Pan American Health Organization is once again calling for stronger measures to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main transmitter of dengue. These numbers indicate a 157 percent increase in cases over the same period in 2023.  In the first five weeks of 2024, Peru, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay reported an increase in cases.

 

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Government

Ministry of Health and Human Services in Collaboration with UK Health Security Agency conducts Migrant Health needs Assessment  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – The Ministry of Health and Human Services has partnered with a team from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) Public Health Programme to conduct a health needs assessment for communities in informal settlements throughout the TCI.  This project was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and has taken place through a series of consultations and meetings in order to assess health needs and propose recommendations to address gaps in access to health care.

A steering committee supported the preliminary discussions on developing the scope and direction for the assessment and included representation from the TCI from Dr. Dawn O’Sullivan, Dr. Camelia Clarke (Director, Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit), Mrs. Aldora Robinson (Former Director, Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit) and Dr. Nadia Astwood (Chief Medical Officer).

This project culminated in an in-country visit by a team which included: Annabel Grieve (Programme Management Lead), Dr. Amoolya Vusirikala (Public Health Registrar) and Allegra Chatterjee (Epidemiologist) with earlier support provided by Dr. Natalie Wright, Health Protection Lead and Consultant in Global Public Health with the UK Overseas Territories, Global Operations. The visit, which began on January 21st 2024 and concluded this week, saw a number of in-person consultations with key stakeholders across sectors, as well as community focus groups conducted in Providenciales and Grand Turk.

Following the visit, the team paid a courtesy call to the Hon. Minister of Health and Human Services, Shaun D Malcolm and the Executive Team from the Ministry of Health and Human Services, to provide a high level debrief and presentation of the preliminary findings of the assessment. Following further analysis of the findings of the visit, a final report will be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Human Services which will provide a number of conclusions as well as evidence-based recommendations for consideration by the Government.

Commenting on the visit, Hon. Shaun D Malcolm stated that “we welcome this support from UKHSA and FCDO with whom the Ministry of Health has enjoyed a close working relationship and technical support over the years, to formally assess the health needs of this population in order to ensure that the overall health of our population can be addressed in a holistic manner to ensure that universal access to health care is addressed.”

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Caribbean News

Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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