#TurksandCaicos, March 1, 2023 – The Ministry of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the UK Health Security Agency, conducted a two day “Respiratory Protection Programme, Training of Trainers for mask fit testing” workshop, for twelve (12) health care professionals from both the public and private sector. This event was held at the Atrium Resort, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 26 – 27 January, 2023.
The objectives of the training workshop were to:
- Build Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) capacity within the TCI by conducting a training programme for Infection Preventionist and Occupational Health staff in line with international safety standards.
- Train health care and other front line workers to be able to undertake fit testing of respirator masks and to be confident to cascade training to other staff members where needed.
- Increase knowledge and training capacity around respiratory hazard identification, the controls that can be implemented and the safe use of personal respiratory equipment including donning and doffing (putting on and taking off), alternative respirators, maintenance and decontamination.
- Introduce the Respiratory Protection Programme Manual for use in healthcare settings.
- Provide the tools and knowledge to develop and implement a local Respiratory Protection Programme.
The COVID-19 pandemic has played a major role in heightening our awareness of the risk of respiratory diseases and the effects of these diseases on our health, economy and society. It has provided the opportunity for the health care sector to strengthen their Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Programmes in order to avert or control the introduction of other infectious diseases which can become a public health emergency. As a country, our health work force is small, it is therefore of paramount importance that we employ all means necessary to ensure the safety of our health professionals and population at large. It is against this background that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in collaboration with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are supporting the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to strengthen the implementation of its IPC program.
PAHO in their concept note stated that “In order to effectively prevent disease transmission via the airborne and droplet route of spread, healthcare facilities require the capacity to understand and implement the key elements of a respiratory protection program, including the necessary infrastructure, human and material resources that support the program, along with the appropriate guidance on how best to implement the program successfully.”
In order to build an effective and sustainable respiratory protection program, it is critical that the proper respiratory protection equipment is selected in the right quantities and proper guidance on technical standards is developed and adhered to. Fit testing procedures and protocols for training healthcare workers in their use, how to introduce them into health facilities and finally, how to monitor their implementation and use should be developed and implemented within all health care facilities.
Mrs. Jackurlyn Sutton, Chief Nursing Officer, Ministry of Health and Human Services and the National IPC Focal Point stated that “this training of trainers workshop is one of many initiatives supported by PAHO. The participants are now equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to build capacity by training other colleagues in the healthcare system. Previously in 2021, PAHO assisted the TCI by conducting assessments on five (5) of our healthcare facilities in relation to IPC. We had been anticipating this training in mask fit- testing to take place in 2022, however, due to the high demand for fit-testing kits, we had to delay this until this year. We are also grateful to UK Health Agency for supplying the TCI with the kits in order to make this training workshop a reality”.
Our future plans for IPC in the TCI is to plan for and implement the recommendations made during the health facilities assessment; such as the development, sensitization and implementation of our national IPC Policy and conducting of ongoing IPC training and refreshers for health and other front line staff in proper hand washing procedures and “donning and doffing” of personal protective equipment (PPE). This is to ensure that health care and other frontline personnel, follow the correct procedures when putting on and taking off these PPE’s, a very essential technique to ensure that they are properly protected from the COVID-19 virus and other emerging and re-emerging respiratory infections.
The Ministry of Health and Human Services extends sincere thanks to PAHO Consultants, Mr. Jose Espino, Mrs. Kathryn Johnston, Ms. and to Mrs. Janice Toplass, UK Overseas Territories Programme Global Operations, UKHSA for their commitment to the successful completion of this training initiative.
Photos of Facilitators and Participants engaged in Mask Fit-Test Training
REOPENING OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.
During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.
The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:
Constitution (Amendment) Order;
Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;
Community College (Amendment) Bill;
Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;
Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;
Real Estate Licensing Bill
Immigration Bill; and
Crown Land (Amendment) Bill
The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.
The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed. It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed. This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency. The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.
For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.
Turks and Caicos Islands Government Reminds Residents in the Islands of North, Middle and South Caicos of the Availability of On-Island Customer Services
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – The Customer Services Department, in the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services, herby reminds residents in the islands of North and Middle Caicos, and South Caicos of the availability of its services on those islands.
Persons in North and Middle Caicos applying for work permits, visas, residence permits, homeowners permits, birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates can submit applications at the Immigration Office in North Caicos and conveniently pay for such applications at the Government Treasury, both located at the Paul Higgs Complex, Bottle Creek, North Caicos.
Persons in South Caicos applying for work permits, visas, residence permits and homeowners permits can submit applications to the Immigration Office located in the new Government Complex near Regatta Village and at the District Commissioner’s Office for birth, marriage and death certificates. Services can be paid into the Government Treasury also located in South Caicos.
Unfortunately, applications for naturalisation and permanent residence certificates cannot be submitted on islands other than Grand Turk and Providenciales at this time.
Speaking on the availability of these services in the family islands, the Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams stated: “As a part of our efforts to improve service delivery across the Turks and Caicos Islands, additional recruitment and training has taken place on the islands of North, Middle and South Caicos in order to provide more on-island support to the population of those islands and to ease the burden of persons having to travel to Grand Turk or Providenciales to receive certain services.
The Ministry of Immigration and Border Services is heavily focused on the implementation of our new border management system. This system will give persons the ability to access services from anywhere in the Turks and Caicos Islands and around the world. More updates on this will be issued periodically through press releases and stakeholder engagement.
Meanwhile, our newly appointed Director of Business Transformation is currently performing an in-depth audit of systems and processes across government, to assist in mapping out plans to make necessary changes in government ministries and departments to improve service delivery.
The transformation of service delivery across government is a key objective for the public service in this and future financial years. We recognise where there are gaps and we are working diligently to improve the way we serve the public going forward.”
Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services with responsibility for the Customer Services Department and the elected representative for Electoral District 4: North and Middle Caicos, remarked: “As a government, we have a responsibility to bring our services to the people and to ensure that doing business with the public service is easy, convenient and efficient. There should be no barrier to services for residents who do not reside in the islands of Grand Turk and Providenciales.
The majority of these services have been available in the family islands for quite some time now, but we recently refreshed our training, processes and our engagement in these islands, to ensure that we are serving the people in the most efficient manner.
I am proud of my team’s efforts to improve these services and I am reminding the people of ED 4, as well as South Caicos, that they do not need to travel to Providenciales or Grand Turk just to submit applications or pay receipts, as they can do so conveniently on their home islands.”
The Customer Services Department continues to review all of its processes and procedures in all islands, to ensure that it is meeting its mandate to the public and invites you to participate in its customer satisfaction surveys which are undertaken quarterly.
Avi Adams appointed Director of Department of Tourism Regulation
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Avi Adams to the post of Director of the Department of Tourism Regulation (DTR) within the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs, and the Environment.
Mr. Adams is a native of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, who graduated from the H.J. Robinson High School in 2000. His tertiary education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Bernard M. Baruch College, CUNY, New York, NY, and a Master of Business Administration from Edinburgh University, Edinburg, SC. He also holds several certifications in accounting, finance, and human resources.
Mr. Adams has a proven track record of success in various roles, including ten years as an Accountant/Financial Analyst, ten years in Human Resources and 15 years of management experience. He has also worked in the hospitality industry for the past three years. His previous roles include several at Fortis TCI, including Supervisor of Accounts Payable, Superintendent of Supply Chain Management and the Manager for Human Resources. Mr. Adams also most recently served as the Human Resources Manager at the Shore Club Resort with the Hartling Group.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Adams stated:
“It is incredibly humbling to be chosen to lead the new Tourism Regulatory Department. Only with God have I come this far, and it will only be him that sustains me to continue pushing forward for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.
I am thankful for everyone who has contributed to this new beginning. I am excited to take on this new challenge with the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the Turks and Caicos Islands remain a premier tourist destination. I am confident that my skills and experience will positively impact our work.”
Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, in extending congratulatory remarks to Mr. Adams, stated:
I am pleased to officially announce and congratulate Mr. Avi Adams on his appointment as Director of the Department of Tourism Regulation (DTR) within the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs, and the Environment.
The Department of Tourism Regulations (DTR) has been formally established under the Ministry of Tourism to absorb the functions of the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board Quality Assurance Unit and TIDES Training Unit. The DTR’s mission is to develop and promote a regulatory environment conducive to a dynamic, competitive, and sustainable tourism sector in TCI.
As Director, Mr. Adams is tasked with the DTR’s oversight, coordination, and leadership, which will be responsible for regulating our leading industry. Mr. Adams will also play an integral part in legislative and policy reform that will help shape the success of our tourism product.
Mr. Adams comes to us from the private sector with a vast amount of administrative and leadership experience that will add invaluable support to efforts being made by the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs and the Environment.
This appointment is a pivotal step for the Turks and Caicos Islands as it moves into its new tourism management and regulatory structure.
Congratulations on your new appointment, Mr. Adams and welcome to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service!”
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