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Respiratory Protection Program Training, including ‘Train the Trainers’ for Mask Fit-Testing, Turks and Caicos Islands

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#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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Introduce the Respiratory Protection Programme Manual for use in healthcare settings.
  5. 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.

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is the first English speaking Caribbean country to be trained under this initiative and also to benefit from face-to-face training.

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

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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Conrad Forbes appointed Principal of A. Louise Garland-Thomas High School  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – The Office of the Deputy Governor is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Conrad Forbes as the new Principal of A. Louise Garland-Thomas High School within the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, and Social Services.

Mr. Forbes is a forward-thinking educational leader with a proven record of success. His journey in education began at Florida Atlantic University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2000 and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership in 2003. Additionally, Mr. Forbes is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry at Liberty University.

Mr. Forbes possesses a diverse skill set that includes instructional plan implementation, faculty development, school management, professional and ethical leadership. With over two decades of experience in education, Mr. Forbes has demonstrated his commitment to providing quality education and fostering positive learning environments. Throughout a notable tenure at Broward County Public Schools from 2006 to 2019, Mr. Forbes excelled as an Assistant Principal. He supervised educational programs for a Magnet Montessori Pre-K-8 school, initiated teacher mentor programs, and played a crucial role in curriculum alignment, faculty development, and fostering a cohesive school culture.

Mr. Forbes’s leadership journey continued as an Assistant Principal at Seminole County Public Schools, Bear Lake Elementary in Apopka, Florida, from 2019 to 2021. Here, he managed organizational processes, recruited effective faculty, and improved the learning environment, demonstrating a commitment to quality education.

Mr. Forbes expanded his impact by serving as the Dean of Students in the School Board of Osceola County from 2022 to 2023. Here, he successfully managed school operations, student discipline, and provided training to faculty on classroom management strategies.

Reflecting on his appointment, Mr. Forbes expressed, “It is with great humility and honor that I undertake the position of Principal at A. Louise Garland Thomas High School. With over twenty-three years of experience as an educator and administrator, I hold a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership. I have worked in both primary and secondary levels and in culturally diverse communities.

As an educator, I have always been committed to promoting a conducive environment that encourages student achievement. My family’s native land is the Turks and Caicos Islands, and I am eager to make a positive impact on my community. In my experience, building robust relationships with the school’s stakeholders such as staff, students, parents, and partners is a critical component of high-performing schools. Therefore, I intend to continue the proud traditions of A. Louise Garland Thomas High School by upholding established relationships and creating new ones.”

Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, congratulated Mr. Conrad Forbes on his appointment, stating: “It is a pleasure to welcome Mr. Conrad Forbes to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service as the new Principal of the A. Louise Garland-Thomas High School within the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, and Social Services.

Mr. Forbes brings along with him a wealth of experience from the education sector in United Stated as well as experience from his work with young men through various programs. We know that his presence at the high school will provide great value to the continued work of the school, and he will lead the charge to continue to strengthen the quality of education and learning at the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School.”

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Aniquia Musgrove appointed as Medical Records Manager  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – The Office of the Deputy Governor is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Aniquia Musgrove as the Medical Records Manager within the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

In 2018, Ms. Musgrove seized the opportunity to pursue higher education at Florida Technical College, where she successfully graduated with a Medical Assistant Associate degree. Undeterred in her quest for knowledge, she continued her educational journey at the same esteemed institution, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Allied Health Management in 2019.

Armed with these qualifications, Ms. Musgrove gained comprehensive insights into various aspects of the health field, preparing her to perform proficiently in diverse departments. Her dedication led her to Holy Cross Medical Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she assumed the role of Supervisor for medical assistants in 2019. During her four-year tenure, she actively engaged in all facets of clinic operations, ranging from front office duties to back office responsibilities and direct patient assistance.

Grateful for the enriching experience at Holy Cross, Ms. Musgrove’s skills and expertise were further honed, preparing her for her current role as the Medical Records Manager. In her new capacity, Ms. Musgrove brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience, promising to contribute significantly to the Ministry’s health initiatives. Her commitment to healthcare excellence and her diverse skill set make her a valuable addition to the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

Ms. Aniquia Musgrove expressed her gratitude and enthusiasm, stating: “Accepting this appointment to return home and work in the medical field is indeed a privilege. It is an opportunity that allows me to give back to the country that helped mold me into the individual I am today. Lastly, I am sure that my late grandmother, Marjorie Clare, would be proud of me, knowing that I am walking in the path that she has laid.” Ms. Musgrove’s heartfelt sentiments reflect her commitment to making a meaningful impact on her community and honoring the legacy of those who have influenced her journey.

Commenting on the appointment of Ms. Aniquia Musgrove as the Medical RecordsManager, Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service expressed her congratulations, stating: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ms. Aniquia Musgrove to the role of Medical Records Manager within the Ministry of Health and Human Services and welcome her to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service.

Her experience and dedication to the medical field make her a valuable addition to our team. We look forward to her contributions in enhancing healthcare services for our community and wish her a most productive and rewarding public service career.

Congratulations, Ms. Musgrove, on your well-deserved appointment.”

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