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World Kidney Day marked in TCI with Kidney Screening Day

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By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm
Editorial Staff

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 9, 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 were invited 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 opened from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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.

Government

FINALISATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM PROPOSALS

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Turks and Caicos

 

  1. Today Her Excellency the Governor convened a meeting with the Honourable Premier, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Attorney General, Sir Jeffrey Jowell KC and the FCDO’s Deputy Director Adam Pile to finalise the package of constitutional reform so it may be submitted to the Privy Council in July. Also in attendance was Her Excellency the Deputy Governor.
  2. The bipartisan constitutional talks with the UK Government in Grand Turk (October 2023) agreed to move to a fully elected House of Assembly*, with four additional elected members replacing the members appointed by the Governor, Premier and Leader of the Opposition. In the wider package of constitutional reform, all other major issues have been agreed in further meetings and correspondence, bar the timing of a transition to a fully elected House of Assembly*.

Scope of work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission

  1. The Electoral District Boundary Commission was stood up in February to review in the first instance the boundaries of the electoral districts into which the islands are divided in line with s.61 of the Constitution. The Governor, in line with the agreement of the UK Government, has asked that they then assess options for the composition of the four additional elected seats. This work will need to be put out to public consultation and submitted to the House of Assembly, after which further work will be required to implement the approved changes.
  2. In order to deliver constitutional reform for the Turks and Caicos Islands this summer, the agreed package of reforms now need to be submitted to the UK Government so it may be made by His Majesty The King in the Privy Council in July.

Transition to an all-elected House of Assembly*

  1. Given this timing, it was noted that there are two options for the transition to an all-elected House of Assembly*:
  1. A transitionary phase that provides for an all-elected House of Assembly* at the forthcoming election with four additional ‘all island’ candidates for the next term, following which the further work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform the composition of the four additional seats going forward; or
  2. Retain the status quo of four appointed members at the forthcoming election and wait to move to an all-elected House* until the subsequent election, following the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission which will inform the composition of the four additional seats.
  1. Agreement was not reached at the meeting on which option to pursue.
  1. The Honourable Premier continues in his view that the transition to an all-elected House* should take place at the forthcoming election with the four additional elected seats contested on an ‘all island’ basis. This would be a transitionary phase, until the subsequent election where the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform what additional constituencies may be implemented.
  2. The Honourable Leader of the Opposition has confirmed his view that the transition to an all-elected House of Assembly* should not take place at the forthcoming election, that the status quo should be retained with four appointed members; and the move to an all-elected House of Assembly should only take place at the subsequent election, where the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform what additional constituencies may be implemented.
  1. In light of the need to provide a clear position to the UK Government, a motion will be tabled for debate in the House of Assembly to allow a full debate on when a fully elected legislature should be introduced.
  • other than the Attorney General

 

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Government

Government Prepares to roll out Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) for Senior Citizens

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#TurksandCaicos, May 31, 2024 – The Office of the Premier and Public Policy and the Ministry of Finance, Investment and Trade wants to advise the general public that plans for the Financial Assistance Programme (FAP), aimed at supporting the elderly population within our society are underway. $3.1 million in funding was approved in the current Budget Year 2024/2025

The Financial Assistance Programme, a cornerstone initiative of the Government, is a commitment to augment the social welfare of the aged in the TCI.   It is being carefully crafted to support elderly citizens who may be facing financial hardships.

The Government is fully committed to ensuring the smooth implementation of the Financial Assistance Programme as promised; and to meet the originally proposed deadline for payment of the benefit in July 2024 posed for eligible individuals.  The payment, when distributed will be retroactive to 1 April 2024.

The Government reaffirms its dedication to fostering a society that cares for its elderly population and provides them with the assistance and resources necessary to build stronger communities where everyone can not only survive but thrive.

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Government

TCI GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – Ms. Patricia Arana has been sworn in on13 May 2024 as Resident Magistrate, Grand Turk.  She first joined the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands as Registrar of the Magistrate’s Court in April 2022.

Prior to taking up the position of Registrar of the Magistrate’s Court, she was the Deputy Registrar General at the Supreme Court of her native Belize in Belize City. She started her judicial career as a Magistrate in 2010 and was promoted to the position of Senior Magistrate in 2015. As Senior Magistrate, she worked in several districts in Belize, and acted as Chief Magistrate on several occasions.  She was also within that period, seconded for two years as Legal Counsel to the Financial Intelligence Unit of Belize.

Ms. Arana is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) Degree, and a graduate of the Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica, where she obtained her Legal Education Certificate. There she distinguished herself when she received the H.H. Dunn Memorial Prize for Legal Drafting and Interpretation.

Regionally, Ms. Arana currently serves as an Executive Member of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) on behalf of the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands. She is also an active member of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges (CAWJ), and the National Garifuna Council (NGC) Orange Walk Branch.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, Ms. Arana has since her appointment in 2022, served in various capacities: ADR Administrator and lately a member of the Mediation Committee, a member of the Breach Process Rules Committee, Justice of the Peace Vetting Panel, Justice of the Peace Disciplinary Panel, and Election Adjudicator.

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