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Better Health for Indigenous population in Americas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

 

June 5, 2023 – A new resolution has been approved by health ministers from CARICOM alongside their counterparts in the Americas to accelerate actions to improve health for the indigenous populations.

With the resolution, countries will develop finance and put in place national health clients for the indigenous population.  This will ensure that they receive equal rights, that is their  access to the highest attainable physical health services.

Measures will be implemented to combat the social determinants of health, such as poverty, poor housing, and lack of access to education, economic opportunities, and water and sanitation which all unfortunately affects the indigenous populations immensely.

It also seeks to foster investment into the training of indigenous health care workers; and it plans to safely incorporate evidence-based traditional and complementary medicine into Indigenous health services.

Additionally, generating more disaggregated data, enabling countries to broaden their knowledge of the specific health situation of Indigenous populations, which is another goal highlighted, and can attract more improvements for the indigenous people as more countries will be informed.

Furthermore, an intercultural and intersectoral approach in the development of Indigenous health policies that overcome barriers pertaining to gender, geographic location, age, language, digital connectivity, was stressed by countries of the Americas, and for good reason as those barriers are influential in the low health standards.

Dr. Marcos Espinal, Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), highlighted the necessity and urgency of the resolution.

He pointed to the fact that indigenous peoples in the Americas are more prone to experience higher rates of infectious disease like tuberculosis, as well as increased levels of non communicable diseases like diabetes. Also, for women, that is indigenous women maternal  health care is of very low quality and so, the resolution will improve it alongside adolescent health care including access to sexual and reproductive health services.

“This is why this resolution is so crucial for our region, because it is based on strategies that address the specific environmental and social contexts in which Indigenous persons live,” he added.

The resolution came on Tuesday May 30th during the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA), and is anticipated  to have significant implications for the Americas, home to more than 62 million Indigenous persons.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) said it will continue to work with countries of the Americas to ensure the health of Indigenous Populations.

Caribbean News

Haiti to hold elections in 2025

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti#Elections,February 29th, 2024 – The President of Haiti Ariel Henry has agreed to hold General elections by Mid-2025, August 31st, as announced by The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Philip Davis on Wednesday February 28th, 2024,  at the end of the 4 day 46th Caricom heads of Government meeting. To help Haiti prepare for elections, Davis says an assessment team comprised of international partners will be formed

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Caribbean News

Saunders “surprised” by move to Backbench; promises to address the nation this week

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 28, 2023 – Surprise was one of the main emotions rolling off of  E. Jay Sauders, All Island Elected Member, when he spoke to Magnetic Media Tuesday afternoon. The brief phone interview came only minutes after he confirmed to the media around 3 p.m. that he had been removed from his post as Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Washington Misick, TCI Premier. 

“I am a bit surprised– I sit here at the pleasure of the Premier, the Premier acted in a certain way and it is his right to decide who he wants and doesn’t want in his cabinet and that’s the position that he took.”

The biggest question now is who will replace Saunders as the Premier’s right hand man, Magnetic Media spoke to a high-profile source around 3:30 pm who told us: “The Premier hasn’t made a decision in that regard as yet so there’s nothing yet to announce.” 

It’s likely, the source told us, that the Premier will take on the Ministry of Finance himself, having had experience with that ministry in the past. 

Sure enough minutes after that conversation a press release came from the Office of the Premier announcing that he is the new Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade; the statement also bid Saunders goodbye.

I wish to thank Honourable Saunders for his service these past three years as my Deputy and for his stewardship in the ministries he served,” Misick said.

It comes as no surprise to residents however and a firestorm of comments followed the announcement,

“This is so wrong!!!” said one resident. 

It was a sentiment fielded by Magnetic Media over a dozen times.

“He is running this country and this party with his silly feelings.  And with Washy age, he need to relax himself.”

Another predicted, “This will hurt the PNP in the next election for sure, plus with the current conflict of interest matter pending with Washy and the Integrity Commission, this was not the best move at this time for him to be both Premier and Minister of Finance.”

The booting is the second high-profile shuffle in the Washington Misick-led PNP Administration following the removal of Akierra Missick, Elected Member for Leeward from her post as Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development in 2023. 

That shakeup went totally without explanation, similarly, no explanation has come from the Premier’s office this time either, but it follows a leadership challenge at the party’s national convention just days prior. 

Saunders had attempted to go against Misick for the head of the PNP party but could not get enough votes to push the challenge through. 

As a former CEO of DigicelTCI, E. Saunders initially served as the Health and Human Services minister as the country clawed its way back to health after a brutal Coronavirus Pandemic.  He was then appointed, by Misick, to the ministry for Finance, Investment and Trade, setting and achieving lofty goals including the achievement of a $400 million yearly revenue two years into his tenure and the removal of the Turks and Caicos from the EU Blacklist of non-compliant tax jurisdictions. 

Now with one year left before a new general election is called, Saunders, in his own words, will join the rest of the backbench of politicians. 

Also feeling the “stick” is reported to be Jas Walkin, the man Washington Misick appointed to lead his winning general election campaign in 2021.  Walkin had put his name forward for party leader but hurriedly withdrew it. Reports of a suspension have been shared via social media with residents expressing disdain at the possibility.

The consensus from many, they’re not surprised and also not happy about the removal of Jas. 

For now, Saunders is focused on moving, 

“Depending on how quickly I can get through the packing up of my office, I’ll do a Public Address tomorrow, but no later than Wednesday,” he promised. 

The demotion also means a significant pay cut for Saunders from the Deputy Premier’s $175,000 base salary and $60,000 in allowances to the $97,000 base salary and $10,200 in allowances which is paid out to Members of the House of Assembly, where he will continue to serve as an All Island Elected member.

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Caribbean News

Kyle Speaks as Party Chairman

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, February, 27th, 2024 – After a challenge to the party’s leadership and resulting public chatter, Kyle Knowles,  Progressive National Party Chairman is calling for the PNP to ‘stand together in support of the ‘duly elected premier and leader,’ emphasizing that ‘the  re-election reflects the confidence and trust placed in him by the members of the party.’ The challenge was issued by E Jay Saunders, current Deputy Party Leader over the weekend, Knowles maintains there was unity, civility, and passionate debates during the National Congress. It comes on the cusp of a general election where the winning party will have for the first time 5 years in office.

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