Oncology Specialist Visits the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services welcomes Dr Armando Sardi to the TCI this week. Dr Sardi is the Medical Director of the Institute for Cancer Care in Baltimore, Maryland and a renowned Surgical Oncologist. Dr Sardi will be visiting the TCI between 17th-21st January 2018, during which time he will meet with a variety of stakeholders including; Ministry of Health personnel, TCI Hospital, NHIP, Turks and Caicos Medical Association in addition to the Cancer Society and Foundation. Dr Sardi will also engage with the Premier, Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson and the Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human Services to discuss the issue of cancer in the TCI.

The government shares the concerns of the general public in relation to the number of cases of cancer being diagnosed in the TCI. Globally cancer is the second leading cause of death with nearly one in six deaths worldwide attributed to cancer. The incidence of cancer is expected to rise by 70% over the next twenty years.

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO) around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. These risks are modifiable.
  • Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.
  • Late-stage presentation and inaccessible diagnosis and treatment are common in some lower and middle income countries.
  • The economic impact of cancer is significant and is increasing.

Between 30–50% of cancers can currently be prevented. This can be accomplished by avoiding risk factors through lifestyle changes. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection of cancer and management of patients who develop cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately.  Modifying or avoiding key risk factors can significantly reduce the burden of cancer. These risk factors can be addressed by:Avoiding the use of tobacco containing products

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet with a variety of fruit and vegetables
  • Engaging in regular physical activity at least three times a week
  • Reducing alcohol use

Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer-related deaths globally. The Ministry of Health has taken a number of steps to address cancer in the TCI including the following;

  1. Development and implementation of a Non-communicable disease action plan
  2. Promoting healthy lifestyles through various media and activities to educate the general public about steps they can take to live healthier lives
  3. Development of National Cancer Screening Guidelines
  4. Developed the Tobacco Control Bill which was approved in 2016
  5. Developed a Nutrition Policy which will address risk factors associated with diet.

The Ministry of Health Agriculture and Human Services looks forward to engaging with Dr. Sardi and local stakeholders in reviewing existing and developing additional strategies and interventions targeted at reducing the burden of cancer in the Turks and Caicos.For further information, please contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 338 2771.

ENDS

TURKS AND CAICOS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT

His Excellency the Governor, Dr John Freeman, chaired the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday, 17 January 2018, at the Hon. Hilly Ewing Building on Providenciales.

All Ministers were present except the Hon. Deputy Premier.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Noted the recommendations of the Procurement Board to award a contract in line with the Public Procurement Ordinance 2012 as follows –TR17/30 Supply of fencing materials for the TCI Ports Authority;
  • Approved the waiver of import customs duty on furniture and appliances which qualify under the list of approved items in the Customs (Import Duty Exemption) (No.3) Order which were imported by a number of applicants to replace items damaged by the hurricanes and which were paid for before but not received by the deadline of 31 December 2017 as stipulated in the Customs (Import Duty Exemption) (No.3) Order;
  • Advised His Excellency the Governor to approve, subject to amendments being made, the draft Liquor Licensing (Amendment) Bill 2018 for forwarding to the House of Assembly for Approval;
  • Advised His Excellency the Governor to approve amendments to the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Development Ordinance 2015 subject to compliance monitoring of approved concessions being conducted by Invest TCI and summary reports being prepared for Cabinet;
  • Received an up-date by the Hon. Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services on the re-opening of schools in TCI following the September hurricanes and on plans to re-open those that remain closed or are still in need of repair, including support from the private sector;
  • Received an up-date by the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication on discussions with Digicel and FLOW on plans to restore IT and telephone connectivity on Grand Turk and other islands in TCI which continue to suffer severe communications disruption following the September hurricanes;
  • Received feedback from His Excellency the Governor on a meeting which he chaired on 16 January involving the Department for Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) and other agencies involved in TCI’s disaster management response. The meeting discussed hurricane preparedness priorities to be addressed ahead of the 2018 hurricane season as well as a revised TCIG command response structure and implementation timescales to ensure that TCI is fully prepared for this year’s hurricane season. His Excellency the Governor undertook to forward to Hon. Ministers a list of priority hurricane preparedness issues drawn up at his request by DDME for urgent consideration;
  • Discussed the issue of access to the beach at Taylor Bay;
  • Received an up-date from the Hon. Premier on action taken following the fire at the control tower at Grand Turk airport on 14 January;
  • Received an up-date from the Hon. Premier on measures to repair and restore facilities at Grand Turk airport following damage as a result of the September hurricanes;
  • Received an up-date from the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Gaming on problems of banking and ambulance services on North and Middle Caicos. The Hon. Minister further requested an up-date on the situation regarding vector control on North and Middle Caicos and the temporary clinic on North Caicos;
  • Received an up-date from the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Gaming on problems encountered by a visiting overseas film crew;
  • Received an up-date from the Hon. Premier on the forthcoming National Honours and Awards ceremony in Grand Turk in Grand Turk on 20 January.

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

ENDS

Premier Robinson Announces Final Extension For Import Duty Exemption

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government is pleased to announce the extension of the Customs (Import Duty Exemption) Order 2018. The Order may be cited as the Customs (Import Duty Exemption) Order 2018 and will now expire on 31st March 2018.

The import duty exemption shall apply to individuals seeking to import goods of a description specifically furniture, appliances and general construction/building materials for personal use and not for resale. Merchants are excluded from this final extension and residents are reminded that no letter need to be written to the Minister of Finance. Persons are encouraged to consult with the Customs Department to ensure compliance and to avoid unnecessary challenges ahead of imports. Be sure that your items are included within the Order and all documentation is provided even ahead of of shipment.

An individual seeking to import goods of the description specified and; to be granted the import duty exemption shall on importation of any such goods produce to the Collector of Customs –

 (a) Evidence of ownership of the damaged property or long-term residence at the property.

(b) Evidence of damage to property, furniture or appliances, either through photographs or insurance assessments and;

(c) Proof of the value of the replacement furniture or appliance either by invoice or quotation. This Government is seeking to channel resources quickly, flexibly and efficiently to ensure that they reach those most adversely affected. My Government will ensure that Turks and Caicos Islanders are in a position to rebuild bigger and better.

Premier Robinson in announcing this final extension said, “These remain challenging times in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the face of fallen revenue and early in our continuing early recovery efforts, it is important to support our residents where we can. I am pleased to announce the final extension. We recognize the challenge with insurers, shipping delays and orders being filled and believe that many will be grateful for this final extension. This has been a wait and see period as we watch our revenue performances and are happy to offer this final extension. I wish to remind us all that this is a great sacrifice  at this time and I must encourage persons to cease the attempts to abuse this opportunity being presented. We are not at the revenue levels that we wish to record nor have we recovered what was loss but we are committed to helping those who are able to help themselves in their repairs.

As we seek to finalise our firm recovery plans, I wish to encourage our residents by our present state. No Irma, No Maria, no super-storm is superior to our indomitable spirit. We are Turks and Caicos Strong and we will emerge from these natural phenomena better, smarter, stronger and more united as we seek to rebuild.

Rest assured that my Government will explore strategies, implement policies and legislation to ensure that we remain a resilient people".

End.

 

Hon Sharlene L Cartwright Robinson

Premier & Minister of Finance

The Turks and Caicos Islands