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Better Health for Indigenous population in Americas

Jun 06, 2023




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.

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues. Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip "delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations."

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.




By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

"For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience."

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.




By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A bevy of important legislative changes and tangible projects are on the agenda for the Ministry of Home Affairs this year, as the ministry attempts to institute an all new Utilities Bill; a complete revamp of the postal service including personal mailboxes and much more.

The plans were shared on May 18th by Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs as he made his contribution to the National Budget debate, last month.

Morris’ ministerial portfolio is a broad one, covering telecommunications, transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), fire services and water services; the PNP Administration, in its Budget passed on Friday May 19, has carved out $26 million for Home Affairs and among the first targets: mail physically delivered to residents’ doorsteps.

"The Postal Services intends to set up residential mailboxes in several communities on Providenciales," Morris said. He explained that this would begin with houses that have 911 numbers and mailbox numbers will match house numbers, TCI will be first in the Caribbean to implement it according to the Minister.

Connections will also be made with the US Postal service to allow small businesses locally, to send their product overseas with courier services provided by the local Postal Office through the United States Postal Services, and others for priority delivery to the good's destination within two business days. This could open up small businesses in the country to the US Market expanding their client base by hundreds of millions.

In relation to water services Morris said: "As we speak, the contractor is advancing the contract for the installation of the new piping system to connect the RO Plant to the 1-million-gallon storage facility At the same time, the new booster pump house at the 1-million-gallon-storage facility has also been completed."

In addition, contracts for another 1-million-gallon Salt Water Reverse Osmosis Plant and 1-million-gallon storage facility have been signed, and initial stages have begun. It's good news especially for Grand Turk residents who have had recurring issues with water availability for years.

The service time at the DMV is another long standing issue on the agenda to be fixed this year, with a new database that will allow for online applications for new and renewed licenses. Morris says it will dramatically reduce the wait time.

Other projects promised to be completed this financial year include:

In addition to those projects, Morris says he will be going to the House of Assembly with several bills to tackle long standing issues for the public. They include:

Along with the all new Utilities Regulatory Agency, a new Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services will be created; plus a new Publishing Policy is in the works, Morris says, to highlight the gaps and missed opportunities, as it relates to the utilization of modern equipment.

Morris swore to continue to be a servant leader for residents across the country, maintaining that the budget was not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of his values and aspirations,

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Rashaed Esson Staff Writer June 5, 2023 Rashaed Esson Staff Writer #USA, June 5, 2023 By Dana Malcolm Staff Writer #TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 By Dana Malcolm Staff Writer #TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023