World Down Syndrome Day 21st March, 2017

The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Humans Service joins the world in the observance of “World Down Syndrome Day” today 21st March 2017 under the theme “My Voice My Community”.

The United Nation defines Down Syndrome as a genetic occurrence caused by extra material in chromosome 21 that results in intellectual disability. It is not yet known why this occurs.

The UN estimates the prevalence of Down Syndrome incidence between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide. Each year approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with this chromosome disorder and it is believed there are about 250,000 families in the United States of America who are affected by Down Syndrome.

Although there are less than 10 persons with Down Syndrome registered in the Turks & Caicos Islands, our aim is to enable people with Down Syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action and to be fully included in the community.

According to the United States National Down Syndrome Society, people with Down Syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions; such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. However, many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down Syndrome lead healthy lives. Life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.

For more information please contact the Special Needs Unit at 338-2171/2/3.

CDB’s VYBZING Programme announces 2017 Challenge for TCI Youth

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 15, 2017 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through its youth outreach programme, VYBZING, has launched a contest for youth of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Young people between the ages of 16 and 29 are being invited to take part in the Snapchat Story Challenge, an interactive initiative that aims to engage youth on the topic of creative entrepreneurship. 

CDB’s 2017 VYBZING Snapchat Story Challenge is being hosted under the theme, “Start Up and Stand Up: Creative Enterprises as the Engine of Growth in Turks and Caicos and the Region.” Young Snapchatters are invited to create a three-minute video highlighting the increasing importance of the creative industries to the economic and social well-being of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Caribbean Region.

The Challenge begins March 15, 2017 and the deadline for submissions is April 30, 2017. Entries must be submitted through the VYBZING Facebook page, Contest rules and regulations are available at

Participants in the contest have the opportunity to win prizes ranging from USD750 to USD1,500 There will also be a People's Choice Award, based on the submission with the most votes on the VYBZING Facebook page. Online voting takes place during the period May 8-19, 2017. The highest voted Snapchatter will receive USD250.The winners will be notified by CDB on May 22, 2017 and prizes will be presented on May 25 during the Closing Ceremony of CDB’s 47th Annual Board of Governors’ Meeting.

VYBZING Coordinator, and CDB’s Information Services Unit Manager, Angela Parris commented:  "We are excited to see the submissions from the youth of TCI. The winning entries will be determined by a specially chosen judging panel, who will assess the submissions, based on a number of criteria, including message content and relevance to the theme, innovation and creativity, and originality.”

The Snapchat Story Challenge is one of the three activities, which will be held under the VYBZING Youth Outreach Programme in TCI this year. 

2017 VYBZING Turks and Caicos Islands, is being held in collaboration with the Government of Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services. Departments of Education and Youth Affairs; the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development and Invest Turks and Caicos Islands.

VYBZING is the youth outreach programme through which CDB engages directly with youth on regional development issues. The Programme, part of the agenda of the Annual Meeting of the Bank’s Board of Governors, aims to inspire participants to take action to build a better Caribbean.

About the Caribbean Development Bank

The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional non-borrowing members – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and five non-regional, non-borrowing members; i.e., Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2015 are USD2.7 billion (bn). These include USD1.4bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and USD1.3bn of Special Funds. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable with Moody’s and AA/A-1+ with Standard and Poor’s. Read more at


Sueann Tannis

Head of Corporate Communications (Ag)

Mobile: 246-826-3343

Office: 246-431-1886

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Tonya Byer

Web Content Specialist

Office: 246-431-1743

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The Special Needs Unit within The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Resources in collaboration  with the 1 World Foundation Inc., hereby informs the general public that a team of audiologists will visit the Turk & Caicos Islands to conduct hearing assessments and distribute hearing aids  3rd – 7th April, in Providenciales.

All interested persons are asked to contact the following offices:

Grand Turk                         Special Needs Unit, Wellness Center, former Grand Turk Hospital   649-338-2171

Providenciales                   SNAP Center, Kew Town   649-941-3187

South Caicos                      Wellness Center/District Commissioner Office 649-946-3837

North Caicos                      District Commissioner Office

Middle Caicos                    District Commissioner Office

Salt Cay                                District Commissioner Office


For further information contact the Special Needs Unit on 3382171