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Good Morning Turks and Caicos, before I begin my prepared remarks, I am sad to report the TCIs 24th COVID-19 related death. On Wednesday November 24th 2021, an individual known to be positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic, died in Providenciales. The individual was asymptomatic at the time of passing and known to have multiple comorbidities. Immediate relatives and other stakeholders have been notified. The thoughts and prayers of the Ministry of Health and myself are with the family and friends of this individual. May their soul rest in peace and rise in glory.

Turks and Caicos, the Let’s Move TCI initiative is a Big Deal!! Let me say that again, The Let’s Move TCI initiative is a Big Deal!! It demonstrates what collaboration and partnership with multiple stakeholders can produce. It’s has the full backing of the Ministries of Health and Human Services and that of Education, Labour and Sports. When my team and I was brought in for the first meeting with the Sports Commision to be a partner in this iniitiateve some months ago, we jumped on board, put our money where are mouth is and here we are at the launch of something that I hope will be a paradigm shift in how we live as Turks and Caicos Islanders. I’d like to thank the Sports Commision and their team, as well as all the committee members for brining this concept to reality.

It is well established that healthy nutrition and physical activity are key lifestyle factors that modulate lifelong health through their ability to improve your overall health. While the health benefits of nutrition and physical activity are often studied singularly, it has become more and more evident that the integration of nutrition and physical activity has the potential to produce greater benefits rather than solely concentrating on one or the other.

Good nutrition and physical activity combined help to prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, weight gain, high cholesterol, obesity, kidney disease, and some cancers as well.

Eating well is important because without the proper nutrition the body will not run properly. Think of the body as a car. When you fill a car with gasoline, there are usually three options: regular, plus and premium. If your car requires premium and you instead fill it with regular or plus, the car runs but not as well, its power and fuel efficiency are diminished. Only when filled with premium does it work to its maximum capability. It is exactly the same with nutrition, physical activity and the body. Bad nutrition and lack of exercise lead to bad output and health issues. Good nutrition and exercise allow the body to produce a higher physical and mental output.

Being healthy doesn’t have to mean making drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle. Making small, consistent changes to your daily routine can become healthy habits that improve your overall wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and being physically active should become parts of our daily routine.

To promote and instill the benefits of good nutrition and exercise at an early stage, the Ministry of Health will also revitalize its School Nutrition and Physical Fitness Programme in order to foster the development of lifelong healthy lifestyle practices, (physical fitness and healthy eating behaviours) of students from pre-school through post-secondary level in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit, Departments of Agriculture and Education, will all play a vital role in the execution of the National School Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy. After-school pilot programmes will be implemented at two (2) Primary Schools in Grand Turk, to educate students and their parents about the importance of infusing proper nutrition and physical fitness into their daily living by using a variety of creative art forms to communicate thematic messages to students.

This initiative will support the mission of Let’s Move TCI, to increase Turks and Caicos Islands residents’ engagement in sport and physical activity, and to promote holistic healthy living alongside proper nutrition.

For the last time TCI, This is a Big Deal!!



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