SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS – Dutch Secretary of state Paul Blokhuis (VWS) will visit the Caribbean Netherlands from Monday May 13th till Thursday May 16th.
Blokhuis where he will sign the Caribbean Sports and Prevention Agreement for Sint Eustatius and Bonaire. He also visits various organizations that work on prevention and sports.
He concludes his visit with the administrative consultation of Public Health in which the ministers of Health of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten will participate. The secretary of state chairs the meeting.
Approach of obesity
The ambition of the agreement is a healthier Caribbean Netherlands with children who make a good start in life, active adults and elderly with more healthy years of life. A healthy lifestyle is essential, under the slogan:
‘ prevention is better than cure ‘.
Therefore, the agreement consists of concrete goals and actions to help inhabitants with the development of a healthy diet, encouragement to do sports and move sufficiently and to quit smoking. With the agreement the commitment of the Foundation Jongeren op Gezond Gewicht (young people on healthy weight) (JOGG) in the Caribbean Netherlands will be expanded, in order to decrease the number of overweight children.
Among other things, by offering healthy meals and fruit at schools and childcare facilities. The focus is also on improvement of the sexual health by encouraging the use of contraceptives and by low-threshold testing for STD.
A healthy start for all children
Secretary of state Blokhuis is pleased that the Caribbean Netherlands now have a prevention agreement: “Throughout the Kingdom children deserve a healthy start. In doing so, we looked closely at the local situation: what works and what does not work.
“In addition, we strengthen the community so that they can start work actively to ensure a healthier Caribbean Netherlands. And that the knowledge and commitment of it will become structural.”
Together with the Central Government Commissioner Franco and the Director of the Cruyff Foundation, Blokhuis opens the new Cruyff Court on St. Eustatius.
Old-football player Anouk Hoogendijk will be present at the opening as an ambassador. The Cruyff Court forms the heart of exercise and movement on the St. Eustatius. This is where the Caribbean Sports and Prevention agreement will be signed.
On Bonaire, the secretary of state has a healthy lunch at the youth organization Jong Bonaire, and he attends a gym class, where a department of physical education is established.
These professionals will not only provide the physical education on the island, but also help to create a wide range of sports and exercise for everyone.
Moving is not only important in the fight against obesity, but also ensures more fit adults and elderly. During his visit Blokhuis will speak at a conference on prevention, which is organized in cooperation with the department of public health.
Better agreements foster care
On Bonaire Blokhuis has a meeting with foster parents and foster children to hear what they think of the new plans for foster care. In these plans are agreements about what is expected from foster families, what kind of support youth care offers and what compensation foster parents get for the care.
The plans offer clarity on roles and expectations and ensure that an important form of youth care on the Islands is better regulated. The secretary of state will inform the parliament about this next week.
In the administrative consultation ministers from the countries of the Kingdom will discuss all kinds of subjects in the area of public health.
The countries will make arrangement on cooperation for medical aid in case of crises and disasters, access to medicines and the quality of care. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)