Health study on Statia starts today

ST. EUSTATIUS–The Health Study Caribbean Netherlands on St. Eustatius will start today, Monday, with a march by school children starting at 4:00pm at the Catholic Church and ending at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The march will precede the opening ceremony for the survey. The survey ends June 9.

The Health Study seeks to establish if all residents are sufficiently protected against infectious diseases such as measles or polio, and to ascertain the general health situation and living conditions. A random sample from the adult population and all children are to participate in the study that will also be conducted on the other two Caribbean Netherlands islands: Saba and Bonaire.

By means of a random sample taken from the population registry, a total of 8,000 people, ages zero to 89, from all three islands are invited participate in the survey. The sample represents 5,000 people from Bonaire, 2,000 from St. Eustatius and 1,000 from Saba.

The consultation locations are the Seventh-day Adventist Church and hurricane shelter on Mansion Road and consultation hours are 10:00am to 8:00pm.

All selected persons will receive an invitation to attend an appointment in their neighbourhood. If the person cannot make it on the day or time of the invitation, they can also visit the consultation locations. Participation is voluntary and all data will remain confidential.

Participants must present a proof of identification (identity card, passport or driving licence), childhood vaccination records/baby book (if available) and any other health records, for example: yellow international certificates of vaccination and/or military passport at the consultation.

Participants must also bring their medication record for chronic conditions/white medication passport (if any) and the invitation letter.

Participants will have the choice of speaking with their assigned contact person or another in the survey to ensure comfort.

Dr. Gerwin Schobbe of the Public Health Department GGD said the results of this study would help to prevent and combat these diseases even more effectively in the future.

Dr. Sharda Baboe of the GGD stated that the anonymity of those taking part in the health survey is of utmost importance. She said due to the size of the population and the time constraints, and GGD not having the manpower required to carry out the study in the prescribed timeframe, personnel from the Netherlands will assist in the study.

By taking part in the Health Study, Baboe said the people of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will make a major contribution to public health.

This study is commissioned by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports VWS and will be carried out by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM in cooperation with Statistics Netherlands CBS and GGD.

Source: The Daily Herald