Large health study kicked off on Saba

SABA–Commissioner of Health Rolando Wilson on Monday opened the large health study that will take place on Saba over the next week.

One thousand residents of Saba were randomly selected and invited to participate at one of the two study centres. They will be asked to fill in a questionnaire on chronic diseases, infections, nutrition and lifestyle. A finger prick blood sample and nose/throat swabs will also be taken to learn more about infections and antibiotic resistance on Saba. Participants will receive US $25 as a token of appreciation.

The Commissioner thanked the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM and Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) for their support and hoped that many Sabans would participate.

As the last health study was carried out more than 15 years ago, the results are considered helpful in prioritizing health programmes and learning about barriers to a healthy life on Saba. Commissioner Wilson stressed that all the information would be treated anonymously. He said he hoped to see fellow Sabans taking part in this important study.

Dr. Koen Hulshof of the Public Health Department explained that if people cannot make it at the time of their suggested appointment, they can come at any other time during opening hours.

To further facilitate participation, the Cool Cab taxi will be available on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday for those without transportation.

Director of Saba Health Care Foundation (SHCF) Dr. Joka Blaauboer stated that they are excited that this vast health study will take place this coming week. “The study is Sabanized and tailor made with the help of SHCF so that we can look into the occurrences of diseases on our island and see how well protected we are against them, vaccination wise. With this study we can get reliable data. Once we know where the problems are they can be better targeted. Please help us make our island healthier by partaking in this health study,” Blaauboer said.

The opening hours for study centre Sunny Valley Youth Center are Monday and Friday from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Saturday from 12:00pm and 7:00pm. Eugenius Johnson Center will be open Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Saturday from 12:00pm to 7:00pm.

Source: The Daily Herald