The Daily Herald reports that the second edition of Saba Health Fair was concluded Thursday evening with a presentation about depression and diabetes.
The Health Fair, a two day event themed “Balance your health,” was an initiative of Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN’s Communication Department in collaboration with Saba Health Care Foundation and Body, Mind and Spirit. Around 45 attendants gathered at Child Focus in Windwardside for the two hour presentation. Before the two topics of the evening were discussed, Dr. Koen Hulshof made his introduction and explained about his plans and ideas. Hulshof is the recently assigned public health doctor and arrived in Saba two months ago. It is his role to monitor, protect and promote the health of the people of Saba, through a wide range of activities and programs. Another of his tasks is to improve coordination between the several health organisations on Saba.
Hulshof was previously employed at Municipal Health Service GGD in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It was his fi rst time to publicly address an audience on Saba.
As fi rst topic of the evening, diabetes nurse Suzette de Cuba from St. Maarten gave her lecture about diabetes prevention and control. The “ABC” of diabetes was addressed, namely A1C (glucose), blood pressure and cholesterol. The audience was then able to ask questions.
The second topic of the evening was on depression. According to psychiatrist Jatinder Kour, this issue is taboo in many societies. Her presentation was called “Understanding depression.” Kour emphasised that normal, sad experiences are a part of life and should not be confused with depression, which can happen to anyone, at any age level. According to Kour, key signs to detecting depression are loss of interest and sadness or irritable feelings. Symptoms might vary from too much or not enough sleep, and a lack of energy and appetite. She said diabetes and depression are often related and that lack of proper treatment could instigate a vicious circle.
After her presentation, Kour answered many questions from the audience.
Together with her husband Sachin Gandotra, who is also a psychiatrist, Kour visits Saba every other month for depression prevention and treatment.
“In two years, we are sure to organise another health fair on Saba. If everything goes as planned it will again be held at Sunny Valley Youth Centre in The Bottom, the same location as two years ago,” RCN’s Senior Communications Advisor Alida Francis said.
Saba Health Care Director Dr. Joka Blauboer said she was impressed by the presentation skills of Dr. Hulshof, as well as of the other two speakers, and that the event was everything she had hoped for. “It is a privilege to show the local community what kind of health aid is available on the island. This event also was a binding factor for the different organisations on Saba.” Blauboer concluded.