On Tuesday, June 11, Commissioner of Public Health and Sports Rolando Wilson and State Secretary of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports Paul Blokhuis signed a Sports and Prevention Accord in which parties commit to structurally invest in sports and prevention to improve the health of Saba’s residents.
The Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports VWS, represented by State Secretary Blokhuis, and the Public Entity Saba, represented by Commissioner Wilson, signed the accord, titled “Together towards a healthier Saba,” at the VWS Ministry in The Hague.
The accord has a long-term ambition to achieve a healthier Saba where a healthy life style prevails. A community where children have a good start from which they can benefit from this their entire life, where active adults feel fit, and with elderly people who enjoy many healthy years and can actively participate for as long as they can. With this accord, the Ministry of VWS and the Public Entity Saba want to improve the balance between prevention and care.
The Sports and Prevention Accord contains a broad range of measures with concrete objectives and actions in five areas: obesity, problematic alcohol use, smoking and drug use, sports and movement, sexual health, and vital sports and prevention organizations. The measures will be carried out by the Public Health Department of the Public Entity Saba in cooperation with local organizations.
In the accord, parties expressed the ambition to reduce the number of people on Saba with obesity. The aim is to have people eat, drink and engage in sports and movement activities that contribute to a healthy life style, and to offer support for obese persons. The accord further aims to reduce the number of people who often consume large quantities of alcohol and who smoke tobacco.
A large percentage of the people are engaging too little in physical exercise. Through the accord, parties aim to increase the percentage of people that engage in physical exercise and sports, and to secure sufficient and a well-maintained and affordable sports infrastructure. The Cruyff Court plays an important role in this, along with community sports coaches.
To curb sexual transmitted diseases, parties aim to promote the use of contraceptives. This includes more dispensers where condoms are available 24/7. The testing of sexual transmitted diseases should become more accessible and sex education for youngsters and parents will become more structural.
More support is needed to assist local organizations and to promote cooperation between these organizations. Saba’s Public Health Department will be further developed and strengthened.
Some of the measures that are mentioned in the accord include: additional personnel assistance in the area of public health, prevention and sports, active promotion of a healthy life style, the distribution of fresh fruits at the schools for those children who need this, special attention for alcohol, tobacco and drugs prevention among the youth, and to have more activities in the area of sports and movement.
Commissioner Wilson stated that he was very content with the signing of the accord. “This is an important step forward in creating a healthier Saba where people feel fit. It is another great initiative towards the betterment of our community,” he stated. The Ministry of VWS will make 175,000 euro structurally available to carry out the Sports and Prevention Accord on Saba, starting this year.