Charlestown-Nevis- A brief but significant ceremony took place at the conference room of the Nevis Credit Union on Monday 29th March.
The ceremony was chaired by Mrs. Kim Singh, Deputy Director of the Social Services Department.
She informed those gathered, that the Nevis Island Administration through the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development have collaborated with and granted consent for a research team from the Netherlands to do a research on the elderly and their care, on the island of Nevis.
A similar research was conducted last year by two Nursing students from Holland and this time around, she introduced another Nursing student, Miss Elselotte (Elisabeth) Oudshoorn.
Dr. Glenville Liburd whose brain child it was to have the collaboration between the two countries, noted that it all started because of a networking between health professionals, of which he is a part. It started about five years ago when he made contact with a health professional in Holland and out of a discussion pertaining to assistance for the rehabilitation services in Nevis, which he considered to be inadequate at the time, the idea of receiving assistance with research work, was born.
He opined that there is an obvious need for a Rehab center and so the gentleman indicated that he would send Health professionals to assist with the research work in order to determine what is required.
Despite some initial apprehension, the program was approved and the first student arrived in 2011.
Research findings were presented in an open forum in 2013 and much was gleaned at that session.
This resulted in the commencement of a Caribbean movement.
He noted that Miss Oudshoorn will focus on home based care and the issues involved. He further stated that the resulting data will be presented to the Ministry of Health; Ministry of Social Development and the Nevis Island Administration in general and would aid in plans and projections as they relate to the elderly in the future.
The 23 year old Nursing student, Miss Oudshoorn then explained that her research was about the formal and informal health care of the elderly on Nevis.
She indicated that it will span a three month period from 13th March to 20th June.
She spoke about the following:
* Literature study
* Problem statement
* Beneficial aspect
* Specific assistance required for her research
She noted that she had already done preparatory work on the health situation in Nevis, utilizing WHO information and information from the Nevis Island Administration’s website.
She stated that statistics are indicating that the elderly population is increasing rapidly and will double by 2025. There is also a shift from diseases such as HIV/AIDS to non-communicable diseases such as Diabetes and Hypertension. Subsequently there is a higher dependency rate of the elderly population.
Her research will effectively serve to determine whether or not the current home care services being afforded to the elderly are adequate and if and how they can be improved.
She will conduct interviews with Caregivers and some of the elderly across the island, in an effort to acquire the required data.
She will also have open discussions with two or three focus groups.
The elderly, for the purpose of the research must be 60 years or older.
The floor was then opened to questions from the various stakeholders present who all sought to clarify the manner in which they could be of assistance in the research.
These included Caregivers; medical personnel and others.
It was also pointed out that the research will be mutually beneficial to her ultimate study program and also in providing valuable information to the Nevis Island Administration, in terms of future plans pertinent to the elderly on the island.
Miss Oudshoorn is seeking the assistance of the Nevisian public during the period of her research.