Medical Experts from Holland Involved In Seniors Research on Nevis

By: Curtis Morton

(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- Two youthful nurses in training from Holland are currently on Nevis involved in a research on seniors.

The data compiled will be officially handed over to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration and will effectively be used to guide future decision making processes on health related issues and programs for the seniors on the island.

Dr. Glenville Liburd of the Eureka Health Services, was instrumental in getting the medical professionals to Nevis.

He indicated that he has been making similar contacts via an internet forum referred to as HIFA (Health information for all). He has an online link with medical experts worldwide and through those contacts, a link has been established with medical experts throughout the world. He pointed out that contacts has been made mainly through emails but there have also been some face to face discussions. The focus of attention has been on research to determine the health status of certain populations and various aspects of health care in general.

The research is mainly done by health professionals in training who have the privilege of doing their internship period in different parts of the world.

The first student arrived in 2011 and in 2012 there was a mini conference in Nevis, which involved a one day workshop for health professionals.

In 2014, two more students arrived and dealt specifically with patients suffering from stroke.

Funding of the ongoing project has not been a major issue, according to Dr. Liburd. “Where there is a will, there is a way”, he stated. The system in place has arrangements from the home base in terms of funding and Dr. Liburd assists with providing accommodation.

The two nurses in training who are currently on the island are Claudia Van Der Spyk and Elody Spieggels. They are students at the University of Applied Sciences in Holland and are pursuing Bachelor degrees in Nursing.

They are both enthused to be so involved in the research and indicated that the age range of concern is the persons who are 65 years or older.

The concentration will be on getting information pertaining to the health related quality of life of the seniors on the island and their specific needs. The two health professionals will journey across the island, mostly by bike and randomly rap at the doors of the seniors and involve them in a medical survey.
There will be three short questionnaires to be filled out and according to the Nursing professionals, the entire process on an average will only take about fifteen to twenty minutes to be completed. The questionnaires originate from the World Health Organization (WHO).

For example, one of the questions will be: ‘How will you rate your quality of life?’ The questions are all CLOSED and so the responses will be based on a numbering system of 1 to 5, with 5 being the lowest and 1 being the highest.

The seniors will not be required to indicate their names on the survey sheets and so the data compiled will not be identified with any particular individual. They are also assuring the general public that any information revealed will be dealt with, with utmost confidentiality. As a matter of fact, the seniors will be presented with a form indicating their rights and what is involved in the survey pertinent to their participation.

The research project is supported by the Nevis Island Administration but more especially through the Ministries of Health and Social Development.

Dr. Liburd also indicated that Eureka Health Services will also have a hand in the analysis of the data prior to its release and plans will be made for a press conference to reveal key areas uncovered during the research.

Both ladies are imploring the general public to assist them in as many ways as possible in order for the research project to be truly successful.

They are committing to presenting the information to the NIA by the end of June.

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