Historic agreement signedPOSTED: 08/16/12 12:05 PM
St. Maarten – The signing of what is being called a historic agreement has paved way for three organizations on St.Maarten to run with the vision of Alzheimer’s Disease International. (ADI)
Wednesday saw the formation of the Caribbean Dementia Awareness and Advocacy Alliance (CDAAA), a partnership of the St.Maarten Alzheimer’s Foundation, Rotary International 7020, Lions International District 60B, the Indian Merchants Association and ADI.
Based on a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in partnership with ADI and released in April 2012, dementia-a disease that affects memory-should be made a public health priority now.
In 15 countries of the English speaking Caribbean there are no existing national associations focusing on Alzheimer’s. So the service organizations took the decision to craft a protocol that would bridge the gap between the Caribbean and ADI.
“Aware of the experience that community service organizations have in campaigning for the improvement for the health and wellness of the society and aware that the WHO and ADI have requested that dementia as a priority needs action now, we the district governors of Rotary International and Lions International…have agreed to embark on awareness and advocacy campaigns until dementia has become a public health priority throughout the region and that this historic agreement will be the start of the Caribbean Dementia Awareness and Advocacy Alliance,” an excerpt from the agreement reads.
The IMA signed a similarly worded agreement as well, on Wednesday. Secretary of the St.Maarten Alzheimer’s Association referring to the IMA said that “this is a local organization but they have expressed the willingness to participate in the CDAAA.”
Chairman of ADI Dr. Jacob Roy Kuriakose who has been on the island since Monday for the first national dementia conference also met with Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Public Health, Social Development and Labour Cornelius de Weever on Wednesday.
“We had a very fruitful discussion about the possibilities for the St.Maarten Alzheimers foundation and what can be done especially with the support of the government,” Dr. Kuriakose said.
Following that meeting he paid a courtesy call on Governor Eugene Holiday “who was also very supportive of the work that we are doing,” the ADI chairman explained.
He however added that he still expects the St.Maarten Alzheimer’s Association to take the lead in “spreading awareness and instigating new associations in the English speaking Caribbean.”
Yesterday the ADI team met with the dean of the American University of the Caribbean to explore the possibility of introducing a new course as well as conducting training workshops and seminars.
Dr. Kuriakose also met with the leaders of the Mental Health Foundation and participated in a Rotary meeting before leaving the island on Thursday night.
“I would summarize that the meetings that we have had over the last two days, I am quite happy over the outcome,” he said.