St. Maarten Government, stakeholders collaborating on new youth health study

POSTED: 06/7/11 2:24 PM

St. Maarten – Section General Public Health of the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), an executing agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, in collaboration with stakeholders is embarking on a survey in several secondary schools in order to understand the health situation of the nation’s youth. The Ministry of Public Health is working with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Emory University, St. Maarten Aids Foundation and local stakeholders to carry out the survey in order to get an overview of the issues that might affect the health and well-being of young people between ages 15 – 19. This survey will span the Caribbean with each country on their own timeline.
In preparation of realizing this survey a pilot study is planned for the week of June 13 to 17. The objective of the pilot is to test the survey’s logistics and timing and adjust where necessary. Parents must give their permission for their child’s participation in the adolescent health survey, which aimed at improving strategies to support young people in protecting and advancing their health and wellness. Parents/guardian’s who would like their son or daughter to participate in the survey should contact Section General Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health.
The survey includes general questions about the student’s personal information such as their feelings about school, their peers, their knowledge and attitudes, and their health behaviors. The student may also be asked to participate in a focus group, which is a group discussion. The student can refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time with no questions asked and without any negative consequences. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary.
Once the process of the pilot study is completed then the actual survey will be realized. A representative sample of the youth population is needed to have a good and accurate picture of the youth’s needs and challenges. This survey will document the challenges and needs of the youth population and give the necessary information to develop policies to provide the necessary respective services or programs. The accumulated data from this survey can also assist to adjust existing services and programs.
Parents/guardian’s who are interested in allowing their child(ren) to participate in the pilot study or who would like additional information should contact Margje Troost or Deeann Horsford at CPS, at 542-2078, 542-3553, 542-3003 or 520-4523.

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