Prime Minister Gives Opening Remarks at Regional Dementia Conference

Says Government and Community to establish Public Health priorities

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot Williams opened the Regional Dementia Conference held at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort under the theme "Dementia: Public Health Priority".


The conference, which is organized by the St. Maarten Alzheimer’s Foundation, will handle various topics centered on the raising of awareness, health and social services and government support of Alzheimer’s Patients and those living with other forms of dementia.

The Prime Minister, during her opening address, stated that the conference is very important for putting Alzheimer’s as a priority in the national public health agenda and as a priority of St Maarten. "Allow me to thank the Alzheimer Foundation, the Pensioners Association and of course the Service Clubs for becoming involved in the process of creating awareness for Alzheimer’s. While clearly there is no cure for the disease awareness, information and acceptance for all will help take us a long way in offering those who suffer from the disease a dignified life with their families," commented the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister continued by stating the initiatives that have been conducted on St. Maarten and the initiatives, which have been happening in countrywide, can be seen as an example in the region. "I believe we can be that example and secondly this disease is not limited to person, class, community, country or region. In fact it is a disease that affects us all globally. It is also a fact that St. Maarten is a cosmopolitan island, which gives us a lot of resources but also challenges. We as a community face must face the challenges of aging and providing the care necessary for offering our elderly a good quality of life."

The question is often asked what has the Constitutional Changes done for the island. It meant many things, but one important aspect is that it is now up to St. Maarten alone, both government and community, to establish what are our priorities as a nation going forward. In order to do so we must collectively realize what is affecting our community and the generations to come. We need to know what we need to help establish foundations for generations to come. So it is up to me as Government and up to you as the community to establish our priorities. So let us together decide how we address health issues, dementia including".