St.Maarten Host Of Regional Alzheimer University Workshop

Upon request of Alzheimer Disease International the Sint Maarten Alzheimer Foundation will be hosting an Alzheimer University Workshop for the English speaking Caribbean about two weeks from now.



Four representatives from Alzheimer Disease International will be conducting and lecturing the regional workshop, which will be held in the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort this month on August 22 and 23. After having the present Chairman of ADI Dr Jacob Roy Kuriakose at the regional dementia seminar held last year, this year the ADI Honorary Vice-President Dr Daisy Acosta will be coming to our shores to cover two very important topics: "The importance of detection of cognitive change and Mental Health Global Action Program (MHGap) practical tools for health practitioners" and "Helping carers to care (an evidence based family support program)". Dr Acosta is a worldknown practicing psychiatrist in the Dominican Republic. She has been the first ADI chairperson ever from a third world country to chair the board of ADI, and she is one of the founding members of the 10/66 research group on dementia of ADI.

From the ADI office in London the ADI Director of Development Johan Vos will fly in as the one responsible for the development of Alzheimer organizations and for the organization of this Alzheimer University event. Alzheimer University workshops are intended to build leadership and potential partnerships in the region to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s in particular. Before becoming a staff member of ADI in London Johan Vos worked as executive director of Alzheimer’s New Zealand.

ADI Policy Advisor Michael Splaine, former Director of Policy and Advocacy Programs in the Public Policy Division of the Alzheimer’s Association of the United States of America will come from Washington D.C to share his knowledge and public advocacy experience with the region. Michael Splaine will be guiding the sessions of the workshop especially targeted to the ADI-member country representatives and the Caribbean Dementia Awareness Advocacy Alliance partners from ADI. The objective is to exchange ideas between the ADI members and ADI partners about dementia and its unique impact in the English speaking Caribbean, about awareness and advocacy activities in the countries of the region, and to bring a level of coordination to these activities.


ADI representative to international organizations such as the WHO/PAHO and UN/ECLAC drs Raymond Jessurun will discuss with the participants how the work of ADI at the international level to get dementia as a public health and social development priority is related to the work of national Alzheimer organizations in their respective countries. Drs Jessurun is also known as founder and secretary of the SInt Maarten Alzheimer Foundation in which capacity he has been very instrumental in getting our country to become a member of ADI and in attracting this regional event to Sint Maarten.

From WHO/PAHO in Washington Dr Enriqe Vega the Director of the PAHO Aging Program has also been invited to speak on Aging in the Caribbean from a health perspective. After the publication of the first WHO report on "Dementia: a public health priority" Dr Vega is coordinating the writing of a PAHO regional strategy on dementia for the Americas with the involvement of ADI.


The first public session of the workshop with the topics on MHGAP diagnostic tools for health practitioners and "Helping carers to care" is on Thursday August 22nd from 13.00-17.30 pm.

The second public session of the workshop is on Friday August 23rd from 9.00 am – 10.30 pm with the topic: Aging in the Caribbean and Sint Maarten: challenges and opportunities



The presidents from the ADI member organizations from Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten have been invited and confirmed their participation. ADI has also invited board members of its partners of the Caribbean Dementia Awareness and Advocacy Alliance (CDAAA) such as from Rotary International Distict 7020, Lions International District 60B and the Indian Merchant Association. Two sessions of the workshop are especially targeted to the ADI members and the CDAAA partners in this region.

There are also two public sessions of the workshop with a more public facing character. For these public sessions ADI through its member the Sint Maarten Alzheimer Foundation has extended local invitations to the Ministry of Health, Social Development and Labour, as well as to organizations of health care professionals, of family care givers of persons with dementia and of seniors organizations institutions to build knowledge and awareness on St Maarten and elsewhere through media outreach

As participation in the workshop is limited organizations have been requested to send only 2 representatives. The proceedings of the workshop will be videotaped so that all the organizations in SInt Maarten and in the English speaking Caribbean through the Caribbean Dementia Awareness Advocacy Alliance partners and the media will be informed and educated about dementia the epidemic of this century.

On behalf of ADI and the SMAF

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Keith Franca Raymond Jessurun