The Public Health Department monitors, protects, and promotes the health of the people of Saba. We do this through a range of activities and programs, often together with partners, in the following fields:
Advising the government
Public health is not only limited to health, but other areas such as urban planning, poverty reduction, and waste management can also all have an influence on the health of the people of Saba, and the expertise of the department are beneficial in these policy areas.
Controlling Infectious diseases
Surveillance of infectious diseases and preparing and responding to (potential) outbreaks.
Whenever police or the justice office needs medical expertise, doctors specifically appointed by the government can advise.
To determine public health priorities and evaluate health policies, the department uses many different sources with anonymous data to monitor the health of the people living on Saba.
Healthy lifestyle and sports
Living healthy will make you feel more energized and look your best. It will also significantly reduce your risk of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, dementia, and different cancer types.
To live a healthy lifestyle, you should;
Be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week (children need at least 1 hour a day)
Eat a healthy, balanced diet;
Limit your intake of saturated fats and sugars (sodas and juices)
Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.).
Eat more whole-wheat pasta, rice, bread
Limit your intake of processed and red meat
Drink plenty of water
Do not smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products
Preferably do not drink alcohol, or limit your alcohol intake to 1 (women) or 2 (men) drinks a day.
Sports and an active lifestyle can lead to better physical and mental health, reducing the risk of obesity, coronary disease, several cancers, diabetes, fear, stress, and depression.
In 2019, The 'Caribisch Sport- en preventieakkoord 2019-2022' was signed. Through this agreement, commitments were made to increase participation in sports and an active lifestyle on Saba.
There is a collaboration with the Saba Comprehensive School named 'Be your own icon'; this project uses the medium of sports to equip young persons with skills and values that will guide them through adolescence to adulthood, preparing them to face the challenges that often accompany this transition.
Living a healthy lifestyle will make you feel more energized and look radiant. It will also significantly reduce your risk of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, dementia, and different cancer types.
The department and its partners try to support children and adults on these subjects and change the environment to facilitate behavior change.
Pregnancy and Birth
During pregnancy, make an appointment with one of the doctors at the clinic at Saba Healthcare foundation: +599 4163288. He/she will guide you and monitor your baby’s and your health throughout the pregnancy.
You should also make an appointment with one of the public health nurses. She will talk to you about healthy pregnancy and about becoming a parent. They will discuss (breast)feeding, positive parenting, heel prick, and emotions surrounding pregnancy and birth, and you will receive the whooping cough vaccine. Receiving this vaccine while pregnant protects your baby from the moment they enter the world; this is done at 22 weeks.
Prenatal home visits;
After contacting a public health nurse, she then schedules appointments with the expectant parents for home visits. During these visits, she can further help you understand your pregnancy and how to care for yourself and your baby during this period, help you get ready for breastfeeding, and prepare for birth. She can also direct you to appropriate community resources, answer any questions and discuss experiences and expectations.
Together with network partners, the department educates both youth and adults on sexuality, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), birth control, sexual diversity, and personal limits.
Childhood vaccination program; On Saba, we follow the Dutch childhood vaccination program, and the Public health department coordinates the program, which is free for all children. From age 0-4, all vaccination is given at the Baby-Clinic. After that, vaccinations are given at school (with parental permission).
Travel health and vaccinations; When planning to travel, you may need vaccinations.
On https://www.lcr.nl/Landen, you can find out which vaccinations may be required. You can visit one of the doctors at the clinic for advice. Be aware that vaccinations may not be in stock. Please, plan accordingly.
Vaccination against Influenza virus;
Every fall, flu shots are offered to people with an increased risk of severe flu complications.
If you are part of one of the following risk groups, please contact SHCF (+599 4163288) for an appointment:
Anyone aged 60 or over
People with chronic heart, lung, or kidney disease
People with diabetes
People with reduced immunity due to a disease or medication
Baby clinic - Ages 0 to 4;
All babies and toddlers are seen regularly at the bab clinic to follow their physical, social, and emotional development, support and advise parents, answer questions and give the standard childhood vaccinations.
School health - Ages 5 to 19;
All children and their parents are invited multiple times during their school career to monitor and advise on health, social and emotional wellbeing, and parenting.
The public health nurses also give many lessons on healthy lifestyle, dental health, age-appropriate sexual health and healthy relationships, alcohol, drugs, tobacco abuse, etc.
When needed/requested, public health nurses are available for extra consultations.