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Depression following childbirth is very common

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Having a baby is a major life event and can cause worry, tiredness and sadness. Usually these feelings don’t last long, but if they persist you may be suffering from depression.

On April 7, World Health Day (WHD), the topic of depression will be observed around the world.  Various awareness campaigns will take place around the globe. The 2017 theme is: ‘Depression: let’s talk.’

Depression following childbirth is very common. It affects 1 in 6 women who have given birth. Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.

In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Symptoms of depression after childbirth also include: a feeling of being overwhelmed; persistent crying for no apparent reason; lack of bonding with your baby; and doubt about being able to care for yourself and your baby.

Depression after childbirth can be treated with professional help. Talking treatments and medicines can help. Some medicines can be taken safely while breastfeeding.

Without treatment, depression following childbirth can last for months or even years. It can affect your health and the development of your baby.

Every year Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, highlights and creates awareness about health matters based on the World Health Organization annual calendar.  CPS would like to draw the community’s attention to WHD 2017 and the theme that has been chosen as part of its contribution to creating awareness.

Discuss your feelings with people close to you and ask them for support. They might be able to help you look after the baby when you need some time to yourself or to rest.

Stay connected by spending time with family and friends; get out in the open air when you can. In safe environments, taking your baby for a walk is good for both of you; talk with other mothers who may have advice or be able to share experiences.

Talk to your health-care provider. He or she can help you find the treatment that is most appropriate to your situation; if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, seek help immediately. Remember: Depression after childbirth is very common. If you think you may be affected, seek help.

For more information, you can call CPS at 542-3003 or 542-2078.

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More Movement for the Elderly this Saturday at St. Martin’s Home

ST. JOHN’S ESTATE, (DCOMM) – More Movement for the Elderly, will take place on Saturday, April 08. 

Senior citizens are invited to the St. Martin’s Home which is located at St. John’s Estate road #6 for More Movement for the Elderly Fitness.

To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

Older adults aged 60 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily.

The activity has been organized and coordinated over a one-year period by Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF), Windward Islands Physical Therapist Association (WIPTA) and I&I Fitness.

The Saturday activity is being coordinated by WIPTA from 10.30AM to 12.00PM at the aforementioned address.

It's recommended that adults aged 60 or older do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Some activity, however light, is better for your health than none at all.

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SMCP WELCOMES PROPOSALS TO IMPROVE FUNCTIONING OF PARLIAMENT

PHILIPSBURG - The Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) welcomes the two proposals made by President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams, to improve the functioning of Parliament, the SMCP Leader Wycliffe Smith said in a press statement on Wednesday.

“One proposal increases the transparency and accountability of parliamentarians towards the voters and the other proposal improves the communication between parliament and the people. Unfortunately, our legislative representatives are not legally bound to inform the people about what is going on in parliament. Yes, via the public plenary and committee meetings we can get to know what is happening. But we must not forget that committee meetings can also be held behind closed doors, which has been happening quite often.

“The 2015 Transparency International Report expressed great concern about the flow of information from parliament to the public. The report further states that information coming out of parliament is very limited and not consistent and that the people and even parliament itself, have no way of holding our parliamentary representatives accountable other than when opportune in times of elections.

“It is therefore commendable that the President of Parliament has decided to hold public consultations every other week. Unfortunately, the other fourteen parliamentarians are not obliged to follow her example, but we truly trust that they will see the need to do so and follow suit.

“On March 27th, I submitted a letter to the Honorable President of Parliament, giving several suggestions as to how to improve communications between parliament and the people. Here are two of the suggestions. Monthly press briefings: in order to keep the people informed about what parliament is doing, I propose that once per month the President of Parliament and chairpersons of the permanent/ad hoc committees hold a press briefing.

“The President of Parliament can inform the people as to what has transpired in parliament and what the plans are for the coming month. The committee chairpersons present can also inform the media of their activities. Weekly meetings with a Minister: in order to keep parliament and the public abreast of what is taking place at the executive level of government, I propose that, weekly, a minister is invited to share information, based on questions submitted by members of parliament a week in advance.

“In the U.K., it is called the Prime Minister’s Question Time and in the Netherlands “het weekelijkse vragenuurtje”. In these parliamentary sessions only the Prime Minister answer questions. However, I propose that, according to a schedule, all ministers get the opportunity to participate in what I call the “Ministers’ Q&A”.

“The President of Parliament’s proposal, to have members of parliament disclose all their functions, is a giant step towards raising the level of integrity, transparency and accountability of parliament. Transparency International as well as Bob Wit’s Integrity Report expressed great concern regarding this topic. The Wit Report proposed that parliament set up a public registry in which all functions, that parliamentarians are involved in, are registered.

“The proposal by the President of Parliament to strike the word “public” from Article 107 of the Election Ordinance is a fast and easy way to begin to improve transparency and accountability in Parliament. I urge the President to work on this matter immediately because if this amendment is presented close to election time parliamentarians can drag their feet on it and it might not be ready in time for a new parliament. MP Wescot-Williams, chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee of Integrity, has raised the issue of public disclosure of functions several times in committee meetings but our honorable MP’s apparently do not want to deal with this issue.

“However, in the interest of promoting accountability, integrity and transparency in public life our Parliament should expand and amend its Rules of Order or establish a separate Code of Conduct that discloses “all relevant interests that a reasonable person might think could give rise to the perception of influencing behaviour between the Member's duties and responsibilities and his/her personal interests (eg land and property assets, share-holdings, gifts, foreign travel, symbolic rewards (e.g. honorary degree), sources of income, remunerated employment, directorships, liabilities, hospitality and affiliations).

“These shall be disclosed immediately following election and continuously updated within a reasonable period specified by the parliament above a specified threshold”. This listing of disclosures was taken from “Recommended Benchmarks for Codes of Conduct applying to Members of Parliament”, published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (www.cpahq.org).

“In order to raise the level of integrity in parliament, in government and in the civil service, it is imperative that Sint Maarten establishes a separate independent Integrity Chamber. The Minister of General Affairs, the Honorable William Marlin, believes that the tasks of the Integrity Commission can be delegated to one or more of the High Councils of State. His pet phrase is “we can fix we”.

“As I have written before, these Councils are advisory bodies and were not intended or designed to execute controlling and supervisory tasks. Take for example the General Audit Chamber. It executes its task, sends its reports to parliament which, up to this point, has never discussed or followed up on the advices of this Chamber. This is evidence that “we cannot fix we”.

“I am calling on Parliament to be critical of the Governing Program which only outlines what Government plans to do but makes no mention of when, where and how Government intends to execute the plans and how much it will cost to realize these plans. The governing program is also silent, with regard to the sequencing and priority of its plans. Parliament, this governing program does not provide you with sufficient information to enable you to perform your controlling and monitoring task as a supervisory body,” Wycliffe Smith, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party said on Wednesday.

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Award Winning SHTA St. Maarten Culinary Team set to compete in 2017 Taste of the Caribbean

PHILIPSBURG - The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) has announced the program for preparing the Sint Maarten Culinary Team for the annual CHTA Taste of the Caribbean Competition in June. The Sint Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) has signed on to sponsor and promote Sint Maarten at this highly regarded event in Miami and SHTA is continuing with the foundation of its award winning team from 2016.

Both entities are thrilled to announce that in 2017, St. Maarten will be competing once again in this prestigious culinary competition.  We are confident that the some of the best of St. Maarten have been selected and will serve the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” well.

Since 1993, CHTA’s Taste of the Caribbean has been the most prestigious Caribbean culinary competition. Resort chefs, restaurant chefs and junior talent compete in national teams and within individual disciplines. Winning teams receive high accolades and garner much international attention for their country.

Last year’s culinary competition was the best Culinary Competition so far and we are set on surpassing everyone’s expectations with the upcoming event said CHTA.  SHTA’s St. Maarten team participated for the first time after many years absence and came home with Gold medals and high accolades in several categories.

The 2017 national team will be led by Captain Renata De Weever (Sonesta Great Bay Resort & Casino/National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA). Chef Dino Jagtiani (Temptation Restaurant), Chef Pieter Holstein (Rum and Peas/Canoa Restaurant), Chef Ronald Estephane (Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino), Justin Assendelft (Holland House Hotel).

Rising Chef Suzirea Adoptie (Student at NIPA) will be the junior representing St. Maarten; and Paul Peterson (Temptation Restaurant/NIPA) returns as our Bartender contender.

In preparation of the 2017 Event the SHTA St. Maarten Culinary Team will host four fundraising dinners:

Thursday, April 13th 7:30pm at Infinity Restaurant in Oyster Bay Beach Resort

Thursday, May 4th 7:30pm at Ocean Lounge Bar & Restaurant in Holland House Hotel

Thursday, May 18th 7:30pm at Canoa Restaurant in Oyster Pond

Wednesday, May 31st 7:30pm at Temptation Restaurant in Cupecoy

We invite all those fine food and wine lovers to support the team by attending these practice/fundraising dinners.  Please note that last year all the dinners were sold out in advance so we encourage you to reserve your spots as early as possible by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 1-721-542-0108. Tickets are $95 each per person this includes a 4 or 5 course diner paired with wine. Prearranged vegetarian menus are available.

The organizing parties are still seeking additional sponsorship. We hope that the community of St. Maarten will join us in the effort to ensure the successful participation of the team, if you support our cause, please contact the SHTA office.

Thank you to St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, Sonesta Group of companies, PDG, Anderson Fabrics, PWC, PRIME, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Carl’s Unique Inn, Antillean liquors, Steve Connolly Sea foods, NIPA and Sundial School who have already committed to supporting the culinary team.

CHTA’s Taste of the Caribbean will take place in Miami from June 2-6.  We encourage those interested to please attend the events in Miami to support our team and taste some fabulous and impressive food from all the islands.

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Bravo TV from NBC Universal on St. Maarten Cable TV

MADAME ESTATE - A couple of changes in the month of April has been made to the St. Maarten Cable TV‘s channel line-up.  St. Maarten Cable TV subscribers can now enjoy the ever popular Bravo TV, from NBC Universal which is channel 290 in the basic package.

“We received notice from NBC Universal last month that their channel Esquire, Ch. 240 in our basic package will be coming off the air in July of this year. We then sent in the request to NBC Universal to allow us to replace Esquire with Bravo TV from this month which was approved,” Beulah Jonis, Managing Director stated. 

Esquire which was formerly Style TV was rebranded by NBC Universal to cater more towards the male market but the results in the US market has not been what was expected.  

“Style TV was very popular among our subscribers and we did get some reactions when the rebranding to Esquire took place.  At that time Bravo TV rights was not cleared for non US territories so we could not make the change,” Ms. Jonis indicated. 

Bravo TV is home for the ever popular reality TV franchise The Real Housewives of New York City, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Orange County and Potomac.  “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, “Vanderpump Rules”, “Million Dollar Listing” and much more. Check out their website:  www.bravotv.com

Last week, MLB network was added to the channel line-up on Ch. 220. Channels taken off were TV Games (Ch. 219) and Fashion TV (Ch. 238) which were both in the Bronze package.

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Home repair for the Elderly & Disabled program: Contractors have until Thursday to Register

PHILIPSBURG - The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour hereby informs all interested local contractors that registration is still open for the “Home Repair for Elderly & Disabled” program up to Thursday April 6th 2017.

Registration can be done at any of the following Community Help Desks.  For more information you can contact the department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs at 542 1122 or 542 9925.

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WESTIN TO HOST ANNUAL REGIONAL TRADE SHOW SMART

DAWN BEACH - The Sint Maarten / Saint Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow SMART will be held at The Westin Dawn Beach. This was released this last week by the four organizing parties L'Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin (AHSM), St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) in conjunction with the Saint-Martin Tourism Office and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.

An agreement has been signed with The Westin Dawn Beach. Both Tourist Boards as well as AHSM and SHTA look forward to using the high standard facilities of Westin for its three day meeting. 

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, Sint Maarten is one of the largest hotels on island, featuring 317 luxuriously appointed guest rooms including 15 suites, each with French doors leading to a balcony with an ocean or island view.

Located at Dawn Beach, one of St. Maarten's most beautiful beaches, the four partners see the location as a perfect business card for visiting companies.  The Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa itself has shared its enthusiasm for hosting the event as Westin clearly knows the benefits of the tradeshow for the island economy.

Both sides have always closely cooperated on this regional Sint Maarten / Saint Martin trade event, but this will be the first time both sides will co-host at the same time. Due to its binational character this year, locations and activities will be spread over both sides of the island.

SMART 2017 kicks off on Wednesday June 14th, 2017 when delegates have the opportunity to meet and mingle with their peers at the Welcome Reception, before a full day of business where participants have set up appointments with travel partners and wholesalers as well as hotel and excursion operations for one-on-one discussions on potential business ventures. 

Although an impressive and memorable Farewell party will be held on Thursday evening the venue will stay open through Friday with workshops and guest speakers.

Next to Sint Maarten / Saint Martin, other islands attending this event have included Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barth’s, Statia, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Barbados. This way, over the 15 years SMART has grown to become the most reputable Tradeshow of the north-eastern Caribbean.

As last year SMART was cancelled due to various tradeshows occurring at the same moment, the organizing parties requested the Caribbean Hotel and Trade Association (CHTA) to coordinate Caribbean marketing events to make sure all destinations have the ability to showcase their hospitality and trade.

Registration forms and details will be available on the SHTA website www.shta.com or by contacting the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 1-721-542-0108, during office hours 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.  

smart 2017 logo with stakeholders 2

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American Airlines to Cancel New York Route in August

SINT MAARTEN/PUERTO RICO – American Airlines after serving uninterrupted service between Puerto Rico’s International Airport and New York for 45-years announced on Monday the cancellation of this route as of August 22.

The airline gave as reason for the elimination of the route as poor market conditions.  The airlines stated that they evaluate their network on a continuous basis by looking at supply and demand for each route the airline caters too.

American Airlines reported said that they are committed to the Caribbean, where they currently operate more than 150 flights on a daily basis to 37 destinations.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

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MLB Network’s Live Regular Season Game can be Seen on Tuesday

MADAME ESTATE - St. Maarten Cable TV announced today that it now carries MLB Network on channel 220 in the Basic package.  The launch of MLB Network is just in time for the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball season.  

With the start of the season, MLB Network is preparing for wall-to-wall coverage of Opening Week including live studio coverage every day, 11 live games, the premiere of MLB Network Presents “Mike Trout: Millville to MVP” and the return of the weekly player interview and demonstration show for kids, Play Ball.

MLB’s 15 hours of live Opening Day coverage began on Monday April 3 at  9:00 am (ET) with International Talk, co-hosted by Chris Rose and Kevin Miller followed by the third season if MLB Central. 

MLB Network’s live regular season game schedule begins Tuesday, April 4 with the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals.  

“We have been in talks with MLB Network since last year and this was one of the channels sports fans have requested.  We are thrilled to partner with MLB Network in time for 2017 baseball season,” said Ms. Beulah Jonis, Managing Director of St. Maarten Cable TV. 

 “We’re excited that St. Maarten Cable TV’s customers can now access MLB Network programing in time for the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball season,” said Rob McGlarry, President of MLB Network. 

“MLB Network offers comprehensive coverage, access and an insider’s perspective on the sport that has never been seen before.  Partnering with St. Maarten Cable TV, which marks our first launch in St. Maarten, helps us expand our reach and accomplish our goal of bringing MLB Network to as many fans as possible.”

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Coast Guard provides assistance in dive accident

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA – During a recent intensified control operation by the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard of maritime vessels around Aruba, a report came in about a diver feeling unwell.

The diver was diving near a reef off Barcadera, Aruba.

The Coast Guard Helicopter AW 139 as well as a Maritime Police vessel was deployed to assist with a rescue operation.  Upon arrival, first aid was provided to the diver. 

The Coast Guard then escorted the dive boat to shore where First Responders were waiting in order to transport the diver to the hospital.

medical inside

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