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Women called upon to Register for the next Breast Abnormalities Screening Exam on April 06. Register today

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Women are being called upon to register and sign-up as soon as possible for the next free breast abnormalities and health screening exam/survey which is set for Saturday, April 6th.

In order to participate in the screenings, you need to register as it is based on appointment.  You can call or email: 554-4532 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The screening is carried out on scheduled Saturdays between 8.30am to 3.00pm.  In addition to the scheduled date of April 6, April 13this also scheduled.

The examination is a collaborative effort by the Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), the Positive Foundation, and the American University of the Caribbean (AUC), the latter, is lead research agency.

The first survey for 2019 took place on Saturday, March 23 where 26 women participated. The women received an overall health assessment where their height, weight to calculate Body Mass Index was taken; blood pressure, heart rate; visual acuity, blood glucose and cholesterol were taken.

The clinical breast examination was carried out by Oncologist Dr. Chobanyan.

The 26 women in attendance received a presentation about the risk factors for breast cancer, including information regarding modifiable risk factors that can help to reduce the overall breast cancer risk; assessment of individual breast cancer risk via Gail model, and the distribution of breast cancer awareness brochures to take home.  

The screenings target population are women 18+ years of age and the target number is 500 women. Scheduling of the screening opportunities will continue considering all circumstances until the identified number and more is achieved.  

The screenings take place at the Vineyard Office Park Building in Philipsburg at the CPS Offices.

Breast abnormalities represent a large spectrum of disorders including benign, congenital, hormonal and malignancies such as breast cancer. 

Major risk factors for breast cancer in women are age, genetic predisposition and hormonal imbalance. Breast density is also a significant factor, especially in women 40 to 49 years of age.

The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the types of breast abnormalities and risk factors in women 18 and above with no age cap in Sint Maarten. 

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First SMART Speakers Announced

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Saint Martin / Sint Maarten Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) 2019 is to provide 15 different speakers, workshops and masterclasses, as to assist the Northeastern Caribbean tourism sector with an overview of the latest developments in tourism. Innovations from both sides of the island, the Caribbean, the United States and Europe will be highlighted in a parallel track to the many business meetings going on during SMART.  

It was decided in 2018 by the four SMART partners L’Association des Hoteliers de Saint Martin, Saint Martin Tourism Office, in conjunction with the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, that innovation should be a key theme to facilitate the best possible comeback of the destination. 

Within the workshop settings, managers and entrepreneurs are offered expert workshops on how to further improve their operations. Topics will be amongst others on social media strategy, deployment of technology, revenue management, the importance of customer reviews, occupancy strategies and customer engagement, increasing customer satisfaction, digital marketing trends and economic & environmental practices – (the value of being a ‘Green’ business in the Caribbean.

Workshops from abroad will be provided by amongst others NorthAmerican companies like Avvio, Flip.to, STR, TravelClick and TripAdvisor. Caribbean innovations will come amongst others from BookSXM, Caribious, InspireFocus and ShowMeCaribbean. Experts like EPIC and hospitality institutions will provide insights on how to make operations more sustainable. Each workshop will take place twice a day, giving delegates more chances and space in their SMART-agenda to attend the workshops of their interest. 

The tradeshow will be held on the 21st to 23rd of May 2019 at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino and Spa. We are expecting numerous Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to attend this important event. In previous years, SMART featured suppliers from Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Maarten-St. Martin.

Interested companies can take up contact with the SMART project office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +1 721-542-0108. More information can be found at shta.com/SMART or visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/smartsintmaarten.

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Prime Minister Romeo Marlin Address on the commemoration of 371 years of the Treaty of Concordia

SINT MARTIN/SINT MAARTEN (MARIGOT HILL/ST. PETERS) – On March 23rd, dignitaries and invited guests from both sides of Sint Maarten gathered at the same location close to the French / Dutch border atop St Peters, to commemorate 371 years of the Treaty of Concordia. 

Below is an excerpt of the address of Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin at the event.  

“To the people of Sint Maarten, to our residents and to our guests, brothers and sisters, once again we have come together to commemorate the peaceful coexistence of two nations divided by an imaginary line established on this very same day 371 years ago. 

The Treaty of Concordia marks the genesis of the coming together of two nations that has eventually lead to a united people living together sharing in one history, one culture, one island. 

Today, as we have gathered here to pay homage to this historical day we must acknowledge the many leaders that have come before us and honor them for maintaining this long established peaceful coexistence. We are all well aware that in the blink of an eye, from one day to the next, things can change drastically.

With that been said, I take this opportunity to congratulate my counterparts on the northern side of the island, President Daniel Gibbes and Vice president Valerie Damaseau and my colleague, in in the South, Minister Wycliffe Smith for organizing this historic event.  

Research indicates that the Treaty of Concordia is one of the oldest international treaty that is still being enforced today. The Treaty of Concordia is the foundation on which our island has been and continues to be developed. The significance of the treaty, which was signed 371 years ago, cannot be underscored. 

It is because of this treaty…. The two government delegations from both sides of the island drove across the border without being stopped at a checkpoint. 

Because of this treaty…. Residents can work and live on either side of the island without hassle.

Because of this treaty…. Containers filled with goods are imported on either side, then they are transported freely between both sides helping to stimulate the robust economy that this the envy of our neighboring islands.

Because of this treaty…. School going children can wake up on one side of the island and go to school on another. 

Because of this treaty…. A typical guest to our island can land at Princess Juliana Airport check-in at a hotel in Oyster pond, spend the day on Orient beach, enjoy a top notch dinner at a restaurant in Grand Case and complete the evening enjoying the nightlife on the Simpson Bay boulevard.    

Because of this treaty…. we share a common culture that is expressed on both sides of the island through local cuisine, music and dance. 

It would be remiss of me to paint a picture that portrays everything between the both sides as perfect in paradise. If you should ask the question is there room for improvement? The answer is yes, and I can safely say that civil servants on both sides are hard at work, finding the common ground and solutions to establish mutually beneficial agreements for the residents and guests on both sides of our Sweet Sint Maarten.

As outlined in the Governing Program – “Building a sustainable Sint Maarten” of this current administration, priority has been given to strengthen cooperation with French Saint Martin. 

Quadripartite meetings (Q–Meeting) between government officials from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of France, Government of Sint Maarten and the Collectivité of Saint Martin continue to take place addressing many of the issues at the highest levels.

Efforts and work are ongoing in such areas as Firefighting and Disaster management. 

As it relates to the European Development Funds, joint projects are continuing such as the Cleanup of the Simpson bay lagoon.

Initiatives for joint tourism promotion, marketing and product development of our island are visible and are expected to yield tangible results in the near future. 

Another visible example of meaningful cooperation built on the foundation of the Treaty of Concordia is in the area of Justice and public order. Recently the community was able to witness joint controls by the both law enforcement agencies. 

Cooperation also exists in the area of Public Health, Public Transportation, Maritime and Aviation.

In conclusion, I would like to remind everyone here gathered that the peaceful coexistence that we enjoy today can only continue through meaningful cooperation and a willingness to solve issues in a mutually beneficial manner. As leaders and administrators, it is our duty to maintain the spirit of the Treaty of Concordia and uphold its principles for another 371 years and beyond for the benefit of the generations to follow.”

Thank you.

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Utrecht shooting suspect confesses to crime, second man released

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The man suspected of shooting dead three people on a tram in Utrecht on Monday has confessed to the crime, the public prosecution department said in a short statement on Friday. 

In addition, Gökmen Tanis has confirmed he acted alone, the department said. The 40-year-old man arrested earlier this week has been released from custody and is no longer considered a suspect. 

The statement did not say if Tanis, 37, had admitted there was a terrorist motive for his crime, as police believe. He was remanded in court for two weeks on Friday while the investigation continues. 

Tanis was arrested on Monday evening after a city-wide hunt. He is suspected of carrying out the shooting with terrorist intent although police said earlier, they have not ruled out personal problems playing a role. 

He will now undergo psychiatric evaluation. Police say they suspect a terrorist motive was behind the killings because of the note left by Tanis in the red Renault Clio which he had stolen and used as a getaway car after the shooting. 

Police have not said what was written in the note but said that it did point to Tanis having jihadi views. Tanis has a history of petty crime and had been released from jail on license pending a trial for rape less than three weeks before the shooting. 

March 

Meanwhile, prime minister Mark Rutte and the mayors of Amsterdam and The Hague will join the silent march for the victims which is being held on Friday evening. 

The anti-Islam group Pegida has also said it will take part. The march will begin at the Jaarbeurs in the city centre and end on the 24 Oktoberplein where the shooting took place. 

People wishing to attend are being asked to bring red and white flowers – red and white being the colours of the Utrecht flag.(DutchNews)

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SMMC celebrates International World Kidney Day

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - The St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) celebrated International World Kidney day on Thursday March 14th, 2019. World Kidney Day is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of kidney health in our communities. 

SMMC celebrated World Kidney Day in its patio organized by the Nephrology department in collaboration with Because of Prayer Miracle Centre sharing information on Kidney failure and Kidney Transplantation. 

Nephrologists, Dr. Laima Siddiqi-Nadery and Dr. Gabe van Essen covered a wide range of topics including general kidney health, diabetes and kidney disease, associated complications, treatment options and kidney transplant. Attendees were also treated to presentations by a former dialysis patient who is also a kidney transplant recipient, Ms. Felecita Williams. She shared her experience with kidney disease, her transplantations experiences and was able to answer questions.

Dialysis Nurse, Ms. Georgina Mingau gave a comprehensive presentation on the processes and procedures of receiving a kidney transplant. Ms. Mingau was instrumental in the development of the transatlantic transplant collaboration between Amsterdam hospital and SMMC. The process increases the success rate of the transplantations, with reduced discomfort for the patients. Her presentation provided attendees with a greater insight on what can be expected for such a journey.

Overall the event proved to be a success with a full crowd in the SMMC patio. 

Dr. Siddiqi-Nadery stated: “Awareness is a key ingredient in success. If you have it, teach it, if you lack it, seek it. It was a great day with a lot of information and awareness for the public. It was amazing to see the great number of attendees. I am looking forward to more informative sessions and gatherings soon.”  

Upon conclusions of the program attendees to mingle and speak to the specialists and staff while enjoying refreshments.

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Cruise ship passenger drowns at Kim Sha Beach

SIMPSON BAY - On Wednesday March 20that approximately 2.35 PM police patrols and paramedics were directed to Kim Sha beach where it was reported that a man had drowned, police said on Thursday. 

On the scene the investigating officers encountered paramedics who were busy applying first aid to the mail victim who was lying on his back on the beach. The victim, however, was not reacting to the aid that was giving to him. 

After approximately 15 minutes of the unsuccessful attempt to reanimate the victim the attempt was halted. Dr. Mercuur who arrived on the scene pronounced the death of the victim as a result of drowning. 

According to a family member of the victim, he entered the water for a swim and at one point was not seen anymore. The victim identified with initials T.L.F and a passenger on board of the Harmony of The Seas was taken to a morgue for further arrangement. There were no signs of foul play in this investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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License plate fee control compliance to commence March 21

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Tax Administration, div: Receiver’s office, hereby informs the public that in cooperation with Police Dept. (KPSM), controls for complianceof the Motor vehicle tax ordinance will commence on Thursday, March 21, 2019. 

Before this date, all vehicles must carry the 2019 plates/stickers. In accordance with art.25 of the Motor Vehicle tax ordinance, drivers/owners of vehicles who are non-compliant with the above-mentioned will be fined Naf. 300.00. In addition to the fine, drivers will have to endure the inconvenience of having their vehicles confiscated.

What to do in the event your vehicle is confiscated?

In the event your vehicle is confiscated, you must go to the Receivers office with valid insurance and inspection card for the vehicle and pay the motor vehicle taxes on the vehicle. 

The tariffs for the motor vehicle taxes 2019 are as follows:

License Plate                            Gasoline vehicle                       Diesel vehicle

Designation                                     Nafls.                                          Nafls.

M- /P-                                 

      275.00 + 12.50*   

 750.00 + 12.50*

TAXI                                   

      275.00 + 12.50* 

 750.00 + 12.50*

R-                                        

      275.00 + 12.50*

 550.00 + 12.50*

B/G/T                             

-35 passengers or less

      300.00 + 12.50* 

 750.00 + 12.50*

B/ G/ T                        

-35 passengers or more 

      275.00 + 12.50* 

 550.00 + 12.50*

V-                                        

Weight less than 3500 kg ( 7700 lbs)

     1250.00 +12.50*

1250.00+ 12.50*

V-                                      

Weight more than 3500 kg (7700 lbs)  

      275.00 + 12.50* 

 750.00 + 12.50*

Z-                                      

Weight more than 3500 kg (7700 lbs)

    1250.00 + 12.50*

1250.00 + 12.50*

MF- Motorbike                   

    1250.00 + 12.50*

1250.00 + 12.50*

MF – Moped                         

       200.00 + 7.50*                 

         50.00 + 7.50*

* Price of the number plate.

After making payment to the Receiver, you proceed with your 2019 motor vehicle tax receipt to the Police Department. The Police Dept. will provide you with a release form, with which you will go to the towing company specified on the release form in order to retrieve your vehicle.

How much will this cost?

In order to retrieve your vehicle, you will first have to pay to the towing company $ 90.00 towing charges and $ 15.00 per day storage fee.

Based on art. 25 of the Motor Vehicle tax ordinance, you will also have to pay the fine of Naf 300.00, issued by the police. This can be paid at the Receivers office.

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Police arrest a new suspect in Utrecht shooting, two brothers are released

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Police have arrested a 40-year old man from Utrecht in connection with the tram shooting in the city on Monday in which three people died. 

The man was picked up on Tuesday afternoon and is now, along with Gökmen Tanis, one of two suspects being held in custody. Nothing has been made public about why he was arrested. 

Two other men, who are brothers but are not related to Tanis, were released on Tuesday afternoon and are no longer considered to be suspects, the public prosecution department said in a statement. 

Police are asking more witnesses who were on the tram to come forward as their investigation into the shooting continues. The motive for the shooting remains unclear, although police say they have not established any relationship between the alleged killer and his victims. 

Eyewitnesses said the killer appeared to be aiming at a woman when he opened fire on the tram in Utrecht at 9.45am on Monday. However, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday that the note left in a red car, believed to be the getaway vehicle, led them to suspect terrorism. 

‘Until now, we are looking seriously at a terrorist motive,’ the department said in a statement. ‘The note found in the getaway car and the nature of the facts would indicate this. 

Other motives have not been ruled out and these are being looked into.’ Also, on Tuesday it emerged that Tanis has a criminal record and was released from jail on license ahead of his trial for rape on March 1.(DutchNews)

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Wednesday is World Oral Health Day “Say Ahh, Act on Mouth Health”

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated every year on 20 March and this year’s theme is: Say Ahh, Act on Mouth Health.”  

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the ministry, says its dental unit continues to carry out regularly oral health presentations at the country’s primary schools and within the community promoting oral health. 

WOHD is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues surrounding oral health and the importance of oral hygiene.

It is a day for people to have fun that make you laugh, sing and smile. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the today the world faces two kinds of malnutrition, one associated with hunger or nutrition deficiency and the other with dietary excess.  Diet and nutrition affect oral health in many ways.

The WHO says research has shown that fluoride is most effective in dental caries prevention when a low level of fluoride is constantly maintained in the oral cavity.

According to the World Dental Federation, about 90 per cent of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime and many of them can be avoided.

Oral health means the health of the mouth. A healthy mouth allows you to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions with confidence and without pain, discomfort and disease. No matter what your age – 5, 25, 65 or 85 years – oral health is vital to your general health and well-being.

Oral diseases are the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death.

Behavioural risk factors for oral diseases are shared with other major NCDs, such as an unhealthy diet high in free sugars, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.

Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, was estimated to be the 11th most prevalent disease globally. 

Severe tooth loss and edentulism (no natural tooth) was one of the leading ten causes of Years Lived with Disability (YLD) in some high-income countries.

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 estimated that oral diseases affected half of the world’s population (3.58 billion people) with dental caries (tooth decay) in permanent teeth being the most prevalent condition assessed.

To reduce oral diseases, it is up to you to take preventative measures.  

The WHO says, dental caries can be largely prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity. Optimal fluoride can be obtained from different sources such as fluoridated drinking water, salt, milk and toothpaste. 

Twice-daily tooth brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste (1000 to 1500 ppm) should be encouraged. Long-term exposure to an optimal level of fluoride results in substantially lower incidence and prevalence of tooth decay across all ages.

Eat a well-balanced diet low in sugar; eat adequate amounts of fruit and vegetables which may have a protective role in oral cancer prevention; and reduce smoking and alcohol consumption.

grade 2 ins1 wed2003

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Sint Maarten participates at the OCTA Ministerial Conference

SINT MAARTEN/PAPEETE, FRENCH POLYNESIA – On Thursday, February 28, 2019, St. Maarten lead by the Deputy Minister of Plenipotentiary, the Honorable Michael Somersall, participated in the OCTA Ministerial Conference in French Polynesia. During the Ministerial Conference, Sint Maarten’sDeputy Minister of Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall signed the Political Declaration and Administrative Resolutions of OCTA on behalf of Sint Maarten. 

During his intervention, Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Somersall reiterated St. Maarten’s support for continued cooperation with the UK Overseas Territories within OCTA to the extent possible, with regards to the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Moreover, Deputy Minister Somersall shared Sint Maarten’s outstanding concerns with regards to the proposed OCT financial instrument post 2020 and urged OCTs to work together to ensure that the future financial instrument takes into account the specificities and constraints of the OCTs.

Following two consecutive terms as the President of the Executive Committee of OCTA on behalf of Sint Maarten, Mrs. Carol Voges, handed over the baton to Saint Pierre et Miquelon for the administrative year 2019. Noteworthy, Sint Maarten retains a position as member of the Executive Committee of OCTA.

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