Seventeen persons who completed the van Wiechen Training from October 28 to November 1 received their certification during a ceremony held at the Baby Wellness Clinic, Vineyard Building on Friday at 5 pm from Acting Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) and Minister of VROMI Christopher Wever
The Van Wiechen study is intended to guide the development of healthy children between 0 to 4.5 years old and track mild to moderate abnormalities in their development. It also helps professionals to quickly identify severe pathological issues so the affected child can be speedily referred to the appropriate specialists at an early stage.
Once abnormalities are recognized, the professionals who administer care also register their finding in what is called the Van Wiechschema. Children with significant challenges are diagnosed and routinely monitored.
During Friday's ceremony, Wever told the graduates he was very proud of their accomplishment. He commended the staff of the Collective Prevention Service, Section Youth Health Care, for organizing the 5-day training. "It remains of utmost importance that we systematically chart the child's development during consultations and guide the parents, especially during this tender age of a child's life," said Wever.
The facilitator of the training was Dr Selma van der Harst. According to Wever, Dr Van der Harst has made a personal commitment to the improvement of healthcare on St. Maarten. "She brings with her a wealth of experience that enhances our local professionals’ knowledge and technical skills to execute the Van Wiechen method in Youth Health Care.”
Youth Health Care Doctors and Nurses both on St. Maarten and in the BES Islands participated in the 5-day training. During his brief address to the graduates, Wever said he believes that early detection of developmental disorders can significantly increase the chance of finding solutions and of identifying the appropriate medical specialists needed to assist the vulnerable. He uttered sentiments from former US President John F. Kennedy, who once said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resources and its best hope for the future.”