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Jasmira Wiersma wins Dutch Caribbean Research Week Best Poster Prize

04 July 2022
Jasmira Wiersma
Jasmira Wiersma

Jasmira Wiersma has won the Best Poster Prize at the Dutch Caribbean Research Week held by The Dutch Research Council (NWO) in June. Her poster titled ‘Subjective Health, Socioeconomic Status and Descent: pre and amid COVID-19. A case for Curaçao’ was found to be the best by the organizing committee and the conference participants.

Throughout the weeklong conference, researchers from around the world got the opportunity to present their work through oral or poster presentations. Wiersma, a PhD candidate and lecturer at FEB’s department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance, chose to present her research through a poster. At the end of the week, her poster presentation was chosen to receive the prize.

Collaborative effort

Wiersma worked on the research project together with Dr. Tineke Alberts (Curacao Biomedical and Health Research Institute), Dr. Renske Pin (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Groningen) and Prof. Dr. Rob Alessie (department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance, University of Groningen). In the study, the researchers investigated the impact of the pandemic on self-rated health (SRH) by comparing within-group pre and amid COVID-19 measurements of health status. They focused on determinants related to socioeconomic status (SES), place of birth, and financial hardships experienced during the pandemic. Using data from two surveys fielded in the SONORO Community, a panel of households in Curaçao, the researchers confirm previous evidence on the inverse effect of SES on Self Rated Health.

Income and education as driving forces

Wiersma: “Income and education seem to be the main driving forces behind our findings. Strikingly, we find that individuals born in the Netherlands or Latin America are more likely to report better health status than those born in Curaçao. This effect of place of birth on SRH seems to be above that of education. The findings suggest that the observed differences between individuals born in the Netherlands or Latin America and Curaçao may be attributed to healthier lifestyle characteristics, as we observe that these individuals are physically more active and have healthier eating habits than individuals born in Curaçao. Turning to changes in SRH amid COVID-19, the findings indicate that respondents with a college education and those who did not lose their jobs during the pandemic report slightly better health than in the pre- COVID period. On the other hand, economically inactive respondents were more likely to report poorer health amid COVID. These results suggest that interventions to promote healthy lifestyles should focus on health education and making healthy lifestyle choices more accessible. These policies should especially take the indigenous population from Curaçao and those most affected by the pandemic into consideration.”

The Dutch Caribbean Research Week

The Dutch Caribbean Research Week is a conference highlighting scientific research conducted on the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, and Saba). In addition to the research presentations, several panel discussions are held focusing on how to improve the scientific research agenda on the islands.

Last modified:04 July 2022 10.11 a.m.

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