Desiree J. Hooi

Desiree J. Hooi was born in Willemstad, Curaçao. After obtaining her degree as a Registered Nurse at the Instituto pa Formashon den Enfermeria (IFE) on Curaçao in the year 2000, she worked as a RN for a few years and in 2005, she moved to Costa Rica to study medicine at the University of Medical Sciences (UCIMED). In 2011, she obtained her medical degree and moved back to Curaçao where she worked for 2 years as a clinician. January 2013, Hooi started a PhD study to conclude the best strategies to minimize cervical incidence on Curaçao. On October 25th, 2018, Hooi obtained from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), her PhD in Medical Sciences.


Between 2013-2015, Desiree gathered data for the population study on HPV and cervical cancer on Curaçao. She moved to the Netherlands in 2016 to analyze and to describe the findings of the research. This was done at the Pathology Department of Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA), which is a research division of the Academic Hospital of Amsterdam UMC.

In 2018, she defended the outcome of her research, which are described in her dissertation entitled: HPV and cervical cancer on Curaçao, towards implementation of an integrated prevention program. In order to find the best strategies for cervical cancer prevention on Curaçao, she gained knowledge about the psychological, social and anthropological role in a population’s health and in the healthcare sector. She also gained knowledge on Global Health, Global Health Governance and Human Rights.


The strive for an integrated and contextual approach in healthcare is essential.
Desiree Hooi is driven by the passion for pursuing the possibilities, so everyone can enjoy good health and care. To achieve the aforementioned, factors related to behaviour, culture, beliefs, and social environment play an important role in her approach. Every single factor must be understood and taken into account when designing or implementing healthcare programs and services. These factors also play a role and influence the ways of communication. By understanding how people communicate, and how information is perceived, strategies can be adapted to convey information so the population remains well-informed. Developed countries with a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds face a major challenge in gathering and including groups with varied socio-cultural backgrounds, to participate in local healthcare systems and programs. Data shows that it is precisely these groups that show higher incidence, prevalence and mortality rates as a result of certain diseases. Hence, health care systems must be designed according to the social and cultural standards of each population; communicated in a way that information reaches the population; and regularly evaluated and tested so that these people are not left behind, because the enjoyment of good health is a fundamental human right.  
To achieve maximum efficiency, approaches and services in healthcare should be explicitly adapted to the aspects mentioned before. This is possible by means of an integrated and contextual approach, working in close collaboration with a great variety of professionals.