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Urban HEART Suriname

Paramaribo, 22 November 2011 (PAHO) — The Urban HEART Suriname Team held a Stakeholders Meeting on the 16 of November 2011 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel.  The objective of this meeting was to identify health equity issues and familiarize stakeholders with the Urban HEART initiative.  Participants included 23 stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Police, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Regional Development, and community-based organizations, all from the Resorts Rainville, Latour, and Flora.  Other stakeholders who attended included the director of the Bureau of Public Health, Head of Social Affairs, and the District Commissioner of Paramaribo North-East.  

Dr. Kathleen Israël, acting PAHO/WHO Representative, opened the meeting with welcoming remarks, followed by the facilitator, Dr. Maureen van Dijk, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Public Health, Ministry of Health. Afterwards, Urban HEART Suriname Team members presented the objectives of the day, a briefing on the study, as well as, an overview regarding the social determinants, health inequities, and urban contexts. The remaining part of the meeting was a discussion with stakeholders who identified health inequity concerns in Paramaribo. The meeting was well received by the participants and opened up opportunities for future communication regarding issues of concern.

The Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (URBAN HEART) is a six-step process. After finalizing the follow-up for the stakeholders meeting, the Urban HEART Suriname Team progresses to the third step, which focuses on collecting data on health inequities. Subsequent steps will gather stakeholders again to review the data and collaboratively develop a response to identified health inequities based on local evidence. 

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