Suriname, May 12, 2023 (PAHO/WHO) – On May 10, 2023, the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Suriname (NMH) in collaboration with St. Jude Global, organized a National Meeting on Childhood Cancer in Suriname.
The meeting is an essential step towards improving the standard of pediatric cancer care in Suriname. Childhood cancer is a global health issue, and the WHO has launched the Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer (GICC) to improve childhood cancer survival rates, especially in low- and middle-income countries. CureAll Americas, of which Suriname is a participating country, is a partnership between St. Jude Global and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), aimed at accelerating the diagnosis, treatment, and care for children with cancer in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As a participating country of CureAll Americas, the National meeting focused on using the Childhood Cancer Control Country Collaboration Tool (C5 tool), developed by St. Jude Global, for childhood cancer control. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a comprehensive cancer center in the United States dedicated exclusively to children and is the first and only WHO Collaborating Centre for Childhood Cancer
PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Lilian Reneau-Vernon commended the Ministry of Health for this initiative and ensured that she is
“confident that our collective efforts will help to improve the quality of life for children with cancer in Suriname and contribute to global efforts to combat pediatric cancer.”
The National Meeting on Childhood Cancer in Suriname: CureAll Americas yielded several important outcomes. The meeting produced a national stakeholder mapping, which identified all stakeholders involved in pediatric cancer care in Suriname. The stakeholder identification was moderated by Patricia Loggetto, Consultant, Center and South America Regional Program at St Jude Global and Soad Fuentes-Alabí, Childhood cancer PAHO / WHO consultant, and provided a comprehensive understanding of the current state of pediatric cancer care and help to determine the necessary steps to improve it.
Additionally, a national SWOT analysis was conducted during the meeting with the virtual input from Ms Loggetto and Liliana Vasquez, Childhood cancer PAHO / WHO consultant. This analysis identified the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to pediatric cancer care in Suriname. This information will be critical in developing an action plan that addresses the identified gaps and builds on the existing strengths.
Lastly, the meeting resulted in a list of prioritized gaps in pediatric cancer care in Suriname. This list will identify the most significant areas for improvement in pediatric cancer care and serve as a roadmap for future efforts in this area. By identifying these gaps and prioritizing them, stakeholders can work together to create a plan to address the challenges and improve the care provided to children with cancer in Suriname.
Dr. Els Dams, the oncologist at the Ministry of Health, was a speaker during the National Meeting on Childhood Cancer in Suriname: CureAll Americas and was involved in the situational analysis of childhood cancer in the country. After the meeting, she expressed her satisfaction with the discussions and outcomes and looks forward to working towards improving pediatric cancer care in Suriname. The positive feedback by Dr. Dams highlights the importance of this initiative and the potential impact it can have on the healthcare system in Suriname.
Overall, the outcomes of the meeting are crucial for improving the care provided to children with cancer in Suriname and will contribute to the WHO Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer.