Paramaribo, Suriname, November 14, 2023 (PAHO/WHO) — The National Influenza Center (NIC) of Suriname marked a significant milestone in global health security by sending influenza samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a World Health Organization Collaborating Center. This initiative represents a crucial step in strengthening global influenza surveillance and response capabilities.
The Central Laboratory from the Bureau of Public Health is the NIC in Suriname and together with the Epidemiology Department, successfully dispatched these critical samples. This action is part of the WHO's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework, an initiative established in 2011 to bolster global readiness against influenza pandemics.
CDC’s Influenza Division, renowned for its comprehensive year-round surveillance, plays a vital role in detecting and analyzing influenza viruses. This division, along with other WHO Collaborating Centers globally, is instrumental in determining the composition of annual seasonal influenza vaccines and developing pandemic preparedness strategies. The division’s responsibility extends to creating candidate vaccine viruses, which are essential for vaccine manufacturers in mass-producing flu vaccines.
This collaboration with CDC is Suriname's first such shipment since January 2020 and signifies the country's proactive stance in contributing to global health efforts.
"By sending flu samples from our National Influenza Center to the World Health Organization Collaboration Center, we play a crucial role in the global fight against flu outbreaks. This cooperation helps in quickly identifying flu strains and creating effective vaccines, keeping people all over the world safer from pandemic threats. - Dr. Radjesh Ori, Acting Director of the Bureau of Public Health.
The successful execution of this activity, with technical assistance from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Headquarters and Country Office in Suriname, underscores the country's commitment to international health cooperation. It highlights Suriname’s vital role in the global network of influenza surveillance and its dedication to safeguarding public health both locally and internationally.