On Thursday 28 October and Tuesday 2 November, the Regional Health Services in Suriname (Regionale Gezondheidsdienst, RGD) received medical supplies provided by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), in collaboration with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Paramaribo, 2 November 2021 (PAHO) – Suriname is currently experiencing the fourth wave of COVID-19, while working towards achieving high (at least 70%) vaccination coverage of the target population. With many challenges in the field of healthcare services, the RGD has been expanding the capacity of its services to provide the vaccination and management of any possible side effects. Most regional clinics now also serve as vaccination sites in addition to providing routine primary care services, and proper medical equipment is needed to provide the community with adequate health services.
The donations by PAHO and USAID to the RGD consisted of 12 privacy screens/room dividers, 90 chairs, 160 goggles, 900 reservoir bag masks and 33 oxygen tanks with a capacity of 55 cubic feet. The oxygen tanks were filled with oxygen and accessories such as regulators, barb connectors and humidifiers. Early October a similar donation to the RGD was done by PAHO and USAID, that consisted of 13 Pulse Oximeters, 15 Infrared non-contact Thermometers, 15 Advanced Blood Pressure Machines, 100 pcs Face shields, 10 boxes of face masks, 250 KN-95 face masks, 12 Liquid Soap Dispensers and 10 Liters of Alcohol Gel Hand Sanitizers.
USAID has partnered with PAHO to provide the Eastern and Southern Caribbean countries with support for their COVID-19 National Vaccination Deployment Plan. Areas being supported in Suriname include the following:
Service delivery: Strengthening access and use of infection prevention and control (IPC) standards, personal protective equipment (PPE), safe client flows, and AEFI kits to the RGD facilities designated for COVID-19 vaccination
Policy, Planning and Coordination: Technical assistance for the coordination and operationalizing of the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 including supporting vaccination missions to Amerindian villages in western Suriname
Supporting the coordination and logistics aspects of operations for the COVID-19 vaccination including training of health care workers at the RGD (refresher training to be done this month)
Support for the design and implementation of an information system including tools and databases for registering vaccine doses given and analysis and reporting of data. This is the DHIS2 database in final stages of development
“The role of PAHO as a technical cooperation agency is to provide the necessary technical guidance and support needed to the Ministry of Health and its partner entities to deliver on their commitments and strategic agenda for health and development in Suriname. Given the situation with the pandemic, supporting the response to COVID-19 including the preventive measures is an integral component of our technical cooperation in emergency preparedness and response. USAID’s support in this regard is well recognized and appreciated”, said Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, PAHO/WHO Representative in Suriname.