Successful implementation of Capacity Building Workshops for Health Care Providers in Suriname to implement the HEARTs initiative

Capacity Building Workshops

Acting Deputy Director of Health Drs. Ritesh A. Dhanpat, Acting Director of Health Dr. Rakesh Gajadhar Sukul, Medical Doctor at the RGD and member of the HEARTS National Coordinating Team (NCT) Dr. Aloysius Koendjbiharie, PAHO/WHO Technical Officer for NCD Gloria Giraldo, PAHO/WHO Advisor Health System and Services Dr. Rosmond Adams, and PAHO/WHO NMH National Consultant Dr. Wendy Emanuelson-Telgt during the 3-day Capacity Building Workshops.

Suriname, August 22, 2022 (PAHO) – The Ministry of Health in Suriname, with the support of PAHO/WHO Suriname, organized, a 3-day interactive capacity building workshop from August 16 – 18 for healthcare providers in Suriname. 

The purpose of the National Workshops was to promote the HEARTS in the Americas initiative as a National Approach to tackle cardiovascular disease by controlling hypertension through the strengthening of the Healthcare System at the Primary Care Level. 

The workshops brought together a wide-cross section of the implementors to gain a better understanding of HEARTS and how this initiative will be implemented and its role in the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases. Since accepting to join the HEARTS in the America Initiative the Ministry of Health in Suriname, with technical guidance from PAHO/WHO Suriname, has been leading the initiative and has implemented several activities to date:

  • Assigned of National HEARTS coordinators
  • Established of HEARTS Technical working group
  • Prepared a National Scale-up plan
  • Identified the initial implementation sites
  • Facilitated the development of a proposed pharmacological treatment protocol for hypertension and clinical pathway
  • Facilitated working meetings to review the Systems for Monitoring and Evaluation

The 3-day workshop was opened by PAHO/WHO HSS Advisor Dr. Rosmond Adams. He noted that;

“As PAHO we are delighted to provide technical guidance to the Ministry of Health in the process of implementing the HEARTS initiative. By 2025, HEARTS will be the institutionalized model for cardiovascular disease risk management, including hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia in primary health care in the Americas.”

Furthermore, there were brief remarks and speeches by the Minister of Health Dr. Amar Ramadhin, and from the Chief Operations Officer of the Inter-American Development Bank in Suriname, Mr. Steven Collins. Representatives from Trinidad & Tobago, Dr Alana Best, and Dr Michael Pereira from Guyana provided case studies on how the HEARTS initiatives are implemented in their respected countries.

Dr. Gloria Giraldo, PAHO/WHO NCD Technical Officer, elaborated on the HEARTS initiative on how the global initiative can improve the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases in the first level of care.  She stated that;

 PAHO NCD Specialist Gloria Giraldo MPH provides information on the initiative during the 3-day Capacity Building Workshops.

“The Ministry of Health in Suriname and all its partners have shown great commitment to the implementation of the HEARTS Initiative, which means improving the care of patients with chronic condition with the best practices in cardiovascular health management. The goal of implementing these innovative and pragmatic solutions is to strengthen the primary care level in the country.

A field visit to the Regional Health Department (RGD) was also scheduled, as the implementation of the HEARTS initiative will be introduced at selected outpatient clinics of the RGD and Medical Mission (MZ).

 Field visit during the 3-day workshop at the Regional Health Department

The 3-day workshop concluded with a speech concerning the commitments and next steps from the Ministry of Health in Suriname by HEARTS NCT Dr. Maureen Wijngaarde – van Dijk. Several of these commitments and next steps include: 

  • Ensure access to needed medication through the involvement of the insurance companies
  • Provide training on the HEARTS modules
  • RGD will provide the facilities available including logistics and human resources
  • Include insurance companies in the process (finalizing protocol).
  • Develop clinical pathway based on protocol (include representative of Bureau Medicine Supplies Suriname (BVGS) to ensure availability of needed medication).
  • PAHO/WHO Suriname will provide technical guidance and will share knowledge for clinical pathway