Advancing Maternal and Newborn Health - Launching the Pilot Perinatal Information System Plus in Suriname

23 Nov 2023
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23 Nov 2023

Suriname, November 23, 2023 (PAHO/WHO) – Suriname, like many countries, faces a significant challenge in maternal and newborn health, with a maternal mortality rate (MMR) that stands higher than desired. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Ministry of Health in Suriname, with technical support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), is set to expand digitalization of healthcare data through the introduction of the Perinatal Information System (SIP) Plus.

This latest iteration of the Perinatal Information System, SIP Plus, extends the integration between various levels of care and specialized services, offering a versatile solution accessible on a wide array of electronic devices, including computers, desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

In essence, the new SIP Plus system represents a significant stride towards a more technologically advanced, efficient, and comprehensive approach to maternal and newborn healthcare. Its integration into the healthcare landscape of Suriname holds the promise of improved outcomes, enhanced monitoring, and ultimately, a healthier future for mothers and their newborns.

To address the multifaceted aspects of maternal and newborn health, SIP Plus is equipped with fifteen modules, among them three main distinct modules:

  1. Perinatal Module:
    • Encompassing the prenatal, delivery, and immediate postpartum phases, this module provides a comprehensive view of the perinatal period. From monitoring pregnancies to tracking delivery outcomes, the Perinatal Module is a vital component for holistic care.
  2. Maternal Morbidity/Near Miss Mortality Module:
    • Focused on maternal health, this module allows for the meticulous tracking of maternal morbidity and near miss mortality cases. By identifying and analyzing these critical events, healthcare professionals can enhance preventative measures and improve overall maternal well-being.
  3. Neonatal Module (SIPNeo):
    • Specifically tailored for neonatal care, this module is dedicated to monitoring and managing the health of newborns. From vital statistics to immediate post-birth care, SIPNeo ensures that neonatal health is prioritized and closely monitored.

The Ministry of Health in Suriname will implement the Pilot SIP Plus in 6 sites, including two public hospitals and 4 selected primary healthcare facilities operated by the Regional Health Service (RGD) and the Medical Mission.

This project was launched during a national workshop on SIP held on November 21, 2023, and served as a pivotal moment in this project, bringing together stakeholders to discuss challenges, strategies, and recommendations for the successful implementation of the SIP Plus system. The day was opened with welcome remarks by the PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Noreen Jack and Director of Health, Ministry of Health Dr. Rakesh Gajadhar Sukul,

Dr. Lachmi Kodan shared evidence-based data on SiTAN Maternal and Newborn health, paving the way for Drs. S. Nannan Panday to introduce the SIP system's evolution from paper-based to digitalized form. The SIP team, through a dynamic pre-training tools video, demonstrated the system's capabilities, emphasizing its role as an evidence-based approach to health management. Dr. Mainero Luis and Mrs. Mariana Gonzalez, representing the CLAP team, delved into best practices with SIP Plus in the Caribbean region, shedding light on challenges and proposing strategies for mitigation.

The working groups, led by the CLAP team and SIP Working Group Suriname, engaged in robust discussions on implementing the pilot SIP, addressing needs, challenges, and formulating recommendations.

"I am thrilled that all prenatal data is now digitally available, allowing us to link and analyze information seamlessly. Conducting extensive research over the years, it has always been a challenge to bring data together — a cumbersome process. This project has been a long time in the making, and I am delighted that we are finally embarking on this journey. The prospect of having all medical data in hospitals and clinics digitized is equally promising; it holds the potential to significantly enhance the quality of healthcare in the future." - Dr. Lachmi Kodan Gynaecologist/Obstetrician at Academic Hospital Paramaribo

The primary goal is to assess the functionality of the SIP system as a potent instrument for monitoring maternal and newborn health, providing a foundation for evidence-based decision-making, and contributing to the formulation of informed policies and programs. This initiative is poised to test the application of the adapted Dutch form within the system, leveraging the expertise of trained Focal Points.


"PAHO applauds the commitment of the Ministry of Health in Suriname to implement the SIP in Suriname as a key instrument in the improvement of maternal and childcare. PAHO/WHO remains committed to provide technical cooperation to support the improvement of maternal and newborn care including support for the implementation of the ‘Maternal and newborn Health Strategy’, 2021-2025’ and the implementation of the Perinatal Health Information System, as important steps towards achieving the SDGs.” - Dr. Noreen Jack PAHO/WHO Representative Suriname

In conclusion, the introduction of the Pilot SIP Plus is a big step towards transformative healthcare practices in Suriname. It exemplifies a dedication to leveraging technology for the betterment of maternal and newborn health, with the potential to catalyze positive change and set a precedent for innovative healthcare solutions.