Suriname Enhances Coordination for Health Emergency Responses


Paramaribo, Suriname, 25 October 2023  (PAHO/WHO) — Answering a call from the Health Disasters Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) led an instrumental two-day workshop from October 18 to 19, 2023. Dubbed "Strengthening of Health Emergency Operations Centers and Coordination Mechanisms," the program focused on refining Suriname's approach to public health emergencies.

With modern health frameworks growing more intricate and multi-hazard scenarios becoming commonplace, there's a pressing need for streamlined and cohesive response strategies. Suriname, having faced its share of crises, has consistently activated its national emergency protocols and health emergency operation centers. This workshop aimed to unify various response methodologies, renew key procedural protocols, and establish a consolidated approach for health emergencies in Suriname.

The event drew an array of health sector professionals essential to Suriname's emergency response. The mix of presentations, teamwork activities, and collective dialogues provided participants with a platform to align their knowledge on Coordination Mechanisms and evaluate their current coordination strategies, aiming to isolate and fortify vital emergency functions and operations.

Among the attendees were the Health Disaster Coordinator (HDC), representatives from the HDC Unit, IHR Focal Point, officials of the Bureau of Public Health, delegates from hospitals, and key staff of the National Coordination Center For Disaster Relief (NCCR).
Guiding the discussions and activities were Ms Lealou Reballos, PAHO's Health Emergencies Advisor for the Caribbean, and Ms Joanne Persad, International Consultant from PAHO.

In conclusion, this initiative underscores Suriname's proactive approach and dedication to enhancing its health crisis response. Armed with fresh insights and newly established strategies, Suriname is well-equipped to face future challenges with renewed vigor and precision taking a multi-stakeholder approach to preparing for and responding to health emergencies.