June 2, 2020 - To support the continued preparedness of the country to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns, goggles, medical masks and hand sanitizer among others to the Regional Health Service (RGD) and the Medical Mission (MZ) – two entities responsible for the provision of health services at the first level of care in Suriname.
The role of the health system in the response to COVID-19 is to save lives. Its capacity to do this will extend from the hospital level to service delivery at the first level of care. Typically the first level of care is the health provider who represents a patient’s first contact with the health system and coordinates other specialist care that the patient may need. In the response to COVID-19, this first level of care is instrumental for case detection and control, monitoring patients at home, triage, patient referral, and public education, as well as maintaining other essential health services.
At the meeting, the PAHO/WHO technical team also shared recommendations on how the first level of care can be strengthened through the use of innovative approaches to provide COVID-19 services as well as to maintain other essential services such as immunizations, maternal health and care for persons with chronic conditions among others. Opportunities for collaboration were identified in the areas of surveillance, infection, prevention and control measures, r risk communication and community engagement activities. Both the RGD and Medical Mission expressed appreciation for the supplies provided by the PAHO/WHO and welcomed the continued technical assistance to strengthen the first level of care in Suriname.