Driven by Christian Principles, the Medical Mission Primary Health Care Suriname has been providing quality health care to the hard-to-reach communities in the interior of Suriname for almost 300 years. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has collaborated with the Medical Mission in many ways over the years, ensuring that vulnerable groups, especially in remote areas, have access to quality health care and are not left behind.
The Medical Mission provides health care through 51 clinics – many accessible only by boat - over an area of 130,000 square kilometers in the districts of Brokopondo and Sipaliwini with about 54,000 persons, mainly indigenous (Amerindian), tribal (Maroon) and migrant populations (gold miners and forestry workers). Its main objective is to promote and secure physical, mental- and social well-being of the population in the interior of Suriname. The Government of Suriname does not have an infrastructure in place for healthcare services or clinics in these areas, and the Medical Mission has proven to be an invaluable partner in providing healthcare services within these remote communities.
As part of an Integrated Primary Health Care model, the Medical Mission has trained healthcare assistants from the communities, to engage in health promotion activities, provide treatment for common ailments, and to provide rehabilitation services under the supervision of doctors.This Christian non-governmental health organization began its service as a medical mission of the Moravian Church from as early as 3 October 1740, with the first missionary and also a doctor, J. Franz Reynier. In the early to mid-1970s they were merged under one umbrella with other Foundations from Baptist and Roman Catholic Churches which were also providing medical care to the Amerindian population. Currently, it operates with direct financial support from the Government as well as donor contributions from local and international partners.