As part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Suriname, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the Canadian government, has donated protective- as well as durable equipment to the Ministry of Health. These resources are intended for elderly care homes. The donation includes laptops, disposable hand towel dispensers, gloves, foot operated hand sanitizer dispensers, notice boards, metal pedal bins and blood pressure monitors. Several consumables have also been donated from this fund. Additional personal protective equipment has also been donated to the Ministry, such as latex gloves and gowns to be used in health facilities. The items were purchased with grant funding from the Government of Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development to the PAHO project “COVID-19 Response Support to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)”. The presentation took place on Friday, April 9th at the Secretariat of the Minister in the presence of, among others, the minister, Dr. Amar Ramadhin, Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell (PAHO), Ms. Elly van Kanten (PAHO), Mr. Patrick Healy (Honorary Consul of Canada) and Nurse Carol de Baas (Inspection of Nursing and Care Professions).
Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, the PAHO / WHO Representative in Suriname emphasized that in keeping with the grant’s pillar “Preventing the Spread”, it was decided in collaboration with the Inspector of Nursing and Care Professions (IVV) that the elderly care homes would be sufficiently provided with the necessary supplies to help control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. PAHO also facilitated the training of staff in the homes in infection prevention and control.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Amar Ramadhin was very pleased with the gesture, given that the elderly are part of the more vulnerable risk groups for COVID-19. The Minister also stated that he was pleased that the Canadian government is willing to support the Surinamese community and that the Ministry of Health is looking forward to future intense collaborations with Canada to continue fighting the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Suriname.
Mr. Patrick Healy (Honorary Consul of Canada) indicated that Canada has been associated with Suriname in various areas for several years. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very necessary for Canada to contribute through donations such as this one to PAHO. Mr. Healy stated that Canada will continue to support the health sector in Suriname and PAHO confirmed that additional funds have been granted to continue the support to the COVID-19 response in the country.