Elimination of malaria in Suriname
The mission of the Ministry of Health (MoH) Malaria Program in Suriname is to work towards elimination of malaria in the country towards 2025.
The current National Strategic Plan focuses on the following priorities:
- Prevention of imported malaria cases.
- Prevention of reintroduction of malaria into Suriname.
- Fight against malaria outbreaks.
Malaria in Suriname had decreased to pre-elimination levels by 2018. However, a reintroduction of malaria from abroad in some indigenous villages led to local outbreaks in 2019 and 2020. In particular, Plasmodium vivax transmission took place again among tribal communities which had not experienced malaria since years. This was mainly due to travels of village inhabitants to and from villages in Suriname, Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana, in combination with a high density of malaria mosquitoes in the Surinamese villages.
The main activities conducted/supervised by the Malaria Program are:
-Support the health service providers in the interior of the country for the rapid interception and treatment of malaria patients. In these village communities Medical Mission is the partner institution in charge of the outpatient clinics.
-In the mobile communities, particularly in the gold mining areas, the Malaria Program has a network of trained Malaria Service Deliverers (MSDs) and a number of malaria posts along the French-Surinamese border. The Malakit strategy (ref) has also been implemented in Suriname as a national (mainstream) intervention for gold miners.
-TropClinic: a low threshold clinic with multilingual personnel provides free services to all persons in the area of malaria, HIV, leishmaniasis and leprosy.
-In remote areas where there are no outpatient clinics or malaria outposts, regular surveys are carried out in risk areas and risk populations (Active Case Detection – ACD). These surveys are sometimes carried out as a response to outbreak situations, whereby, after reporting of one or more cases of a specific location, an assessment is made as to whether there are more cases (Re-active Case Detection - RACD).
-Free distribution of mosquito nets both at the posts and within the MSD network, and during the ACD/RACD interventions.
-Capacity-building of national health service providers through training activities. Health messages through media and on-site education activities to provide the population with the necessary information.