Pediatricians in Surinam sound the alarm about the imminent neonatal care in the country. Due to a shortage of specialised nursing staff, medicines and equipment, they say they have reached the point of no longer being able to provide adequate care to preterm and seriously ill babies.
The maternity ward of the Academic Pediatric Center in Paramaribo can no longer provide care for the most serious cases. “As a result, premature babies, especially those born at a gestational age between 27 and 30 weeks, and very sick full-term newborns die in Surinam. This is heartbreaking for parents and for us as pediatricians very depressing and an unacceptable low point,” says pediatrician Marjorie Muringen on behalf of the department.
Look at the cry of help from the pediatricians here:
The other two hospitals in Paramaribo are also forced to stop certain forms of care. For example, Sint Vincentius Hospital does not have enough monitors and incubators and no x-ray apparatus. “As a result, at present high-quality care for the sick child, especially the sick newborn, has become almost impossible despite a lot of improvisation on our part.”
According to correspondent Nina Jurna, this is the first time the alarm has been raised in this way. “Of course, that cry for help is not in vain. The coronacrisis has exacerbated the problems and the shortage of specialised staff is even more acute. Suriname only has 27 IC beds for coronapatics. Last week there were 23 beds occupied and the number of infections in Suriname is increasing. In order to scale up, expert staff must be removed from other departments, where there are often already shortages.”
Pediatrician Muringen says that the problems have been around for a long time. Medici have “spent a long time with a lot of magic work to deliver the little ones well to parents and society”, says Muringen. The Department of Pediatrics claims to have raised the problems with the Surinamese government several times, without results.
“ The reaction of Minister Ramadhin of Health in the Surinamese media shows that the problems have been going on for a long time, but that the emergency situation has now taken him by surprise. He wants urgent consultation with the department,” said correspondent Jurna.
The Minister has had contact with the Academic Hospital in Paramaribo. There are so far no reports of children who have died in the Intensive Child Care Department, the director told him.
In a response to Starnieuws, Ramadhin recognizes the problems and tells him to get started quickly. For example, he would already be in talks with Cuba and India to get specialized nurses from there in the short term. Because of the second corona wave, those plans have been postponed.