Good health care is essential for all. But the access to and quality of care are often lacking in countries with poor or medium economic status, including Suriname. Statistics about mother and childcare are unfavorable. Maternal mortality (death during pregnancy up to 42 days after delivery) of 120 per 100,000 live-born babies was reported in Suriname in 2017. Approximately 10,000 babies are born every year in Suriname, of which one in five has unfavorable birth outcomes. These figures are high compared with countries in the region.
The project is unique whereas not only the knowledge of Surinamese health workers will be increased, but also pregnant women will be involved in their own care through the mobile app. This combined approach leads to increased knowledge, better care and thus positive birth outcomes. [span]Ashna Hindori-Mohangoo, Project manager Perisur Foundation[/span]
In-service training for health and community workers
Healthcare workers (obstetricians, gynecologists, general practitioners, obstetrics/gynecology nurses) will be trained through the Female&Family[e]Education training. The training, which has been successfully deployed in several African countries, focuses on prenatal care, childbirth, major causes of complications, illness and death in mother and child, such as postpartum hemorrhage and preeclampsia.
Community workers and health assistants (GZAs) will be invited for the Health[e]Community training. The training focuses primarily on care for mothers and babies. In addition, the development of communication and training skills play an important role, which will enable community workers to transfer the acquired knowledge to the community.
Mobile app for pregnant women
Pregnant women and mothers will receive information via a mobile app that involves women in their own care. The app is unique because it will be specially developed for Suriname and provides information tailored to the gestational age of the women or age of the baby. The app contributes to the health of (pregnant) women and newborns in close collaboration with the health professional.
The high number of unfavorable pregnancy and birth outcomes in Suriname is largely caused by inadequate care, a lack of continuing education for health professionals and a lack of information. Therefore Stichting Perisur and Health[e]Foundation joined forces to reduce these figures. This week a financing agreement was signed with the Suriname-Netherlands Twinning Facility, whereby the “Zorg in de hand” (Care in your own hand) project officially started.
The project aims to stimulate knowledge exchange and capacity building for health professionals and information provision for mother and child. For two years, in-service training will be offered through e-learning combined with physical workshops to 120 health workers and 60 community workers and health assistants in the country. Pregnant women will be reached via an innovative mobile app, specially developed for Suriname.
Both Stichting Perisur and Health[e]Foundation have many years of experience in improving mother and childcare. With support from the Suriname-Netherlands Twinning Facility, it is possible for social organizations from Suriname and the Netherlands to join forces and improve maternal health in Suriname. [span2]Nadine Pakker, Managing Director Health[e]Foundation[/span2]
The project started on October 1, 2019. The first training sessions for health professionals will start in early 2020, after which the mobile app will be launched for pregnant women.
About the partner:
Stichting Perisur (Perinatal Interventions Suriname) – an initiative of the Sint Vincentius Hospital in Paramaribo and the Dutch Organization for Applied Natural Science Research (TNO Healthy Living) in Leiden – focuses on improving care for (pregnant) women and their babies in Suriname by developing and implementing effective perinatal interventions such as preconception care and ‘SamenZwanger’.
The UTSN Twinning Facility Suriname-Netherlands was established in 2008. The aim of this facility is to finance joint activities of Dutch and Surinamese civil society organizations when these – through knowledge exchange, capacity building and institutional strengthening – contribute in a sustainable way to strengthening civil society in Suriname.