Paramaribo, Jan 25, 2012 (AFP) - Suriname health authorities confirmed Wednesday that a dengue epidemic has taken hold here, resulting in numerous of people being hospitalized over the past month. "Up to now more than 300 dengue cases have been registered at the Academic hospital lab, while other labs also confirm cases," the health ministry said in a press release.
With the dengue outbreak now a month old, health authorities said they believe cases of the mosquito-borne disease are peaking. A crisis team established by the health ministry currently works towards intensive education, awareness and pest control. "We have put in all pesticides, material and crew to tackle the epidemic, but we don't have a vaccine to kill the dengue virus once a person has it," Lesley Resida, head of the Bureau for Public Healthcare (BOG), told reporters.
Due to overcrowding in hospitals, patients were being treated in the army's health facilities. Last week Jennifer Simons, speaker of Suriname's parliament, was hospitalized for dengue. Though the health ministry did not disclose information on official deaths, health authorities fear it could outnumber an outbreak in 1999-2000 when 15 people died. Dengue or break bone/dandy fever is a disease transmitted by the dengue mosquito. The health ministry has advised people to immediately contact their physician if they notice that they are suffering from a continuous fever.
Recent research in Suriname shows a considerable increase in the numbers of cases of the parasitic skin disease leishmaniasis, in Suriname better known as 'Bosjaws' or 'Busi-yasi.' Within the integrated research programme 'Leishmaniasis in Suriname,' coordinated by the department Biomedical Research of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and funded by NOW-WOTRO, Surinam and Dutch researchers are studying the biology, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Furthermore, health care seeking behaviour of patients is being studied.
At a recent consortium meeting, which was also attended by the Minister of Health of Surinam and other local stakeholders, it was announced that the number of registered leishmaniasis cases in 2010 was doubled compared to previous years.
And possibly even more cases are present in the hinterland of Surinam that is not well accessible. This increase emphasizes the need for good diagnosis of the disease, as it may be confused with other skin diseases. The media in Surinam have called for more attention for leishmaniasis. This also applies for Dutch general practitioners who may be confronted more and more with the disease through patients who have contracted slow healing ulcers during their visit to the interior in Surinam.
Treatment and prevention
Researcher Henk Schallig from KIT Biomedical Research emphasized that appropriate treatment of leishmaniasis is needed to prevent further spread of the disease, and that less painful therapies should be sought. At the moment, leishmaniasis is treated in Suriname by giving 3 injections 3 times around the ulcers. Particularly for children this treatment is very painful. In addition, the consortium demonstrated that possibly not all patients responded well to treatment. The reason for this is currently being investigated. ==================== [A study 5 years ago states "Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a widespread disease in Suriname caused by Leishmania Viannia guyanensis. It is argued that other Leishmania species are also responsible for CL and that the incidence is increasing" and "With extrapolation of collected data, a detection rate was calculated of 5.32 to 6.13 CL patients per 1000 inhabitants for the hinterland and 0.64 to 0.74 patients per 1000 inhabitants for the whole country." (van der Meide WF et al. Epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Suriname: a study performed in 2006. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008;79:192-7). It should be noted that an increased interest in CL in Suriname may increase the number of registered cases. HealthMap location: <http://healthmap.org/r/15Lc>. - ProMed Mod.EP]
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 00:10:32 +0100 (MET)
PARAMARIBO, Jan 24, 2011 (AFP) - At least 200 Suriname bus drivers went on strike Monday, demanding higher ticket prices, days after the government announced an increase of the gasoline tax and devalued the Surinamese dollar. The bus strike is the first labor challenge to President Desi Bouterse since he took office in August, and comes after the government announced tax increases on gas, a 50 percent jump for alcohol and tobacco taxes, as well as a two percent hike in the sales tax. The central bank has said it would also devalue the official exchange to 3.35 Surinamese dollars to the US dollar, up from 2.80 Surinamese dollars.
With the devaluation, gas prices jumped to $1.33, from $0.98 per liter. Vice President Robert Ameerali had proposed six-week government subsidies of $0.35 above current rates for bus drivers, but the Private Bus service organization (PLO) rejected his proposal over the weekend. "The drivers don't want a compensation, but want an increase of 45 cents on the current bus rate now and then discuss further price raise," PLO chairman John Mahadew told reporters.
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 18:10:32 +0100 (MET)
PARAMARIBO, March 13, 2009 (AFP) - Suriname has launched a three-month pilot project offering free circumcisions in a bid to cut sexually transmitted diseases, Health Minister Celsius Waterberg said Friday. Circumcision "could also minimize the risk of HIV infection", he said, adding the project would run in the capital city, Paramaribo. Some two percent of the Suriname population is HIV-infected, about 10,000 people, and the project aims to carry out the operations on 100 men aged between four and 21 years old over the next three months. If successful then the project will spread nationwide, Waterberg said.
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 17:55:26 +0200 (METDST) PARAMARIBO, 10 Oct 2008 (AFP) - Tainted milk from China has been detected in milk powder in the South American country of Suriname, public health officials said there on Friday. Lesley Resida, director of public health, said milk powder imported by a local dairy firm had tested positive for melamine, a chemical product added to milk in China that is the cause of the scandal. "I can not exactly say how much was imported, but just that the tainted milk powder concerned a couple of tonnes," Resida said. Resida said the the dairy firm had immediately reported his import when it arrived from China. The powder had been sent to the Netherlands for analysis. Surinamese importers have already pulled off Chinese candies from shelves as a precaution after the government ordered a ban on dairy products from China, Singapore and Malaysia. At first, the country's chief of veterinary inspection for the agriculture ministry reported that Suriname had not imported Chinese milk since 2007, but authorities feared it might have been smuggled across borders. Government officials were ordered to step-up safety inspections of food imports from southeast Asia. Suriname has three private and one government-owned milk and dairy producer. After first being detected in milk powder made by China's Sanlu Group, more than 20 Chinese companies have been found to have had contaminated products, including industry giants such as Mengniu, Yili and Bright Dairy. Melamine has since been detected around the world, in dairy ice cream, milk drinks, biscuits, sweets, milk tea, flavoured peanuts and chocolate bars, and several countries have banned dairy imports from China.