Better care for pregnancy and childbirth in Suriname

09 Dec 2016

The nationwide implementation of new interventions in pregnancy and childbirth in Suriname is essential, and an appeal for such was made during the final symposium of Perinatal Interventions Suriname (Perisur). TNO and partners have developed and introduced three new care programmes in three hospitals. The Minister of Public Health, Patrick Pengel is enthusiastic: “I will make sure there is a national rollout”.
Prenatal care in groups

TNO project leader Ashna Hindori-Mohangoo has indicated that some 20% of pregnancies in Suriname do not result in the desired outcome and that around 4% of babies die just before or at birth. To improve on this situation, three perinatal interventions have been developed targeting the first 1000 days of life of a child: the whole period of the development of the baby, so from conception to neonatal:

1. Preconception Care: pre-pregnancy measures
A preconception GP surgery has been introduced whereby couples wishing to have children and women in the fertile period of their lives are informed about the possible risks for the mother and baby, and the lifestyle that is conducive to a healthy pregnancy.

2. Pregnant Together: measures during pregnancy
A new form of prenatal care, in which medical prenatal checks are integrated with three key components for health, namely self-management, knowledge development and support. Instead of regular one-to-one checks, prenatal care takes place in a group, whereby pregnant women are actively engaged in the prenatal care and support each other and share knowledge. We see that Pregnant Together leads to a drop in premature births by 33% and better preparation for the birth.

3. Perinatal Audit: measures after a birth with an undesired result
Here we make a structural identification of the causes and underlying factors of perinatal mortality whereby all the care providers are involved with the aim of improving the quality of perinatal care provision and awareness among (pregnant) women. Perinatal audits provide insight into avoidable mortality and within a year lead to a 40% reduction in the mortality of full-term babies.

Introduction in three hospitals

Over the past two years the interventions have been introduced in three hospitals in Paramaribo. The chair of the Perisur Steering Group, Manodj Hindori, also managing director of the St. Vincentius Hospital, expressed pleasure at the positive outcomes of the Perisur project and felt that the interventions clearly demonstrated their added value. Hence the wish to expand this to all hospitals and primary care institutions.

Minister Pengel attended the Perisur conference

National rollout

In the presence of the Minister of Public Health for Suriname, Patrick Pengel, and the Dutch ambassador, Ernst Noorman, the Perisur final symposium was held on 23 November in Suriname. The Minister declared himself to be an enthusiastic supporter of preventive measures to ensure safe pregnancies and healthy births in Suriname. “In these difficult Financial times, it is not possible to have expensive neonatal intensive care units everywhere, so it is even more important that the preparation for the pregnancy is optimal. We all have to pull together to enable the prospective mother to be physically and mentally healthy. The prenatal checks must take place in time and paint a clear picture of the risk factors. Care professionals must be optimally trained. These things cost relatively little but generate better results for the care.” This interview was also published in the national newspaper StarNieuws on 26 November 2016. See the link below for the full article.


TNO has collaborated very closely in this project with the St Vincentius Hospital, ‘s Lands Hospital, Diakonessen hospital, LUMC and the Dutch midwives association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Organisatie van Verloskundigen). The twinning project was co-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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