It has been indicated many times to the current and previous governments that the health care system in Suriname is about to collapse, due to the enormous shortages in various areas. The Department of Pediatrics has also sounded the alarm several times with the Ministry of Health to try to improve the precarious conditions in which pediatricians have to provide care. Unfortunately, we notice that the situation has not changed and we have now reached the point where adequate childcare, especially Intensive Care for both newborns and older children, cannot be provided in Suriname.


In recent years, childcare in Suriname has been improved partly due to the establishment of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) level III and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in the Academisch Ziekenhuis Paramaribo and NICU level II / High Care (HC) in the peripheral hospitals (Diakonessenhuis and Sint Vincentius Ziekenhuis), greatly improved in quality. We have been able to provide high-quality IC care according to international standards to the most vulnerable group in our society.

However, the continuity of this care has been seriously jeopardized for several months now due to the shortage of sufficient specialized nursing staff and the shortage of essential medicines, resources and equipment.

The disastrous result of this is that:

  1. the NICU level III in the Academic Pediatric Center Suriname (APCS) is forced to close NICU beds. As a result, premature babies, especially those born at a gestational age between 27 and 30 weeks, and very sick full-term newborns in Suriname are now dying. This is heartbreaking for the parents and for us as pediatricians very depressing and an unacceptable low!!!
  2. the other 2 hospitals are also forced to close their IC level II or HC beds.

As a result, high-quality care for the sick child, especially the sick newborn, has become almost impossible at the moment, despite a lot of improvisation on our part. As pediatricians of Suriname we have the responsibility to provide the best quality care to our patients, but we are no longer able to do this. We are in need of advice and therefore wish to inform the Surinamese community that the care of our little ones is no longer guaranteed.

We hope that our cry for help will finally be answered.

On behalf of the Department of Pediatrics in Suriname.