PANCAP News-in the caribbean

Guyana & Suriname sign declaration for health cooperation

Guyana and Suriname formally agreed to cooperate on health matters, particularly for migrant and mobile populations in both countries, when they signed a Declaration at the close of a bi-national meeting, last Saturday 13 July 2013, at Skeldon, Corentyne.  Hon. Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, Minister of Health signed   on behalf of Guyana, while the Hon. Dr. Michel Blokland, Minister of Health, signed on behalf of Suriname.

High on the agenda of the two-day meeting  were discussions on HIV and other communicable diseases, non communicable diseases including heart disease and cancers as well as neglected tropical diseases, for example, malaria.

The discussions formed the basis of   the  declaration which identified two broad areas for cooperation.  The first, to elevate the status of cooperation from border collaboration to a bi-national commission; and second, to explore a border Guiana shield intervention with French Guiana and Brazil. 

Priority areas  for follow up action were also  identified.  These included the establishment of an integrated HIV programme; increased focus on elimination of indigenous transmission of malaria, strengthening joint surveillance for communicable diseases;  coordination of reference laboratory work with the regional reference laboratory at  the Caribbean Public Health Agency; joint planning for non-communicable disease control including Trinidad and Tobago, and  sharing best practices in the sphere of policy, planning, budgeting and finance and evaluation.

With funding from the PANCAP/GIZ/EPOS Migrant Project, the meeting which opened on 11 July 2013   at the Convention Centre Liliendaal was attended by Ministers of Health and heads of departments from both countries, PAHO representatives from Guyana and Suriname, staff of the CARICOM Secretariat and the PANCAP Coordinating Unit.       PANCAP is a regional partnership established by CARICOM Heads of Government in 2001 to respond to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean.  The Migrant Project is a PANCAP project funded by the German Government (GIZ) to support Priority Area 3 of the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF 2008-2012) which focuses on prevention of HIV transmission with specific emphasis on migrant and mobile populations.

Valerie Beach Horne Strategic Information and Communication Officer

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