PARAMARIBO –Thanks to a significant donation of equipment and training valued at approximately $900,000 U.S. dollars from U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and the U.S. Embassy, Surinamese medical officials have a new tool to fight the current COVID-19 pandemic and use during any future need anywhere in the country.
On Friday, July 23, 2021, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname Karen Lynn Williams and SOUTHCOM Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Yvette Davids ceremonially handed over the $865,000 field hospital to President of the Republic of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi. Also accepting on behalf of the Government of Suriname were Minister of Defense Krishna Mathoera and Minister of Health Amar Ramadhin as well as NCCR Director Colonel Jerry Slijngaard and directors of Wanica Regional Hospital, where the mobile facility has been set up.
Together with the equipment and training, the entire donation is valued at almost $900,000. The U.S. also took care of the transportation, logistics, and training involved with getting the massive facility to Suriname. With 40 patient beds, the field hospital –a high-end mobile facility –includesgenerators, electrical systems, water systems, and heating and air conditioning. Staff from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defense, and NCCR attended a week-long training session to ensure they will be able to use the facility not just during the current pandemic but well into the future when need arises.
“This ceremony not only highlights the steadfast partnership between the United States and Suriname in combatting COVID-19, but it also celebrates a historic relationship and our Enduring Promise to the people of Suriname,” said Rear Admiral Davids.
This is just the latest donation of support from the U.S. to Suriname during the past year as both nations work to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. U.S. Southern Command has previously donated morethan $665,000 worth of equipment, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to Suriname’s medical community. The U.S. Embassy donated $50,000 worth of PPE last fall to the nation’s schools as they were reopening during the pandemic. Additionally, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contributed more than $221,000 for Suriname via the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and UNICEF to assist with risk communication, infection prevention and control, and case management and programs to fight COVID-19.
“We are committed to helping the Surinamese people,” said Ambassador Williams. “The flexibility of this field hospital means it is not only useful given the current global pandemic, but it can be used anywhere, anytime, to supplement Suriname’s baseline medical care. This is a long-term effort to truly support the people of Suriname.”