||Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death globally as well as in Suriname. These chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancers, were the cause of 60% of the deaths in Suriname in 2009.
NCDs place a high burden on the Suriname health care system and prevention and control of these diseases has become a public health priority. Feasible and cost-effective interventions exist to modify risk factors such as tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, which are the underlying causes for the onset and progression of NCDs.
The Ministry of Health (MOH), in collaboration with partners from within and outside the health sector, has developed a plan, which outlines the course of action for Suriname to combat the NCD epidemic that is profoundly affecting the population.
The plan describes the epidemiological situation for NCDs in Suriname and provides an overview of the risk factors underlying these NCDs, clearly demonstrating the need for an effective coordinated response. The plan also describes the input incorporated from global and regional strategies and initiatives as well as from local stakeholders engaged in the efforts to reduce the burden and impact of NCDs in Suriname.
The plan focuses on four priority areas identified by these stakeholders, namely Public Policy and Advocacy, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Integrated Management of Chronic Diseases and Surveillance. Within these priority areas a set of objectives, activities and targets are identified which will form the basis of the multisectoral approach required to affectively address NCDs in Suriname. This approach also includes a reorientation of the national primary health care systems to be able to take on a role in the prevention, early detection and management of NCDs.
This plan is a first step in the implementation of efforts for the prevention and control of NCDs in Suriname. The plan will be presented by the MOH to the National Assembly for final approval and allocation of funds.
Following this process, disease specific implementation plans will be drafted in the near future for each of the main NCD categories (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases) providing further guidance to the partners engaged in these efforts.