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Suriname flagSuriname

Location: South America
Population: 586,634
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The Arawak and Carib peoples were the first people to inhabit Suriname. The first permanent settlement of Europeans in Suriname was established by a group of British planters and their slaves in 1651. In 1667 Suriname was seized by a Dutch fleet, and that year it was ceded to the Netherlands. Suriname remained under Dutch rule until its independence. Suriname was granted autonomy in its internal affairs in 1954. The National Party Alliance won the 1973 election. The PNR and most of the younger party leaders within the National Party Alliance favored independence, as did the ruling socialist party in the Netherlands. Despite resistance, Suriname became independent on November 25, 1975.

Suriname has a fragmented but coordinated health system that covers the urban, coastal, and interior regions of the country. A dedicated primary health service exists both for the population in the interior as well as the urban-coastal area. Of Suriname’s five hospitals, two are private and three are public. The Academic Hospital in Paramaribo has recently renovated and expanded its facilities and invested in equipment and staff for specialty care like gastroenterology, oncology, intensive care, renal dialysis and more. Suriname physicians (per 1,000 people) was at level of 1.21 per 1,000 people in 2018. The National Basic Health Insurance Law, 2014, provides access to a basic package of primary, secondary, and tertiary care services for citizens.

In 2019, the estimated number of people living with HIV in Suriname amounted to 5,800, up from 5,600 HIV-positive patients in the previous year. One of the key populations most affected by HIV in Suriname is sex workers, with an HIV prevalence of 5.8%. Since 2010, new HIV infections have decreased by 6% and AIDS-related deaths have increased by 17%.  The U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo is supporting HIV/AIDS testing and education to help improve and extend the lives of Surinamese carriers of the diseases. 

COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Suriname, with 146 new infections reported on average each day. There have been 48,899 infections and 1,082 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began. Suriname has administered at least 449,357 doses of vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, about 38.6% of the country’s population has been vaccinated.

In 2019, the HCV prevalence rate in Suriname was 1.87%. There were 10,768 people living with HCV. There were 27 HCV related deaths in Suriname in 2019.

Learn More About the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 Situation in Suriname