Guyana Shield countries discuss Malaria
From 12-14 July 2016, following an invitation issued by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Guyana Shield countries convened to discuss the regional malaria situation. Representatives of the Ministries of Health of Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, French Guiana and France exchanged ideas to combat malaria in high-risk mobile border-crossing populations.
In Suriname Malaria is almost eliminated. Nowadays, cases diagnosed are found especially in mobile gold miners. These miners, for a large part originating from Brazil, are crossing borders, moving mostly between Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. Malaria transmission is still a significant problem in some areas in the Guyana Shield for instance in illegal mining sites in French Guiana. Malaria infected miners coming from these sites, regularly move to or through areas in Suriname where malaria has been controlled. By doing so they expose these areas to the risk of re-introduction of malaria.
Participating countries committed themselves to a joint approach towards solving the problem of malaria in cross-border moving populations. The cooperation would include the development and implementation of joint interventions for the prevention and control of malaria. Both Suriname and Brazil have expressed their willingness to help France in combating malaria in the illegal mines in French Guiana.
Additional points of discussion included the preliminary evidence of emerging resistance of the malaria parasite against the medication that is used. To prevent this the countries will work towards a regional strategy for drug resistance prevention and monitoring.