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Research Department of Genetics
University Medical Center Groningen

UMCG working with the Academic Hospital Paramaribo to develop a clinical genetics department in Suriname

08 March 2017
Signing the memoranda of understanding. From left to right: Eric Kafiluddin, Head of Neurology, AZP; Conny van Ravenswaaij, Clinical Geneticist, UMCG; Claudia Redan, acting director, AZP

The UMCG will assist in the creation of a Department of Clinical Genetics at the Academic Hospital Paramaribo (AZP). For this new department, the UMCG will train a genetic assistant and a clinical geneticist, and will help get the specialty recognized by the Surinamese Association of Medical Specialists. The UMCG and the AZP recently signed a memorandum of understanding recognizing their cooperation, and contracts will be drawn up and agreements sought with Surinamese health insurance providers over the coming interval.

Since 2013, clinical geneticist Prof Conny van Ravenswaaij has been travelling to Suriname anually to run genetic counselling clinics at the AZP, and more clinical geneticists have since joined the mission. Starting in 2014, they were also joined by paediatric neurologists from the UMCG. Over time the number of patients seen during the one-week clinic has steadily increased, with roughly a hundred consultations now taking place each year. If the AZP had its own Department of Clinical Genetics, patients could be seen continuously at the AZP and these consultation missions would no longer be necessary.

In addition to participating in the clinical consultation missions, the Genetics department of the UMCG supports the chromosome laboratory of the Medical Scientific Institute of the University of Suriname (UVS). While in Suriname, the visiting staff from the UMCG also give lectures to medical students and provide additional training for medical specialists. The number of lectures has already increased from two to four and is expected to increase to eight per year.

We look forward to the outcome of this cooperation!

UMCG Clinical Genetics and Paediatric Neurology team to Paramarimbo 2017. Standing (left to right): Maartje Boon, Paediatric Neurologist; Conny van Ravenswaaij, Clinical Geneticist; Thomas Potjer, Clinical Geneticist in training, LUMC. Kneeling: Annemarie Fock, Paediatric Neurologist; Corien Verschuuren, Clinical Geneticist.
UMCG Clinical Genetics and Paediatric Neurology team to Paramarimbo 2017. Standing (left to right): Maartje Boon, Paediatric Neurologist; Conny van Ravenswaaij, Clinical Geneticist; Thomas Potjer, Clinical Geneticist in training, LUMC. Kneeling: Annemarie Fock, Paediatric Neurologist; Corien Verschuuren, Clinical Geneticist.
Last modified:08 March 2017 3.58 p.m.
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