The Medical Research Institute (MWI) has added the detection and characterization of the Human Papilloma Virus to its services. This virus is an important factor in cervical cancer. MWI Director Nico de Bel indicates that diagnostics and epidemiological data on infectious disease are usually lacking in Suriname. Within the MWI, the molecular laboratory of the Department of Biochemistry is responsible for detecting and identifying pathogens that are not detectable in Suriname such as the Dengue virus. This Department, supervised by prof. Dr. Malti R. Adhin, is responsible for the development and the use of tests in Suriname. With support from the Ministry of Health and UNFPA the department has set up a test system for molecular HPV detection and typification. The department can not only detect high risk types, but also the frequent low-risk types. The director goes on to state that “the fight against cervical cancer should also be conducted in Suriname; worldwide each year nearly 300,000 women die, mostly in developing countries. An early detection is of great importance for a successful treatment, because the development of the cancer may take about 10 to 15 years. Introduction of these diagnostics results in a timely deployment of the treatment, resulting in a reduction in the incidence of cancer and death from cervical cancer”.
The Medical Research Institute has also started scientific research on the prevalence of HPV in cervical cancer in Suriname. This study will not only provide an insight, but will also be used to get information for a conscious vaccination program. Lastly, Nico de Bel states: “With the introduction of this test capability in Suriname, in collaboration with the Faculty of Medical Sciences, the MWI directly contributes to improving health care. Doing applied research at the University is of importance for the community. “