On March 24, the restored cooling system of the Central Laboratory of the Bureau of Public Health (BOG) was officially commissioned. In May 2020, the BOG indicated that the laboratory's central cooling system had failed. Following this, the Rosebel Community Fund (RCF) and Suriname Environmental Mining Foundation (SEMiF) decided to fund the restoration. The restoration process cost a total of USD 104,394.24. RCF and SEMiF each donated 50% of this amount respectively.
In the Central Laboratory, various tests are done such as; HIV, Malaria, Influenza, Tuberculosis and COVID-19. If the cooling system fails, certain services of the Central Laboratory can no longer be provided. The restoration of the cooling system is in addition to all other efforts to ensure that the integrity and effectiveness of the organic samples that are examined, tested and stored in the laboratory are maintained at all times. "We are a certified lab, and it has a lot of capabilities, but we are a public health lab. We are not commercial so we cannot easily recoup the services we provide. Because of this, we have to seek funds when we want to reinvest because the government does not always have the possibility," said acting director of the BOG, Drs. Radjesh Ori. "With Rosebel, we have a long history and we hope to build on this partnership. This donation, along with SEMiF, came at the right time and we are very happy to have many more resources now."
SEMiF's president, Niella Pinas, was also particularly excited about this memorable event. "We responded positively to this request because it is in line with one of our goals; namely, to implement sustainable projects that ensure the preservation of our national health care system. We are also very proud of the team at the BOG and all the front-liners who are helping to manage the COVID pandemic in Suriname. Where needed and where we can, we will continue to provide that support."
The Rosebel Community Fund Foundation was established with the goal of helping to create a sustainable future for the communities surrounding the Rosebel operation in particular and the Surinamese community at large. Because of the responsibility within the Surinamese society, funds are therefore made available for projects that can provide the necessary strengthening of the health sector in Suriname.