Surinamese Lab Workers Look Back with pleasure at Statia Experience

Despite the language barrier at the start of the mission, medical analysts Rojay Lopes, Simone Trouw, Siegfried Malone, Tefanja Saidam and Dailyn Tolentino-Rafael all worked together in a positive way.

Oranjestad- According to the Surinames newspaper The Ware Tijd, the 2 lab assistance which were sent to St. Eustatius for temporary support, look back with pleasure at their experience on the island.

“We are grateful. We are taking back our experience ”, Saidam told De Ware Tijd. Tefanja Saidam and Simone Trouw were sent to Statia by the Academic Hospital Paramaribo (AZP), from September 25 when local employees at the lab had been infected with the corona virus.

After arriving on the island, Saidam and Trouw were quarantined for two weeks. Saidam: “We were in an apartment together and were not allowed to go anywhere for two weeks.” The two survived the period in quarantine well, and then went to work in the laboratory, which is smaller than that of AZP.

The Surinamese were given a lot of responsibility. The collaboration went smoothly. The two did note, at first, a language Trouw: “A lot of English was spoken. In the beginning we had to search for words, because we are not used to the language.” According to Trouw the work was executed with two local colleagues. Trouw said there was a good mutual cooperation. “Because we came from outside, we observed a lot in the beginning. We learned a lot from one another.” Trouw als added that the Covid-19 situation in the meantime was under control again.


The two lab workers also told DWT that the test capacity on St. Eustatius is significantly less than in AZP. In addition to the Covid-19 tests, the Surinamese duo assisted with other lab tests, said Saidam. She noticed a clear difference from working in Suriname. “Our work method is more structured than theirs. On St. Eustatius they plan and set up appointments in a different way. Moreover, there is a difference in packaging and shipping the test samples. They ship out a lot more to the other islands, while in Suriname we do much more in-house”, according to Saidam.

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