The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-95) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
FJVB did the literature search and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. SGSV supervised FJVB during her stay in Suriname and contributed to the writing of the final version of the manuscript. MPG conceived of the project, supervised FJVB in Amsterdam and contributed to the writing of the final manuscript. All authors approved of the final version of the manuscript.
Suriname has cleared malaria from its capital city and coastal areas mainly through the successful use of chloroquine and DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) during the Global Malaria Eradication programme that started in 1955. Nonetheless, malaria transmission rates remained high in the interior of the country for a long time. An impressive decline in malaria cases was achieved in the past few years, from 14,403 registered cases in 2003 to 1,371 in 2009. The introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in 2004 has further fuelled the decrease in the number of infections with Plasmodium falciparum. The only population group still heavily burdened with malaria is gold mining industry workers. Interestingly, an important part of malaria cases diagnosed and treated in Suriname originate from border regions. Therefore, practical initiatives of combined efforts between neighbouring countries must be scaled up in order to effectively attack these specific areas. Furthermore, it is of vital importance to keep investing into the malaria control programme and public awareness campaigns. Especially the correct use of ACT must be promoted in order to prevent the emergence of resistance. However, effective preventive measures and adequate therapeutic options are on their own not enough to control, let alone eliminate malaria. Changing personal and social behaviour of people is particularly difficult, but crucial in making the current success sustainable. With this in mind, research on successfully implemented interventions, focusing on behavioural modifications and methods of measuring their effectiveness, must be expanded.
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