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Thursday, April 17 2014 @ 02:34 PM EDT

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Health Ministry Malaria Outbreak in Panama - 46 New Cases

HealthcareA malaria outbreak has been confirmed a is confirmed in the area of Madugandí, however health authorities have clarified no one has died, and they have the medicines and supplies needed to control the virus. (more)

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Dengue Claims 8th Victim - a 93 Year Old Man in San Francisco Neighborhood of Panama City

HealthcareThe district of San Francisco, in the capital district, recorded its first death from dengue, the third victim reported so far this year and the eighth since the epidemic was declared in the country.

The Director General of Health, Carlos Galvez, confirmed the death of a 93 year old man who received care at a private clinic, where he died Monday.

The doctor said the name, despite the treatment provided by the hospital, only lasted three days in the hospital.

Upon inspecting the victim's home, health officials found breeding larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Galvez said a note has been sent to all health regions, to consolidate the amount of fines that have been issued at the national level, because there are still people who seem indifferent to preventive measures.

The Ministry of Health recently issued more than 5,000 fines during only one day of inspections conducted in the metropolitan (Panama City) region. The fines were issued after health inspectors found mosquito breeding sites. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: A "breeding site" can be anywhere rainwater can collect. For example, if your dog plays with a Frisbee in the backyard, and if inspectors find that Frisbee on the ground, upside down with rainwater inside, don't be surprised when they issue you a fine.

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Health authorities confirm fifth dengue death

HealthcareAuthorities of the Ministry of Health (MoH ) confirmed on Sunday, the fifth death from dengue type 2.

A 35 year old woman who lived in the sector of Belén in the area of Tocumen died after being hospitalized for several weeks in the Santo Tomás hospital.

Authorities have confirmed 3,307 cases to date that are not serious, and 9 severe cases.

On 30 December, the MoH declared an epidemiological alert after an increase in the number of cases of dengue transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti . "We've gone into the epidemic area. We are in an epidemic of dengue," said Health Minister, Javier Diaz.

The Ministry of Health is also seeking cooperation from the general public in their efforts to eradicate mosquito breeding sites of the transmitter, and reinforce operational fumigation nationwide. (Panama America)

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Ministry of Health Confirms Third Death From Dengue

HealthcareThe Minister of Health, Javier Diaz confirmed that the eight year old child who came to the Emergency Room of the San Isidro Health Center on 27 December 2013 died to due dengue, and not from self-medication as had been reported before.

With this death now three people have died from dengue.

On December 30, 2013 the Ministry of Health declared there was a "nationwide dengue epidemic" and at the time a total of 3,124 cases had been detected.

For several weeks there was an intense fumigation operation to prevent the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue.

The Gorgas Memorial Institute is preparing the final details for the release his January of a transgenic mosquito that will help reduce the spread of the Aedes aegypti.

It is estimated that in the coming weeks they will be releasing about 15,000 transgenic mosquitoes in the district of Arraiján. (Estrella)

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Nurses Are Probably Going On Strike Again

HealthcareThe continuing effects of the medical strike are still alive within the nurses sector, according to the President of the National Association of Nurses, Elidia Espinoza.

According to the leader, Elidia Espinoza, the nurses in Renacimiento and Río Sereno in Chiriqui have received discounts in their paychecks, despite of the final agreement that stated this measure was going to be suspended.

"They must return this money to the nurses, because they are violating current agreements,” said Espinoza.

Espinoza did not rule out the possibility of another strike organized by the nurses. (Telemetro)

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Scientific Discovery In Coiba

HealthcareScientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) found an active substance against the visceral leishmaniasis in a mollusk known as sea hare.

The sea hares were collected from marshlands from the Pacific Ocean in the Isla de Coiba by the scientists from the Smithsonian, Alicia Ibáñez and Alicia Hermosillo, from the University of Guadalajara.

This is one of the over 45 compounds with potential farmaceutical activity reported by the institute since the National Park of Coiba was included in the list of World Heritage Sites.

According to the scientist of the Smithsonian Stanley Heckadon, Coiba has a large biodiversity regarding its flora and fauna. For example, there are 224 species of vertebrates in the reserve in the groups of land mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. But the largest biodiversity of the park is in the water.

There are over 700 hectares of reefs and coral in the sea, with a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and mollusks, according to information from the National Environment Authority (ANAM).

Domingo Moreno, leader of the National Negotiating Medical Committee, said this represents a big step in medicine because every year in Panama several people are affected by this disease. Only in Panama there are over 500 cases per year. (Prensa)

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Medical Unions Will Go Back To Work But Will Remain Vigilant

HealthcareDomingo Moreno, leader of the National Medical Negotiating Committee (Comenenal), said all the health officials who were on strike will go back to work.

He also said he was concerned because in the Social Security Fund (CSS), there are still privatization elements, because the administration of primary care is being managed by the private companies.

"Also, everything related to hemodialysis is managed by private entities, which is why we will remain vigilant and make sure private companies are doing their job and are not a complete fiasco,” said Moreno. (Panama America)

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Nursing Technicians Have Finalized Their Strike

HealthcareOn Thursday night, nursing technicians decided to put an end to the strike they started weeks ago to request the work regularization of more than 300 colleagues who were not permanent; the compliance of the salary scale and supporting the strike started by the medical unions after the approval of Law 69, which allows the hiring of foreign staff.

“Today we have put an end to our strike against the authorities, we are satisfied because we fought for the entire country regarding Law 69 and we also managed to bring justice to these nursing technicians who were struggling with their contract,” said the spokesman Carlos Peralta.

Peralta said they will start informing the different unions about their decision “so they can put an end to their strike throughout all health facilities. We are asking them to go back to work.” (Telemetro)

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Health Unions And The Authorities Are Going Over The Proposals

HealthcareGathered at the Panama’s Archdiocese, representatives of the medical unions and the authorities were discussing the proposal presented by the Health professionals who reject Law 69, which authorizes and regulates the hiring of foreign professionals and technicians.

There are 28 points being discussed in the negotiating table, without a final agreement so far.

Among the authorities present at the place is the deputy director of the Social Security Fund (CSS), Marlon De Souza, the advisor of the Health Ministry (Minsa), Félix Bonilla and the president of the Health Committee of the National Assembly, deputy Pablo Vargas.

On the other hand, the medical unions are represented by the president of the National Negotiating Medical Committee (Comenenal), Domingo Moreno, mediated by father Eusebio Muñoz.

The strike carried out by the health unions ongoing for a month now, has been the cause of thousands of missed surgeries and medical appointments across the country.

The Directive Board of the Social Security Fund (CSS), has requested the union leaders and the authorities of the health sector, to strengthen the dialogue and establish the necessary mechanisms to normalize the services. At the same time, they have committed to ensure the Non Privatization of the services provided by this institution. (Panama America)

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Patients Were Evacuated From Hospital After Receiving A Bomb Threat

HealthcareSeveral patients from the hospital center of the Social Security Fund (CSS) in Transístmica were evacuated on Monday morning after a bomb threat in the center.

The patients were evacuated under the rain, which caused discomfort among the relatives. The general director of the CSS, Guillermo Saéz-Llorens, arrived at the place to find out what was going on.

Saéz-Llorens, who was booed upon arrival, said this event went very low. “They crossed the line. This is too much, because threatening a hospital is playing with the life of many Panamanians,” said the official, who did not rule out the possibility of this threat being made by union leaders.

After this situation, the director of the CSS said he will file a criminal complaint before the Attorney General, holding everyone involved accountable for the event.

“We will give them everything we’ve got because this is completely wrong,” said Saéz-Llorens. (Prensa)

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