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Friday, November 21 2014 @ 01:53 PM EST

Fourteen Children Have Died Recently in Remote Areas

Healthcare
Fourteen children have died recently in remote areas.
Fourteen children have died recently in remote areas.
By Mitzila De León for El Siglo - COMARCA NGÄBE BUGLE - Cases of infant deaths are increasing in the area of Agua de Salud in the district of Ñurum which is part of the Ngäbe Bugle comarca. The number of deaths rose to fourteen this week. One died of severe vomiting and diarrhea, and another died of respiratory problems. Both of these cases occurred in the communities near Alto Batata and Mojarraz in the area of Agua de Salud. The infant was buried last Thursday. According to Pablo Ruiz, the Representative of the area, his grandson died just two months after being born due to respiratory problems. He added that the weather and constant rain influences disease in the area. (more)

"Communities of Difficult Access" There are remote places in Panama that are very hard to get to. No road goes there. The local inhabitants ride dugout canoes for five hours upstream, and then ride a horse for three hours more through the mountains to get to their little village. It is a serious challenge for the Panamanian government to provide even the most basic levels of support to these exceptionally remote communities. And even if you know there is a sick child requiring immediate medical evacuation often times the only option is to evacuate by helicopter and most of the SAN fleet is down for maintenance and repairs. They are doing what they can, but it represents a serious challenge, and infant deaths always spike in Panama in October and November when the rains kick-in with a fury.

He also said that another contributing factor to the sudden deaths of children is the lack of a doctor and medicines in the closest health clinic at Peñón.

El Siglo learned by talking to area residents that the Health Ministry urgently sent medicines and nutrition last Thursday morning to the health clinic in Peñón.

El Siglo made a tour of the area and visited the communities where the deaths have occurred.

Upon arriving in Batata they met with Justice of the Peace Modesto Vásquez, who notified them of the conditions of three brothers and sisters of the last name Virola, ages 11, 5, and 2 years old, residents of the community of Alto Batata, all of whom were presenting the same respiratory problems and lung congestion.

The children's names are Ana (11), Albertino (5), and Emiliana Ferrule (2), but most serious is Albertino who was critically ill with respiratory problems.

Vásquez said the 5 year-old had to be evacuated as soon as possible due to his physical condition, and that he could die in the next few hours if he was not taken to a hospital immediately.

This week Health Minister Rosario Turner, together with a team from the institution evacuated four children who were sick, all presenting symptoms of pneumonia, "one of them in critical condition."

At the same time they said the MINSA has strategies for the region and that there is a health team deployed to evaluate cases.

She added that they are constantly monitoring the situation and said that during a medical tour they took medicines and nutritional supplements to indigenous families.

Mueren 14 niños

Mitzila De León mitziladeleon@yahoo.com

COMARCA NGÄBE BUGLE. Aumentan los casos de muertes de infantes en el corregimiento de Agua de Salud, en el distrito de Ñurum, de la comarca Ngäbe Bugle.

La cifra se elevó en esta semana por las 14 muertes de menores de edad, uno de ellos perdió la vida por un severo cuadro de vómito y diarrea, mientras que el otro murió de problemas respiratorios.

Los dos últimos casos se registraron en las comunidades apartadas de Alto Batata y Mojarraz, en el corregimiento de Agua de Salud, este último infante muerto fue sepultado el pasado jueves.

De acuerdo con Pablo Ruiz, representante del corregimiento, su nieto murió de apenas dos meses de nacido, por problemas respiratorios.

Añadió que influye en la enfermedad el estado climático en el área, ya que llueve constantemente, además dijo que otro aditivo que contribuye a la muerte rápida de los niños es la falta de un médico y de medicamentos en el puesto de Salud en el Peñón.

El Siglo conoció, por medio de moradores, que el Ministerio de Salud envió de manera urgente la mañana del pasado jueves, medicamentos y cremas nutricionales al puesto de Salud del Peñón.

En una gira que realizó El Siglo a las comunidades donde se registraron las defunciones, al llegar a Batata nos encontramos con el corregidor Modesto Vásquez, quien dio la alarma de los tres hermanos de apellido Virola de 11, 5 y 2 años, residentes en la comunidad de Alto Batata, que se encuentran con la misma sintomatología en los pulmones.

Los hermanos enfermos responden a los nombres de: Ana de 11, Albertino de 5 y Emiliana Virola de 2, pero el más grave es el infante Albertino quien presentaba un cuadro crítico con problemas respiratorios.

Vásquez señaló que el infante de 5 años tenía que ser evacuado debido a su condición física lo más rápido posible, ya que podría morir en las próximas horas si no se llevaba a un centro hospitalario.

Esta semana, la ministra de Salud, Rosario Turner, con un equipo de la institución evacuaron a 4 de los niños que se encontraban enfermos y los mismos presentaban bronconeumonía "uno de ellos en situación crítica", a la vez dijo que el MINSA mantiene estrategias en la comarca, como el de un equipo de salud evaluando los casos.

Añadió que se mantendrá con constantes monitoreos y señaló que durante la gira médica se llevaron medicamentos y cremas nutricionales para las familias indígenas.

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