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Thursday, August 21 2014 @ 07:57 PM EDT

SENADIS Conducting Census To Count Citizens With Disabilities in Panama

Healthcare The government of Panama will be spending about $2 million dollars to conduct a nationwide census in order to determine how many disabled people there are in the country. This information is necessary to develop social policies for this sector of the population. The director of the National Secretariat for Disabilities, Ramon Aleman, said they requested $100,000 for the 2013 annual budget for the purpose of collaborating with the census, which requires the support of other public institutions. The first attempt to try to determine the number of disabled people in Panama was conducted in 2006, and at that time they counted 370,000 people. Aleman said this time they want to conduct a more comprehensive, house by house survey, during which they will also classify the type of disability the person has. "Using the international classification guidelines and definitions, we have been defining and refining more clearly the kinds of disabilities that exist," he said. For the Guardian Angel program the government counted 60,000 people with severe disabilities who are living in conditions of extreme poverty. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: In Panama they conduct a nationwide census every ten years. It seems to me it would make sense to simply include the question "Is there anyone in this household with a disability?" Then later, the SENADIS guys would be able to come back to that same house to conduct a more in-depth interview to determine the details. But hey, what do I know? I'm just glad to see they are trying to do more to help people with disabilities - such as with the new Guardian Angel program which pays money to help those people who have disabilities, who are living in extreme poverty. If there really are more than 370,000 people with some sort of disability in Panama, that would make it about 10% of the population.

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