Thousands of these Panamanians are illiterate severely impoverished, and in addition to poor education and health care, most are perilously malnourished.
Panama is a country where many people cry out in hope, from desperate need. The indigenous population accounts for a growing share of Panama’s extreme poor, while the non-indigenous rural poor have been more successful at rising out of poverty through rural-to-urban labor migration.
ABUNDANT LIFE FOUNDATION addresses the marked inequalities between the urban and rural populations, regarding both the social determinants of the health situation of the various population groups.
In recent years, the incidence of malaria has remained stable, with no deaths but, more than 90% of total cases were reported in indigenous regions. In the case of dengue, the case-fatality rate between 2011 and 2015 was 0.17%, and serotypes 1, 2, and 3 were in circulation.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CHITRA) is endemic in Bocas del Toro, Coclé, Colón, and Panamá Oeste, although its incidence has declined. In 2015, 72 confirmed cases of Chagas disease were diagnosed, 35 of them in blood banks.
Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a tropical parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, It's spread mostly by insects known as Triatominae, or "kissing bugs".
The symptoms change over the course of the infection. Up to 45% of people with chronic infection develop heart disease 10–30 years after the initial illness, which can lead to heart failure.
Digestive complications, including an enlarged esophagus or an enlarged colon, may also occur in up to 21% of people, and up to 10% of people may experience nerve damage.
At present, chronic non-communicable diseases (especially those of the circulatory system) are the leading causes of death in both men and women. These diseases will become even more problematic in the future as the population continues to age.
New, more effective prevention methods are essential to reducing higher risk illness. We support efforts to develop, evaluate, and introduce innovative approaches to protecting those at risk.
These include potential long-acting prevention interventions that can provide continuous protection over a long period of time, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health programs.
Chronic malnutrition is more prevalent in areas with indigenous populations. Some 33.8% of children aged 6-59 months and 23.2% of pregnant women suffer from anemia in 2013, 15.9% of school-age children (first graders) suffered from chronic malnutrition, and 3.4% had serious stunting.
According to FIMI, issues food security is affecting the indigenous communities, environmental degradation, and climate change. Food security has many aspects, such as the quality of food that can be accessed by communities, which is heavily affected by the contamination of their surrounding environment.
Food security is not just about being able to grow crops, but also about the lack of opportunities that many indigenous communities face.
ABUNDANT LIFE FOUNDATION is focused on eliminating these existing differences. All these issues are extremely important and more must be done on this front in educating the vulnerable and indigenous communities. This will require greater availability and better distribution of human resources, health infrastructure of all types, health technology, drugs, and other medical supplies.
Our values help us define our path to success, but our effectiveness is based in the combined power of our initiatives to impact change in the lives of our people.
The ABUNDANT LIFE FOUNDATION OF PANAMA was created in 1987 to address these urgent social and humanitarian needs in Panama. Moved by a love for God, the foundations spirit is to extend a helping hand to the country’s hungry and needy.
Panama is a land of many contrasts. Alongside the many outward appearances of wealth and affluence in one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America with its modern skyline, there is also crushing poverty.
Through out what appears to be a tropical paradise of plenty, the fact is, there’s a large population that have been virtually abandoned.
These people live on the extreme edge, devoid of any mean to support and sustain themselves daily.