A TEN-FOLD increase in cases of congenital syphilis in Panama is raising concerns among health authorities.
The Panamanian Public Health Society said on Monday July 24 that cases increased from 0.2 per thousand live births in 2009 to 1.9 in 2016.
Congenital syphilis is a serious disease transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy.
According to figures from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) in 2016, there were 141 cases of the disease in the country; The province of Bocas del Toro had the highest rate with 33 cases, the Ngäbe Buglé region followed with 21 and in the metropolitan region recorded 19.
The president of the Panamanian Public Health Society, Claude Betts, said that congenital syphilis is one of the most preventable diseases, and noted that the prevention of these cases, with adequate prenatal control, is part of the “Healthy Generation Panama 2030” plan promoted by the Panamanian Public Health Society.
Social Security Fund (CSS), epidemiologist Eddy Cabrera, said that the greatest effort should be focused on primary care because the treatment For congenital syphilis has a cost of approximately $5 per patient and a
sick person represents a huge expense for the health system.
Cabrera added that adequate prenatal control also serves to control other.
diseases in pregnant women, reduces risks in childbirth and gives better conditions for a good start to life for newborns.
During the second multidisciplinary conference, of specialists, nurses, teachers and trade union leaders recommendations to eradicate the disease altogether and help reduce it included making prenatal control completely free, including supplies, laboratory tests and treatments, independent of where such care is provided; requiring Minsa to assume its role of guaranteeing of the universal right to health with the allocation of adequate appointments and training of human resources.