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Major health problem among Ngäbe Buglé young

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Major health problem among Ngäbe Buglé young


Posted 29/10/2019

The  Ministry of Health (Minsa) recognized on Tuesday October 29 that there is a health problem in the Ngäbe Buglé region  related to sexually transmitted infections and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), especially in its young population.

The director of Indigenous Health Affairs, Patricio Montezuma, stressed that all this is due to lack of information and sexual education, an issue that they are evaluating together with authorities of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development.

Montezuma's statements follow  a study by the Gorgas Memorial Institute of  700 young people between 14 and 19 years of age  reflected results of HIV prevalence in women of 0.4% while in men of 1.0%. 

As for active syphilis, it was detected in 1.3% in women and 6.6% in men. Herpes simplex was also found in 16.1% of women and 16.1% of men, in addition to hepatitis B in 1.3% of females and 1.4% of adolescents.

Other sexually transmitted infections that were detected were gonorrhoeae neisseria , a virus that produces gonorrhea, in 1.8% of women and 1.7% of men; as well as chlamydiain 17.5% of adolescents and 10.7% of men who said they had sex at least once in their life.

“Girls and boys students require more information,” said Montezuma, who highlighted the importance of the Gorgas study in 20 schools in this indigenous region.

For Montezuma, the only way to improve this reality is to carry out promotional campaigns not only in the Minsa facilities but also in the Ministry of Education.

"Ngäbe students are victims of a social system that has been coming for decades," he said.

According to Gorgas research, developed last year and published this year, indigenous adolescents who attend school in the rural areas of the Ngäbe Buglé region have a “substantial burden of sexually transmitted infections..



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