The poor health status of children in our community stems from multiple factors:
- Common health threats: The children of Todos Santos are faced with serious health issues including diabetes, obesity, malnourishment, teen pregnancy, and alcohol and drug use.
- Lack of Medical Coverage: In order to receive free medical care for citizens through the Seguro Popular, a child must be registered with the government. Unfortunately, there are circumstances which prevent children from being registered, such as lack of a birth certificate. In Todos Santos, 30% of residents are not covered by medical insurance.*
- Financial Hardship: Most families cannot afford a consultation at the Centro de Salud, our local public health clinic, let alone, bus fare to follow up with a specialist in La Paz, emergency ambulance transport, surgical procedures, vision care, and dental care.
- Lack of Access: With no pediatrician in town, families lack access to routine physical examinations to detect health problems early. Children who live on remote ranches and in migrant camps are virtually “invisible” to the healthcare system.
- Minimal health education: Without an understanding of basic health and proper nutrition, children and parents fail to recognize the onset of chronic childhood diseases. For example, Type 2 diabetes is under diagnosed due to cultural acceptance of obesity.**
* Antonia Ruiz González. Social Worker
** Dra. Alejandra Pena Salguero