Agua Frias #2 – Global Brigades

Agua Frias #2

Overview

Aguas Frias #2 is located in the Darien, in the eastern part of Panama. The typical house is made of cement blocks or bricks. There is a school in Aguas Frias #2 that offers kindergarten to 9th grade. For high school, children must travel to a different community. Most of the community members work in agriculture or cattle ranching. There is no health clinic in Aguas Frias #2. For health services, families must travel either to Sante Fe or Tortí which are 30-60 minutes away by bus. All of the homes in Aguas Frias #2 are connected to a gravity-fed aqueduct. However, in the rainy season the water arrives dirty and households must filter it, and in the dry season the water supply must be rationed. There is a commercial bank in Aguas Frias #2 that offers savings and loans services. There are a few small businesses and restaurants in the community. Three of the top needs expressed by Aguas Frias #2 were: clean water, better access to health services, and latrines.

Corregimiento: Agua Fria
District: Chepigana
Province: Darien

*the above image of a farm in East Panama does not necessarily reflect the appearance of Aguas Frías #2

Homes : 600
Population : 1200
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No- commercial bank nearby
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with an adequate sanitation service : 95%
Education : Up to 9th grade
Distance from lodging facility : 30 minutes

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

Even though Panama is a country with a lot of economic growth, this growth does not apply equally to all Panamanians, especially those in rural areas. This results in stark inequality when it comes to healthcare access. The Panamanian Ministry of Health (MINSA) provides two different types of health facilities throughout rural Panama: Centros de Salud and Puestos de Salud. Centros are the larger of the two, often found in municipalities, and typically have at least one physician on staff at all times with nurses and potentially a dentist. Puestos are found sporadically in rural communities and generally have a single nurse available. 

Even with this coverage, the Centros frequently lack a full pharmacy and the staff capacity to see every patient each day. After walking long distances or paying for a bus, rural visitors to the Centros can expect long wait times given the limited staff and resources to meet the demand from all neighboring communities. The physician density in Panama remains around 630 people for every one doctor. According to the World Health Organization, there should be a maximum of 435 people per physician to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention.

There is no health facility in Aguas Frias #2. The nearest Centro de Salud is in Sante Fe or Tortí which are 30-60 minutes away by bus. In Agua Frias #2, we see that the top 3 most common illnesses are the common cold, fever, and cough.

323

Volunteers

2,357

Patient Consultations

31

Vision Screenings

6

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of Aguas Frias #2 does not yet have Community Health Workers. Global Brigades Panama Medical Program is working diligently to train volunteers as CHWs in its partner communities as part of the Holistic Model. Aguas Frias #2 will receive training as soon as possible to further support the health of its community members.

Community Health Workers, or Agentes Comunitarios en Salud (ACeS), work on a volunteer basis as advocates for healthcare within their communities. Their primary responsibilities include: educating community members to prevent common illnesses, providing emergency first aid, supporting pregnant mothers and newborns, and following up with chronic patients. The presence of these volunteers and their advocacy for health within their community contributes to the sustainability of healthcare supported by Global Brigades’ Medical Program and is one of the most impactful disease prevention strategies in rural communities.

A Medical Brigade holds clinic in Aguas Frias #2

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Aguas Frías #2′s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 4 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 295

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN AGUAS FRIAS #2

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Johns Hopkins University Medical Brigade May 2012 21 University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2013 39
University of Colorado Boulder Medical Brigade May 2013 31 Vanderbilt University Medical Brigade March 2014 37
City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College Medical Brigade August 2014 31 Rutgers University Medical Brigade May 2015 36
Maryville University/ Otterbein University Medical Brigade May 2016 27 University of Maryland Baltimore County Medical Brigade January 2017 31
University of Texas Dallas Medical August 2018 39 Indiana University & University of South Florida Medical May 2019 31

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

A dental charla in Ipeti Emberá, Panama

Working closely with the Medical Program, the Dental Program provides fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments as a standard part of medical brigades. Most community members do not have regular access to dental care due to the lack of a dentist within a reasonable distance.

 

328

Dental Patients

164

Fluoride Treatments

108

Extractions

12

Fillings Performed

A Medical Brigade holds clinic in Aguas Frias #2

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Aguas Frías #2′s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 4 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 295

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN AGUAS FRIAS #2

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Johns Hopkins University Medical Brigade May 2012 21 University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2013 39
University of Colorado Boulder Medical Brigade May 2013 31 Vanderbilt University Medical Brigade March 2014 37
City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College Medical Brigade August 2014 31 Rutgers University Medical Brigade May 2015 36
Maryville University/ Otterbein University Medical Brigade May 2016 27 University of Maryland Baltimore County Medical Brigade January 2017 31
University of Texas Dallas Medical August 2018 39 Indiana University & University of South Florida Medical Brigade May 2019 31

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Aguas Frias #2 but has not yet begun with the Water Program. Now in the planning phase, the Water Program will begin implementing a new water system or any necessary repairs to existing infrastructure following the Engineering Program’s evaluation and recommendations.

Water System : Yes
System Type : Gravity
Homes connected to water : 100%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Aguas Frias #2 but has not yet begun with the Business Program. In the planning phase, local staff is working with community members to assess the economic needs of the community, establish a community bank, and identify micro-enterprises that can benefit from on-brigade consultations.

 

Community Bank : No, commercial bank
Community Bank Members : N/A
Economic Activities : Agriculture and cattle ranching
Existing Microenterprises : Hardware store, mini super, gas station, hotel, bar, restaurant

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Aguas Frias #2 but has not yet begun with the Public Health Program. Now in the planning phase, the financing, delivery, and installation of household health infrastructure products will start as soon as feasible.

Homes with flushing toilets : N/A
Homes with latrines : 95%
Homes with baths/showers : N/A
Common house materials : concrete blocks, wood

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

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