Cañazas

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Business

Overview

Cañazas is located in the province of East Panama. The community is comprised of mostly Latino families. A typical house there is made of concrete blocks. Cañazas has a primary/middle school that offers from kindergarten to 9th grade. Most of the community members work in agriculture or day labor. The nearest health center is in the nearby town of Tortí, which means community members must wait for a bus and pay each way to visit a doctor. All of the homes in Cañazas are connected to a gravity-fed aqueduct. Approximately 86% of homes in the community have flushing toilets. Cañazas has a community bank that offers savings and loans services. The top needs expressed by the community were: improvements to the aging water system, improvements to the roads, and training on environmental conservation.

District: Chepo

Province: Panamá Este

Homes : 350
Population : 700
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No- closest in Tortí
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with sanitation service : 86%
Education : Up to 9th grade
Closest GB lodging facility : Hospedaje Tonosí

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

Even though Panama is considered a country with a lot of economic growth, this growth doesn’t necessarily apply to all Panamanians, especially those in the rural areas. This results in large inequality when it comes to healthcare attention. As a consequence, access to health and dental care is one of the largest challenges for our partner communities. Hospitals and clinics are scarce in the rural areas where we work, and those that are accessible often lack proper staff, equipment, and medication.

The most prevalent illnesses in Cañazas are common colds, diarrhea, anemia, hypertension, high cholesterol, and kidney problems.

370

Volunteers

725

Patient Consultations

103

Vision Screenings Provided

44

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

 

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

Some of the future CHW’s primary responsibilities will include:

  • Promoting healthy practices and maintaining contact with GB staff about their progress
  • Performing First Aid in the case of an emergency
  • Managing the Patient Referral cases of the community
  • Promoting involvement with other GB programs such as Human Rights, Public Health and Microfinance workshops
  • Recording and monitoring members of their respective communities who:
    • Are pregnant
    • Have a chronic disease
    • Are children under five
      years old

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN THE COMMUNITY

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of California Santa Cruz Medical March 2012 38 Loyola Marymount University Medical August 2012 22
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Medical May 2016 25 Western Kentucky University Medical June 2017 24
University of Maryland Baltimore County Dental & Medical March 2019 33 Michigan State University Medical March 2020 21

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

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.

443

Number of Dental Patients

121

Number of Extractions

330

Fluoride Treatments

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN THE COMMUNITY

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of California Santa Cruz Medical March 2012 38 Loyola Marymount University Medical August 2012 22
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Medical May 2016 25 Western Kentucky University Medical June 2017 24
University of Maryland Baltimore County Dental & Medical March 2019 33 Michigan State University Medical March 2020 21

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

CAÑAZAS’ ECONOMIC CHALLENGE:

Community members in Cañazas lack access to financial resources within the community. The majority of community members do not have bank accounts and there is only limited informal forms of credit available.  For example, a person could obtain ‘credit’ at a local store by buying something now and paying later, simply adding it to their ‘tab,’ but there would be no formalized credit transaction.  Larger financial institutions do not approve loans to community members without a fixed income, making it difficult for local micro-enterprises to grow and thrive. Most community members cite the distance to the nearest bank as the main discouragement to having a personal savings account. Even if individuals wish to travel the distance, not all community members can become members of these financial institutions–cooperatives require monthly membership fees, savings accounts often require a fixed income, and the cost of travel provides an additional barrier.

N/A

Volunteers

N/A

Business Consulted

15

Savings Accounts Opened

CAÑAZAS’ MICROFINANCE SOLUTION:

leaders of the Cañazas caja

The Global Brigades Business and Microfinance Team trained a new Community Bank in Cañazas in September of 2019. Following the launch of the project, Microfinance and Business brigades arrived with financial training to community members and bank’s executive team in order to strengthen the knowledge and trust in the Community Bank. This encouraged the opening of more savings accounts, growth of seed capital, and upon the completion of six months of executive board training, the Community Bank began giving out loans to bank members to spur economic growth and home improvement projects.

BUSINESS VOLUNTEERS IN THE COMMUNITY

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers

Local Reference Points

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

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