Cerro Plata – Global Brigades

Cerro Plata

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health

Overview

Cerro Plata is located in the province of Veraguas, west of Panama City. A typical house in Cerro Plata is made of cement blocks. Cerro Plata has a primary/middle school that offers kindergarten to 9th grade, and then children must walk over an hour to access the nearest high school. Most of the community members work in agriculture, farming beans, corn, root vegetables, and fruits. There is a health outpost in the community. Cerro Plata has a gravity-fed aqueduct, but the water often arrives too dirty to drink unfiltered. The top needs expressed by the community were improvements to healthcare, water, and infrastructure.

District: Cañazas
Province: Veraguas

Homes : 50
Population : 200
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Latrines : 100%
Education : Up to 9th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hr

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

The Puesto de Salud in Cerro Plata, 2019

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.

Cerro Plata has a Puesto de Salud, but the closest Centro de Salud is in La Mesa or the provincial capital of Santiago, a 30-60 minute bus ride away. The most prevalent illnesses in Cerro Plata are vomitting, diarrhea, diabetes, and hypertension.

34

Volunteers

N/A

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

33

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of Cerro Plata 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. Cerro Plata 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.

Cerro Plata primary school

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Cerro Plata’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 20 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 300

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN CERRO PLATA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Marquette University Dental Jan 2020 34

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.

300

Dental Patients Consultations

108

Extractions

41

Fillings Performed

173

Fluoride Treatments

Cerro Plata primary school

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Cerro Plata’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 20 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 300

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN CERRO PLATA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Marquette University Dental Jan 2020 34

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Cerro Plata but has not yet begun with the Water Program. Now in the planning phase, the financing, delivery, and installation of a water system infrastructure, or repairs to existing infrastructure will start as soon as feasible.

 

Water System : Yes
System Type : Gravity Aqueduct
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 Cerro Plata 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
Community Bank Members : N/A
Economic Activities : Agriculture
Existing microenterprises : 1 grocery store, 1 kiosk

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Cerro Plata 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 : 100%
Homes with latrines : 96%
Homes with baths/showers : 100%
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.

  • Feature