El Cano

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

Overview

El Cano is located in Cocle, in the western part of Panama. The typical house is made of cement blocks, bricks, or adobe. There is a primary school in El Cano that offers up to 6th grade. To attend secondary school, children must travel outside the community. Most of the community members work in agriculture, skilled and unskilled labor, or tourism. All the homes in El Cano are connected to a well-functioning water system, and about 100% of homes have latrines. Three of the top needs expressed by El Cano are improved water, better health, and better security.

District: Nata
Province: Cocle

*The above image of a landscape in Coclé, Panama does not necessarily reflect the appearance of the community of El Cano.

Homes : 600
Population : 1100
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Adequate Sanitation : 100%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hr

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.

El Cano has a Puesto de Salud, and the nearest Centro de Salud is a 30-minute drive away in the provincial capital of Penonome. The most common illnesses seen within the community of El Cano are diabetes, hypertension, diarrhea, the common cold, and vomitting.

323

Volunteers

1,882

Patient Consultations

87

Vision Screenings

64

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of El Cano 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. El Cano 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.

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in El Cano’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 9 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 305

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL CANO:

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Kansas Medical Brigade May 2014 49 University of Cardiff/University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Brigade December 2014 37
Maryville University/North Carolina State University Medical Brigade May 2015 36 University of Texas Austin Medical Brigade January 2016 44
University of San Diego Medical Brigade June 2016 30 Rutgers University- New Brunswick Medical Brigade January 2017 32
Purdue University Medical Brigade January 2017 37 Miami University of Ohio/Sherman University Medical Brigade May 2019 30
University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2020 28

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.

 

604

Dental Patient Consultations

317

Fluoride Treatments

133

Extractions

20

Fillings Performed

A dental charla in Ipeti Emberá, Panama

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in El Cano’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 9 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 305

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL CANO

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Kansas Medical Brigade May 2014 49 University of Cardiff/University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Brigade December 2014 37
Maryville University/North Carolina State University Medical Brigade May 2015 36 University of Texas Austin Medical Brigade January 2016 44
University of San Diego Medical Brigade June 2016 30 Rutgers University- New Brunswick Medical Brigade January 2017 32
Purdue University Medical Brigade January 2017 37 Miami University of Ohio/Sherman University Medical Brigade May 2019 30
University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2020 28

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Cano but has not yet begun with the Water Program. If there is a need, the Water Program will begin implementing a new water system or any necessary repairs to existing infrastructure as soon as feasible.

 

Water System : Yes
System Type : N/A
Homes connected to water : 100%
Water Council : No

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Cano 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, skilled & unskilled labor
Existing microenterprises : supermarket, bars, small shops

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Cano but has not yet begun with the Public Health Program. If there is a need, 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 : 100%
Homes with baths/showers : N/A
Common house materials : Concrete blocks

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature