El Guabal – Global Brigades

El Guabal

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

Overview

El Guabal is located in the province of Coclé, west of Panama City. The community is comprised of mostly Latino families. A typical house there is made of wood. El Guabal has a primary school that offer from kindergarten to 6th grade. For middle- and high-school, children must travel 30-60 minutes to the community of Caimito. Most of the community members work in agriculture. The nearest health facility is also in Caimito, which means community members must wait for a bus and pay $1.25 each way to visit a health clinic. All of the homes in El Guabal are connected to a gravity-fed aqueduct, but the water arrives contaminated in the rainy season. Only a small percentage of homes in El Guabal have adequate sanitation services. El Guabal does not have a community bank or cooperative. The top needs expressed by the community were better roads, improvements to the water system, and better access to health services.

District: Penonome
Province: Coclé

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

Homes : 150
Population : 500
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Some
Health Center : No- closest in Caimito
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with adequate sanitation : approx 40%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from lodging facility : 30-45 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.

For El Guabal, the nearest Centro de Salud is 30-60 minutes away in Caimito, which means community members must wait for a bus and pay $1.25 each way to visit a health clinic. The most prevalent illnesses in El Guabal are common colds, diarrhea, and hypertension.

43

Volunteers

141

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

8

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of El Guabal 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 Guabal 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 Guabal’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 8 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 216

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL GUABAL:

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Arkansas Medical Brigade March 2019 43

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.

75

Dental Patient Consultations

21

Extractions

61

Fluoride Treatments

N/A

Fillings Performed

A dental charla in Ipeti Emberá, Panama

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in El Guabal’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 8 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 216

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL GUABAL:

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Arkansas Medical Brigade March 2019 43

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Guabal but has not yet begun with the Water Program. If there is a need, 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 : 67%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Guabal 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 : 3 kiosks

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Guabal but has not yet begun with the Public Health Program. If there is a need, the financing, delivery, and installation of sanitation units will start as soon as feasible.

Homes with flushing toilets : 3%
Homes with latrines : 40%
Homes with baths/showers : N/A
Common house materials : wood

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature