El Retiro

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

Overview

El Retiro is located in Cocle. El Retiro is home to about 1500 people and is primarily a Latino community. The community has a water system and access to a health post.  Students have the option to attend school up until 6th grade. It takes an average of 30 minutes to walk from house to house in El Retiro. Most households in this community are made of bricks/ cement blocks or zinc. 95% of families in this community work in agriculture. Some of the needs the community expressed were Public Health and community education. The most common illnesses in El Retiro are the common cold and diarrhea.

Corregimiento: El Retiro
District: Anton

Homes : 300
Population : 1500
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : Yes
Homes with Latrines : 80%
Education in the Community : Up to 9th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hour

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.

The community of El Retiro currently has a Puesto de Salud attended by a nurse. The most common illnesses reported in this community are diarrhea and the common cold.

116

Volunteers

783

Patient Consultations

57

Vision Screenings Provided

99

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of El Retiro 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 Retiro 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 brigader shadows a patient consultation in El Jobo, Panama

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in El Retiro’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Volunteers assist with intake & triage, and shadow local doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. Each day of the brigade, an average of 23 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 242

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL RETIRO:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2016 30 University of Miami Medical Brigade December 2018 29
Miami University of Ohio Medical Brigade & Sherman University Medical Brigade May 2019 30 Southern Connecticut State University Medical Brigade January 2020 15
University of Houston Dental Brigade March 2020 12

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

A dental charla in Ipeti Emberá, Panama

In 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 dentist within a reasonable distance.

470

Patient Consultations

117

Number of Extractions

37

Fillings Performed

309

Fluoride Treatments

A brigader shadows a patient consultation in El Jobo, Panama

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in El Retiro’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Volunteers assist with intake & triage, and shadow local doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. Each day of the brigade, an average of 23 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 242

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL RETIRO:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2016 30 University of Miami Medical Brigade December 2018 29
Miami University of Ohio Medical Brigade & Sherman University Medical Brigade May 2019 30 Southern Connecticut State University Medical Brigade January 2020 15
University of Houston Dental Brigade March 2020 12

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Retiro but has not yet begun with the Water Program. Now in the planning phase, the implementation of any improvements to the community’s existing water system will follow an engineering assessment and start as soon as feasible.

Water System : Yes
Type of System : Gravity aqueduct
Homes with Access to Water : 95%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Retiro but has not yet begun with the Business Program. Now in the planning phase, the Business Program will conduct an evaluation of the existing community bank as soon as feasible, followed by market studies and investment in an anchor business to provide additional capital.

Community Bank : No
Community Bank Members : N/A
Economic Activities : Agriculture, Tourism & Day Labourers
Existing Microenterprises : Corner stores & a bar

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Retiro 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 Latrines : 80%
Homes with Flushing Toilets : 75%
Homes with Bath/Showers : N/A
Common House Materials : Zinc and Cement Blocks

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature