La Candelaria

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

Overview

La Candelaria is located in the province of Coclé, in the western part of Panama. The typical house is made of cement blocks. La Candelaria has a pre-school, and children must walk 20 minutes to a different community for primary school, or 30 minutes to the nearest secondary school. Most of the community members work in agriculture, farming coffee, plantains, and root vegetables. The closest health facility is the Toabré Health Center which is 45 minutes away by bus. The community currently has access to a water system and approximately 80% of homes have access to adequate sanitation infrastructure.

District: Penonome
Province: Coclé

Homes : 150
Population : 700
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Some
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Latrines : approx. 80%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Panama City : 3 hrs

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.

La Candelaria does not have any health facility. The closest Centro de Salud is 45 minutes away by bus in Toabré. Community members expressed that the top 3 most prevalent illnesses in La Candelaria are cold, rashes, and asthma.

59

Volunteers

267

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

6

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of La Candelaria 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. La Candelaria 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

La Candelaria pre-school

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in La Candelaria’s pre-school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 3 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 194

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA CANDELARIA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Marquette University Medical Brigade January 2019 38 Oregon State University Medical Brigade June 2019 21

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.

130

Dental Patient Consultations

27

Extractions

N/A

Fillings Performed

106

Fluoride Treatments

BRIGADE INFORMATION

La Candelaria pre-school

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in La Candelaria’s pre-school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 3 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 194

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA CANDELARIA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Marquette University Medical Brigade January 2019 38 Oregon State University Medical Brigade June 2019 21

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in La Candelaria 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 : Gravity Aqueduct
Homes connected to water : 90%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in La Candelaria 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 : farming
Existing microenterprises : 3 kiosks

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CANDELARIA’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES

A sanitation unit constructed in the nearby community of El Limón

Many community members in La Candelaria lack the resources to make improvements to their household infrastructure. Sanitation units (which include a latrine, shower, and sink) are necessary to facilitate hand-washing and offer privacy while bathing. Additionally, latrines improve hygiene practices and prevent contamination of natural water sources caused by open defecation.

455

Volunteers

12

Sanitation Units Installed

50+

People Benefitted with PH Infrastructure

4

Hours of Public Health Educational Workshops

LA CANDELARIA’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

A brigader helps a mason construct a sanitation unit in La Candelaria

Global Brigades started working in 2019 with La Candelaria and our partner organization, Sustainable Harvest, to implement the Public Health program with all families interested in installing household infrastructure projects. These projects allow community members to avoid preventable disease and foster improved hygiene and sanitation practices. During their time in La Candelaria, Public Health volunteers will conduct educational workshops, or charlas, with community members on project maintenance and various public health topics.

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN LA CANDELARIA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Rutgers University- New Brunswick Medical Brigade January 2017 32 Syracuse Area Medical Brigade January 2017 34
University of Virginia Medical Brigade January 2017 21 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medical Brigade March 2017 22
Kansas City Medical School Medical Brigade May 2017 67 University of Connecticut Medical Brigade May 2017 25
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2017 24 Chapman University Medical Brigade May 2017 45
San Francisco State University Medical Brigade June 2017 46 University of Houston Medical Brigade May 2019 22
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2019 33 Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2019 40
University of Cincinnati Public Health Brigade May 2019 7 University of California San Diego Medical Brigade July 2019 37

Local Reference Points

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

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