La Ermita – Global Brigades

La Ermita

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

Overview

La Ermita is located in West Panama. La Ermita 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 2 minutes to walk from house to house in La Ermita. 70% of families in this community work in agriculture. Some of the needs the community expressed were better sanitation infrastructure, electricity, and improved houses. The most common illnesses in La Ermita are cold, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure.

Corregimiento: La Ermita
District: San Carlos
Province: Coclé

Homes : 300
Population : 1500
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Some homes
Health Post : Yes
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Latrines : 80%
Education : Up to grade 6
Closest Lodging Facility : San Carlos

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 La Ermita has a Puesto de Salud. The most common illnesses in La Ermita are cold, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure.

127

Volunteers

494

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

4

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of La Ermita 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 Ermita 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 Ermita’s school where clinics are held

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in La Ermita’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 5 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 262

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA ERMITA:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Miami University of Ohio & University of Pennsylvania Medical May 2015 47 University of Connecticut Medical Jan 2016 39
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medical March 2017 22 DePaul University Medical Dec 2018 19

 

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

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.

293

Dental Patient Consultations

194

Fluoride Treatments

75

Extractions

6

Fillings

BRIGADE INFORMATION

La Ermita’s school where clinics are held

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in La Ermita’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 5 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 262

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA ERMITA:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Miami University of Ohio & University of Pennsylvania Medical May 2015 47 University of Connecticut Medical Jan 2016 39
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medical March 2017 22 DePaul University Medical Dec 2018 19

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in La Ermita but has not yet begun 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 : 90%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in La Ermita but has not yet begun with the Business Program. Now in the planning phase, a community bank will be established as soon as feasible.

Community Bank : No
Community Bank members : N/A
Economic Activities : farming
Existing microenterprises : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in La Ermita 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 toilet : 80%
Homes with latrine : 90%
Homes with bath/shower : N/A
Common house materials : concrete blocks