La Mata

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental

Overview

La Mata is located in Cocle, in the western part of Panama. The community is comprised of mostly Latino families. A typical house there is made of concrete blocks. Most of the community members work in unskilled labor. La Mata has a primary school and secondary school that offers from kindergarten to 12th grade. There is a health post in the community, but it does not always have adequate staff, medication, or equipment. All of the homes in La Mata are connected to a gravity-fed aqueduct, but the population of the community has outgrown the system and the water must be rationed. All homes in La Mata have adequate toilets or latrines. La Mata does not have a community bank that offers savings and loans services, but it does have several small businesses. The three top needs expressed by La Mata were improvements to the water system, better roads, and larger schools.

Corregimiento: Rio Hato

Province: Cocle

Homes : 150
Population : 600
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No- only health post
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Adequate Sanitation : 100%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Panama Office : 85 kilometers

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

Even though Panama is considered a country with a lot of growth, the continuous growth in the income doesn’t necessarily apply to the economic growth of all Panamanians, especially those in the rural areas. This results in large inequality when it comes to healthcare attention. As a consequence, access to health and dental care is one of the largest challenges for our partner communities. Hospitals and clinics are scarce in the rural areas where we work, and those that are accessible often lack proper staff, equipment, and medication.

In La Mata specifically, the most common illnesses in community are diabetes, skin allergies, hypertension, and the common cold.

255

Volunteers

1751

Patient Consultations

85

Health Education Workshops (approx)

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

 

 

The community of La Mata 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 Mata will receive training as soon as possible to further support the health of its community members.

GB Panama’s Medical team started the Agentes Comunitarios en Salud or ACeS program in 2016. “Agentes” from 17 communities in East Panama and Darien were Panama’s first community health workers.

Some of the future ACeS worker’s primary responsibilities will include:

  • Promoting healthy practices and maintaining contact with GB staff about their progress
  • Performing First Aid in the case of an emergency
  • Managing the Patient Referral cases of the community
  • Promoting involvement with other GB programs such as Human Rights, Public Health and Microfinance workshops
  • Recording and monitoring members of their respective communities who:
    • Are pregnant
    • Have a chronic disease
    • Are children under five
      years old.

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA MATA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Kansas Medical May 2016 73 Kansas City Medical School Medical May 2017 67
Marquette University Medical January 2019 44 Marquette University Medical May 2019 23
Illinois Wesleyan University Medical June 2019 19 University of Dayton Medical January 2020 29

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.

1022

Number of Dental Patients

480

Fluoride Treatments

302

Number of Extractions

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA MATA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Kansas Medical May 2016 73 Kansas City Medical School Medical May 2017 67
Marquette University Medical January 2019 44 Marquette University Medical May 2019 23
Illinois Wesleyan University Medical June 2019 19 University of Dayton Medical January 2020 29