Las Delicias

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

Overview

Las Delicias is located in Cocle, in the western part of Panama. The typical house is made of cement blocks or bricks. Las Delicias has a primary school that offers up to 6th grade. The current water system in the community is a gravity aqueduct. Las Delicias has a health post which hosts mobile clinics, but is not always staffed by a doctor. The nearest health center is a 2 hour walk away in the community of La Pintada. Most of the community members work in land agriculture or unskilled labor. The top needs expressed by Las Delicias were improvements to the school, a new bridge, and improved roads.

Corregimiento: Piedras Gordas
District: La Pintada
Province: Cocle

Homes : 43
Population : 150
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with latrines : 93%
Education : Up to primary school
Distance from Panama City : 3 hr

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.

There is a Puesto de Salud in Las Delicias, and the closest Centro de Salud is a 2 hour walk (or $0.75 bus ride) away in La Pintada. The top 3 illnesses that are prevalent in the community are the common cold, cough, and fever.

91

Volunteers

195

Patient Consultations

12

Health Education Workshops

31

Vision Screenings

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of Las Delicias 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. Las Delicias 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

Las Delicias school where clinics are hosted.

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Las Delicias’ school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Volunteers assist with intake and triage, then shadow local doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. Each day of the brigade, volunteers facilitate an average of 8 educational workshops or charlas with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 77

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LAS DELICIAS

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University Medical December 2018 29 Texas State University & University of New Hampshire Medical May 2019 34
University of Dayton Medical January 2020 28

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.

57

Dental Patient Consultations

37

Fluoride Treatments

23

Extractions

N/A

Fillings Performed

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Las Delicias school where clinics are hosted.

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Las Delicias’ school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Volunteers assist with intake and triage, then shadow local doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. Each day of the brigade, volunteers facilitate an average of 8 educational workshops or charlas with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 77

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LAS DELICIAS

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University Medical December 2018 29 Texas State University & University of New Hampshire Medical May 2019 34
University of Dayton Medical January 2020 28

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Las Delicias but has not yet begun with the Water Program. Now in the planning phase, the Water Program will begin implementing a new water system or any necessary repairs to existing infrastructure following evaluation and recommendations by the Water team.

Water System : Yes
Type of System : Gravity aqueduct
Homes connected to water : 58%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

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

Community Bank : Yes, through Sustainable Harvest
Community Bank Members : N/a
Economic Activities : agriculture, artisan crafts
Existing microenterprises : several kiosks

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LAS DELICIAS’ PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES

A sanitation unit constructed in El Limón, Panama, Jan. 2020

Many community members in Las Delicias 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. 

N/A

Volunteers

7

Sanitation Units constructed

28

People Benefitted with PH Infrastructure (approx)

N/A

Hours of Public Health Education

A community member in Las Delicias shows off his new sanitation unit

LAS DELICIAS’ PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Global Brigades worked in 2016 with Las Delicias and our partner organization, Sustainable Harvest, to implement the Public Health program with 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 Las Delicias, Public Health volunteers will conduct educational workshops, or charlas, with community members on project maintenance and various public health topics.

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN LAS DELICIAS

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Texas at Austin Medical Jan 2016 N/A University of Connecticut Medical Jan 2016 N/A
University of Missouri Medical Jan 2016 N/A Raleigh NC Brigades March 2016 N/A
Northeaster University Medical March 2016 N/A Colgate University Medical March 2016 N/A
New Jersey Institute of Technology March 2016 N/A Indiana University Medical May 2016 N/A
Ohio State University Medical May 2016 N/A University of Oklahoma Medical May 2016 N/A
University of Kansas Medical May 2016 N/A University of Texas Austin & University of Miami Medical May 2016 N/A