Platanal – Global Brigades

Platanal

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

Overview

Platanal is located in Cocle, in the western part of Panama. The typical house is made of cement blocks or bricks. Children in the community typically attend school up until primary school. Most of the community members work in a day labor position. The closest Health Post is 30 minutes away at the Centro de Salud in Rio Hato. Three of the top needs expressed by Platanal were an improved water system, highways, and a sports area.

District: Anton
Province: Cocle

Homes : 300
Population : 1200
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Latrines : 60%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Panama City : 113 km

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.

Platanal does not have any health facilities in the community, but the nearest Centro de Salud is a short bus ride away in the town of Rio Hato. In Platanal, we see that the most prevalent illnesses are the common cold, fever, and vomit.

101

Volunteers

482

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings

12

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of Platanal 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. Platanal 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

Brigaders present their charla to patients in Platanal

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Platanal’s 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, an average of 8 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 253

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN PLATANAL

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of South Florida Medical December 2018 33 Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical May 2019 33
University of Texas Austin & Hastings College Medical August 2019 35

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.

273

Dental Patient Consultations

132

Fluoride Treatments

54

Extractions

3

Fillings

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Brigaders present their charla to patients in Platanal

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Platanal’s 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, an average of 8 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 253

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN PLATANAL

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of South Florida Medical December 2018 33 Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical May 2019 33
University of Texas Austin & Hastings College Medical August 2019 35

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Platanal 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 the Engineering Program’s evaluation and recommendations.

 

Water System : Yes
System Type : Gravity & turbine aqueducts
Homes connected to water : 66%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Platanal 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 : skilled & unskilled labor
Existing microenterprises : several shops

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Platanal 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 : 60%
Homes with latrine : 90%
Homes with bath/shower : N/A
Common house materials : concrete blocks, zinc

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature