Quebrada Honda

Overview

Quebrada Honda is located in the district of Chepigana along the Panamerican Highway in the province of Darien. Quebrada Honda is largely an agricultural community, where residents work on farms to produce crops such as beans, corn plantains and yams. These agricultural activities are the main source of income for 90% of residents. Within Quebrada Honda is a single primary school, where students from kindergarten to 6th grade attend classes. Quebrada Honda does not have its own health center, forcing residents to travel to Santa Fe for medical or dental care. When Global Brigades first started their partnership with Quebrada Honda, community members expressed that their top needs were: improved roads, school enlargement, and improvements to the water system.

Corregimiento: Santa Fe
District: Chepigana

Homes : 128
Population : 500
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No, nearest is in Santa Fe
Community Health Workers : Yes
Homes with Latrines : 100%
Education in the Community : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hour

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.

When a community member in Quebrada Honda needs to see a doctor or dentist, they must travel 20 minutes away by bus or car to Santa Fe, the nearest town with a full Centro de Salud. The top illnesses reported by community members in Quebrada Honda are: high blood pressure, common colds, and diarrhea.

197

Volunteers

1,361

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings

59

Health Education Workshops (Approx.)

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2017

Quebrada Honda has 1 Community Health Worker that was trained by Global Brigades. 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

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Quebrada Honda’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 9 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 219

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN QUEBRADA HONDA:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Kansas & SUNY New Paltz Medical May 2013 36 Milwaukee School of Engineering Medical March 2014 32
University of San Diego Medical January 2015 24 Penn State University Medical May 2016 35
Rutgers University – New Brunswick Medical May 2017 16 American University of Antigua & University of Mary Washington Medical January 2019 24

 

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.

171

Dental Patient Consultations

133

Fluoride Treatments

N/A

Fillings Performed

86

Extractions Performed

A dental charla in Ipeti Emberá, Panama

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Quebrada Honda’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the classrooms. Each day of the brigade, an average of 9 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 219

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN QUEBRADA HONDA:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Kansas & SUNY New Paltz Medical May 2013 36 Milwaukee School of Engineering Medical March 2014 32
University of San Diego Medical January 2015 24 Penn State University Medical May 2016 35
Rutgers University – New Brunswick Medical May 2017 16 American University of Antigua & University of Mary Washington Medical January 2019 24

 

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Quebrada Honda 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 : 100%
Water council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

QUEBRADA HONDA’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

Community members in Quebrada Honda lack access to financial resources within the community. The majority of community members do not have bank accounts and there are only limited informal forms of credit available.  For example, a person could obtain ‘credit’ at a local store by buying something now and paying later, simply adding it to their ‘tab,’ but there would be no formalized credit transaction.  Larger financial institutions do not approve loans to community members without a fixed income, making it difficult for local micro-enterprises to grow and thrive. Most community members cite the distance to the nearest bank as the main discouragement to having a personal savings account. Even if individuals wish to travel the distance, not all community members can become members of these financial institutions–cooperatives require monthly membership fees, savings accounts often require a fixed income, and the cost of travel provides an additional barrier.

25

Volunteers

115

Loans Disbursed

$4,197

Capital Invested

15

Saving Accounts Opened

QUEBRADA HONDA’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

Quebrada Honda community bank leaders

The Global Brigades Business and Microfinance Team trained a new Community Bank in 2015.They also brought Microfinance and Business brigades in order to strengthen both the knowledge and trust in the Community Bank. This encouraged the opening of more savings accounts, growth of seed capital, and upon the completion of six months of executive board training, the Community Bank began giving out loans to bank members to spur economic growth and home improvement projects.

QUEBRADA HONDA’S BUSINESS SOLUTION

In addition to the Community Bank, Global Brigades supports established and start-up micro-enterprises. Agro-businesses are prominent forms of commerce within this community and adequate book-keeping and maintaining relationships with customers, as well as proper agriculture cultivation can lead to increased revenues for business owners and employees.

As members of the Community Bank these micro-enterprises, led almost entirely by women or families, contribute to savings accounts and budget for loans to expand their businesses in the future. Through the help of Business Brigades, clients get advice on their most concerning business challenges and can also receive assistance in developing sustainable agriculture practices.

BUSINESS VOLUNTEERS IN QUEBRADA HONDA:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Bristol University & University of Bath Microfinance May 2015 12 Milwaukee School of Engineering Business Feb 2020 13

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Quebrada Honda 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 toilets : N/A
Homes with latrines : 100%
Homes with baths/showers : N/A
Common house materials : concrete blocks, wood

Local Reference Points

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

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