Tranquilla

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

Overview

Tranquilla is located in the province of Coclé, west of Panama City. The community is comprised of mostly Latino families. A typical house there is made of cement blocks and zinc. Tranquilla has a primary school that offer from kindergarten to 6th grade. For middle- and high-school, children must take a bus half an hour to the community of Antón. Most of the community members work in agriculture or work in hotels in the nearby tourist area of Antón. There is a health outpost in the community that hosts a mobile clinic from the Ministry of Health every 3 months. All of the homes in Tranquilla are connected to a gravity-fed aqueduct, but the water must be rationed in the dry season. Tranquilla does not have a community bank or cooperative. The top needs expressed by the community were improvements to the water system and internet and a library for the school.

District: Antón
Province: Coclé

Homes : 1000
Population : 4500
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No- only outpost
Community Health Workers : Yes
Homes with adequate sanitation : 100%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from lodging facility : 1 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 Tranquilla, but to see a doctor community members must travel 30 minutes by bus to the nearest Centro de Salud in Antón. The most prevalent illnesses in Tranquilla are common colds, renal failure, and hypertension.

251

Volunteers

2,807

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

52

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

The community of Tranquilla 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. Tranquilla 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 pose with the Panamanian doctors they shadowed in Tranquilla

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Tranquilla’s school building (pictured above) 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 7 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 464

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN TRANQUILLA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Medical Brigade March 2014 30 City University of New York (CUNY) Medgar Evers College, Southern Methodist University, & Wake Forest University Medical Brigade August 2014 38
Duke University & Texas A&M International University Medical Brigade March 2015 32 Colgate University Medical Brigade March 2016 23
Chapman University Medical Brigade May 2017 45 University of Miami Medical Brigade December 2018 29
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2019 33 Boston College Medical Brigade January 2020 21

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

A brigader facilitates a dental health charla in Tranquilla

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.

851

Dental Patient Consultations

132

Extractions

560

Fluoride Applications

N/A

Fillings

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Brigaders pose with the Panamanian doctors they shadowed in Tranquilla

Medical and Dental Brigade clinics are hosted in Tranquilla’s school building (pictured above) 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 7 educational workshops or charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 464

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN TRANQUILLA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Medical Brigade March 2014 30 City University of New York (CUNY) Medgar Evers College, Southern Methodist University, & Wake Forest University Medical Brigade August 2014 38
Duke University & Texas A&M International University Medical Brigade March 2015 32 Colgate University Medical Brigade March 2016 23
Chapman University Medical Brigade May 2017 45 University of Miami Medical Brigade December 2018 29
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2019 33 Boston College Medical Brigade January 2020 21

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Tranquilla but has not yet begun with 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 : 100%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Tranquilla 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 : Yes, coop for members of Sustainable Harvest program
Community Bank Members : 11
Economic activities : agriculture, tourism in nearby towns
Existing microenterprises : A few kiosks and 4 small stores

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

TRANQUILLA’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

When Global Brigades began their partnership with Tranquilla, most homes had pit latrines. Pit latrines are prone to flooding in the rainy season, and in the summer months heat causes them to become a breeding ground for bacteria. Sanitation units (each with a composting latrine, shower and sink) are Global Brigades Panama’s response to this public health challenge. Sanitation units are necessary to facilitate hand-washing, allow water storage for hygienic processes, and offer privacy while bathing. 

55

Volunteers

10

Sanitation Units Installed

40

People Benefitted with PH Infrastructure (approx)

N/A

Hours of Public Health Educational Workshops

PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION IN TRANQUILLA

A community member in nearby Las Delicias, Coclé poses in front of his new sanitation unit

In 2014, Global Brigades, in partnership with technicians from Sustainable Harvest and the Tranquilla Health Committee, constructed sanitation units for 10 families in the community. This latrine structure is equipped with an attached shower and a bathroom with two chambers for waste. Solid waste combined with the adding of sawdust after each use allows the latrine to become a source of compost. When solid waste and sawdust completely fill the first chamber it is sealed off and the toilet is moved to the second chamber. After 6 months of composting, the first chamber is re-opened and is ready to be used as a compost for gardens while the second chamber is used for the bathroom. Once the second chamber is filled to capacity the cycle starts over.

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN TRANQUILLA

Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Connecticut Medical Brigade January 2014 55

Local Reference Points

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

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