Location: Veraguas Province, Panama
The main goal of the mission was to support the work of Project C.U.R.E.’s Panamanian partner, FundAyuda. Working with the Panamanian Ministry of Health, FundAyuda secured the work designation for the team in the Veraguas region in San Jose. This site was chosen due to the lack of health facilities in the region and the inability of the Ministry of Health to visit the area for more than two years.
Date: October 2016
Project C.U.R.E. and FundAyuda
Founded in 1987, Project C.U.R.E. distributes high-quality medical supplies and provides medical care to resource-limited communities worldwide via its medical professional volunteers.
Since 2006, Panama-based nonprofit FundAyuda (Aid to Help Foundation) has focused on breast and prostate cancer awareness, including early detection and treatment programs for citizens with limited resources. The organization works in partnership with the Ministry of Health as well as the First Lady of Panama.
For this mission, there were 12 team members from Project C.U.R.E. that were joined in the country by 4 FundAyuda volunteers who assisted with translation and clinic logistics. The team also had 4 English students who served as translators.
Those on the Project C.U.R.E. team included 1 Generalist/Pediatrician Physician (bilingual), 1 Nurse Practitioner (bilingual), 1 Nurse Midwife (bilingual), 5 nurses, 3 non-medical, and 1 team leader.
The Ministry of Health of Veraguas sent a doctor and 2 officials to work with the team each day, and the First Lady of Panama sent a traveling mammogram, an EKG machine, and an ultrasound.
The team’s clinic was stationed at a school in San Jose where they provided primary care services, deworming, and vitamins to all patients. The team saw 200-250 patients/day in the primary care department, with a total of 870 patients served. They also conducted 100 PAP exams and 100 cervical cancer exams. 10 patients were treated with cryotherapy for low-grade cervical cancer.
There was also a representative from the Ministry of Health who conducted an HIV education and family planning seminar. 256 students attended the sessions, all of whom received HIV tests — all of which came back negative.
The team had many wonderful and unforgettable experiences on the trip. One family had walked six hours to attend the clinic the next day. The father made sure his daughter and granddaughter got their exams and waited in line to get any needed medications for them as well.
A wealthy farming family from the area that just so happened to see a news clip of the team's work was so grateful for what they were doing that they invited them to their mountaintop home in the area, preparing food and drinks for the team in appreciation.
The team received generous support from FundAyuda who brought coffee, juice, snacks and oatmeal in large quantities for all those waiting for clinic services. They also received generous support from the local Ministry of Health, as well as gratitude from patients and local business people, proving to the team the value of the Project C.U.R.E. Clinic.
All images provided by Project C.U.R.E.
If you'd like to join Project C.U.R.E. on one of their upcoming missions check out their website here. Mission schedule below-
India 3/16/2017 - 3/28/2017
Haiti 4/22/2017 - 4/30/2017
Suriname 6/17/2017 - 6/25/2017
Ghana 7/21/2017 - 7/29/2017
Paraguay 9/16/2017 - 9/24/2017
Ghana 10/14/2017 - 10/22/2017
Peru 11/11/2017 - 11/19/2017