August 14-21, 2015 was a busy week for 43 health professions students and providers from Samuel Merritt University, CSU East Bay, and SFSU. They trekked up to remote Batata for another 3 day clinic stint. Students from physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nursing, physical therapy, and (for the first time) occupational therapy, along with licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and pharmacists, saw nearly 700 patients in just 3 days of clinic.
Additionally, this trip saw 2 groups travel to Agua de Salud, a nearby community with roads so poor "the road making machine can't travel on it," to build 3 eco-stoves. The two small groups the two days, built 2 stoves and supervised villagers building the third stove. These stoves not only completely vent all smoke outdoors, but also are efficient and use less wood than traditional fires used for cooking.
This was our largest group to travel to the remote Batata school for a medical clinic. And while it was challengeing, this also allowed us to increase our focus on a health education through our charla (chats) with the community members who walked, sometimes for up to 4-5 hours, to come to clinic. This trip also had 2 videographers who made the trip with us. We can't wait to share their footage in the upcoming months to better show the work we are doing and the people of the Batata community we are serving.
Plans are underway for our 2016 visits to Batata, and we look forward to exploring new ways to improve the health of the community in Panama.