To help resolve the healthcare disparities by working with local government, international and local doctors, and student leaders to develop a Medical program with the goal to provide consistent access to healthcare using an economically sustainable model.
Medical Brigades are typically made up of about 30 university student volunteers and a mix of local and international doctors, accompanied by translators, local pharmacists and other members of the Global Brigades team. The primary stations of mobile health clinic include: intake, triage, consultation, dental station, pharmacy, and educational workshops.
Vaccinations: Through partnership with the Ministry of Health, Medical Brigades in Panama are able to provide an immunization station on some brigades. Before each brigade season, the directors of the local health centers are contacted to request assistance from certified health assistants working in the region. If a health assistant is available during the clinic days of brigades, he or she will provide routine vaccinations or any vaccines that may be available in the health centers, such as influenza or yellow fever.
Medical Brigade volunteers shadow local and foreign health professionals, including doctors and pharmacists, as they provide pro-bono consultations and medications to patients in rural communities. In addition, mobile medical clinics are provided directly in communities, utilizing a community center or school as the clinic space. Volunteers are expected to participate in the following activities:
- assist with in-take, triage, medication packing, and health education
- learn how to utilize an electronic medical records system (OpenMRS) to assist in tracking patient progress
- observe medical consultations between doctors and patients
- instruct patients how to properly use medications
- collaborate with local community leaders in educational workshops to improve general health and hygiene
- provide support to patients and their families