The challenges of providing healthcare to those living in remote areas of the world – and sustaining that care long-term – are many. For people living in remote villages, the medical facilities that do exist are often located far away from their homes.
How many hours would a person have to walk to reach a clinic? Are roads passable by car? Is it even safe to travel in this area?
And if someone does manage to reach a medical facility, do they have the resources there to actually help? The sad reality is, for many doctors working in resource-poor areas, they simply do not have adequate testing equipment, or access to the medicine that all of their patients need.
Even if miracles happen and a patient is able to receive proper care at a medical clinic, there is still the problem of money. Patients from rural areas are not often wealthy, and the fear of incurring a bill that they cannot pay is very real. Far too many people end up faced with the terrible choice between getting the medical care that they need and putting food on the table for their family that week.
For people that live in rural Panama, MAP is working to provide sustainable, consistent healthcare to those who cannot afford to obtain it elsewhere.
Recently, one of MAP's partners, Floating Doctors, visited the town of Bocas del Toro, Panama. They were very grateful that they had antibiotics from MAP on hand when they treated a young boy, Sam, who came with a respiratory infection. He had been sick for several weeks before the team arrived, but his mother had no way to obtain treatment other than simply waiting for the Floating Doctors team to come again.
Thankfully, “because of the antibiotic that MAP provided, he was able to recover from headaches, sore throat, and muscle aches,” reports Philip Ditchfield, the Pharmacy and Clinical Supply Manager for Floating Doctors. “Thank you very much!”
The Floating Doctors brigade treated approximately 300 other patients with MAP medicine during their time in Bocas del Toro, and were particularly grateful for the antibiotics they were able to dispense to patients with infections – all of it free of charge.
Because of partnerships with MAP and other supporters, Floating Doctors has been able to do what many have written off as impossible, and are providing ongoing medical care to communities that would never have access to it otherwise.