“The situation in the clinic had gotten so bad that the Ministerio de Salud closed the pharmacy,” said volunteer coordinator Alana Shaffer. “The space was being used to both give vaccinations and dispense medicines.”
For persons in Playas del Coco, Playa Ocotal, Playa Hermosa and Playa Panamá this clinic is the only source for medical care. Yet the inadequateness of the facility made it ineffective.
Oskar Diaz, the town doctor has been servicing the area since 2009 visiting patients at home who can not make it to the clinic to provide treatments such as dialysis.
“He’s just amazingly giving and loyal, and I guess he was the inspiration to get things going,” said Ms. Shaffer.
A carpenter in the area put out a call for a committee to help make it possible to renovate and expand the clinic.
A group of volunteers from the committee came together with their different skills to help with the cause. From this moment, Amigos de Papagayo was formed, she said.
In the group was architect Guillermo Cubas, certified public accountant Zeidy Murillo and lawyers Laura Rojas and Priscilla Solano. All have been drawing up plans, balancing budgets and getting the proper paperwork together pro bono.
In the new clinic, two new vaccination rooms will be created, and the pharmacy, patient observation, nursing intake and doctor examination rooms will be expanded.
Everything will be done with prefabricated materials, so the clinic will remain operational during the process. The only day it is expected to close, is the day the volunteers will put on a new roof for the entire facility, said Ms. Shaffer.
Now the amigos have all the approvals necessary from both the Caja and Ministerio de Salud, and are waiting for the building permits. However, everyone is confident that everything will come through, Ms. Shaffer said. The project has been both exciting and fun to work on, she added.
The next step in the process is to raise the money needed to complete the project. For this reason, the coordinators of the Coco Ebais Expansion Project will host a seed money social Nov. 3. with the goal of raising $5,000 that night. Project completion will cost $200,000.
Pisces Restaurant at Coco Bay Estates is the site for the social. Patrons will receive a free welcome drink and appetizer for joining. Happy hour bar drink and a full service restaurant menu will be available for purchase, while Mark Forest, the Amazing Juanman Band, provides music.
Every attendee will get information on the project.
Donors will have chances to win door prizes donated by local establishments.
Special prizes will be given for those who bring the most contributing friends, the persons with the most attention getting apparel item worn, the best civil joke told to a group and the most charming personality.
Sign-in begins at 5:30 p.m. Seats can be reserved at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2697-1707.