Agua Fría

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health

Overview

Community nurse standing in front of multi-grade primary school

 Agua Fría is located in the dry corridor of north central Nicaragua in the department of León. A typical house is made of wood. The community has access to a health center within the community, as well as both a multigrade primary school and secondary school. 120 students attend the primary school with three teachers and four classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade six. Beyond this age, students have the ability to go to secondary school on Saturdays, up to grade 12. 80 students attend secondary school with four teachers and four classrooms. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the Medical program in Agua Fría and has been since the first Medical Brigade in June 2017. In their communication with Global Brigades, the top three needs expressed were lack of latrines or properly functioning latrines, limited access to potable water, and malnutrition. Agua Fría is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: El Sauce

Department: León

Homes : 49
Population : 379
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 90%
Education : Up to 12th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 2.5 hr

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Healthcare access in Nicaragua is structured by the Ministry of Health, based in the capital, Managua. From there, each of the fifteen departments has it’s own department hospital, which is overseen by the SILAIS administrations (Sistema Local de Atención Integral en Salud). At a municipality level, there is a health center (Centro de Salud) for every municipality within the department. While they are not hospitals, health centers in the municipality are typically staffed with one doctor, and two nurses, that can attend patients with chronic, communicable, or noncommunicable diseases, as well as pregnancies. They however, do not have the ability to perform surgeries. Lastly, most but not all communities have a Puesto de Salud, a smaller health center. These health centers are usually staffed with only one nurse and a rotating physician. Physicians are staffed in these health centers by Nicaragua’s Social Service. This is an initiative that requires Nicaraguan medical students to do two years of service in rural communities prior to graduating.  The physician density in Nicaragua is approximately 1,099 people for every one doctor.  According to the World Health Organization, there should be a maximum of 435 people per physician to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention. This density is significantly lower for the 40.6% of the population that lives in rural areas. It is for this reason that Nicaragua’s Social Service initiative brings medical students to these communities. However, access remains limited since these training physicians may be assigned to up to fifteen communities at a time.  

Agua Fría has access to a health center within their community. Even with this access, it is important to note that medications, supplies, and materials are often not available in these health centers and are dependent on government funding. There is no access to private pharmacies. Additionally, as noted above, access to trained medical professionals is limited.

During their initial communications with Global Brigades, the top three illnesses in children that Agua Fría expressed were diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, and pneumonia. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as epilepsy. Without access to trained healthcare professionals and medications, chronic diseases can go unmanaged, leading to further health problems. Acute illnesses can also be severe and affect the quality of life.

 

27

Brigade Volunteers

661

Patient Consultations

69

Pap Smears Performed

30

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

Agua Fría has three Community Health Workers that are trained by the Ministry of Health monthly. Community Health Workers, or Brigadistas de Salud, work on a volunteer basis as advocates for healthcare within their communities. They are tasked with treating and preventing common illnesses, and some of their responsibilities include first aid, supporting and caring for pregnancies and newborns, and responding to emergency situations. They are also responsible for following up with chronic patients to ensure proper administration of medications and treatments to avoid further complications. Global Brigades is planning to establish a partnership with Agua Fría Community Health Workers and the Ministry of Health, and is looking forward to providing these Community Health Workers with blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, glucometers, and first aid kits, to facilitate more impactful work. The presence of these volunteers and their advocacy for health within their community contributes to the sustainability of healthcare supported by Global Brigades’ Medical Program and is one of the most impactful disease prevention strategies in rural communities.

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Community members from Agua Fría attend Medical Brigades in the health center of Agua Fría. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 220 patients.

Agua Fría offers strong support on Medical Brigades from the community volunteers. One way the 8-15 community volunteers assist is by running intake. Intake is the very first station of the clinic and is where the community volunteers write down the patient’s name, date of birth, community, and identification number. Additionally, community volunteers manage clinic organization. They set up tables and chairs in the clinic prior to the brigade’s arrival as well as direct patients to the next medical station, once the clinic has opened for the day. Lastly, community volunteers lead adult health education sessions on sanitation and hygiene, chronic diseases, contraception, Women’s health, and water purification. Agua Fría’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 220

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: PILON, LA GARZA, LOS BALDISONES, MONTOYA, LA CARRETA, SANTA BARBARA, EL CHOTE, EL MADRONAL, SAN AGUSTIN

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

 

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
California State University East Bay June 2017 27

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS:

While medical access is low, dental access is even more sparing. Dental services are not available within the community health centers, or even the municipality health centers. Instead, if a patient was needing dental care, they would be required to travel to one of the country’s fifteen department hospitals. This could be up to a 2-3 hour bus ride, with many needing to first walk or horseback ride to the bus stop.

105

Patients Consultations

267

Flouride Treatments

89

Fillings Performed

14

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Working closely with the Medical Program, the Dental Program provides fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments as a standard part of medical brigades. Community members from Agua Fría attend Dental Brigades in the health center of Agua Fría. The average amount of patients seen per day is 34 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

Agua Fría offers strong support on Dental Brigades from the community volunteers. One way the 8-15 community volunteers assist is by running intake. Intake is the very first station of the clinic and is where the community volunteers write down the patient’s name, date of birth, community, and identification number. Additionally, community volunteers manage clinic organization. They set up tables and chairs in the clinic prior to the brigade’s arrival as well as direct patients to the next medical station, once the clinic has opened for the day. Lastly, community volunteers lead adult health education sessions on oral health and hygiene. Agua Fría’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 34

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: PILON, LA GARZA, LOS BALDISONES, MONTOYA, LA CARRETA, SANTA BARBARA, EL CHOTE, EL MADRONAL, SAN AGUSTIN

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
California State University East Bay June 2017 27

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Currently, Agua Fría utilizes a gravity system. The system was constructed in the 1990’s, and has in-home connections to 80% of the households. There are five elected Water Council members whose responsibility is to maintain the system and make repairs when needed. Those connected to the system support the system’s maintenance with their monthly water fee.

While the water system certainly increases access, there is often times not enough water during the dry season (November-May). During this time the community uses eight manual pump wells. The water source connected to these pumps may be contaminated and unsuitable for drinking.

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Agua Fría but has not yet begun with the Water Program. Now in the planning phase, the financing, delivery, and installation of a water system infrastructure, or repairs to existing infrastructure will start as soon as feasible.

 

Water System : Yes
Type of Water System : Gravity
% of Homes with Access to Water : 80%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Agua Fría but has not yet begun with the Business Program. In the planning phase, local staff is working with community members to assess the economic needs of the community, establish a community bank, and identify micro-enterprises that can benefit from on-brigade consultations. 

Community Bank : No
Community Bank Members : None
Economic Activities : Agricultural labor
Existing Microenterprises : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Agua Fría but has not yet begun with the Public Health Program. Now in the planning phase, the financing, delivery, and installation of household health infrastructure products will start as soon as feasible.

% of Homes with Latrines : 90%
% of Homes with Showers : 0%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 0%
Common House Materials : Wood

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

  • Feature