El Dorado

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

Overview

El Dorado is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua in the department of Jinotega. A typical house is made of wood. The community has access to a local health center within the community as well as a multigrade primary school and secondary school. 257 students attend the primary school with five teachers and five classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade six. Following primary school, students have the option of attending secondary school up to grade twelve. Currently, 150 students attend the secondary school with six teachers and six classrooms. Most people in the community work as coffee farmers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the Medical Program in El Dorado and has been since the first Medical Brigade in May 2014. In their communication with Global Brigades, the top three needs expressed were lack of latrines or properly functioning latrines, improvements needed to the water system, and improvements needed on the schools. El Dorado is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: Jinotega

Department: Jinotega

Homes : 450
Population : 2746
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 92%
Education : Up to 12th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 2 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.  

El Dorado 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 illnesses in children that El Dorado expressed were diarrhoeal diseases, and respiratory infections. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as hypertension, as well as asthma and arthritis. 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.

148

Brigade Volunteers

1775

Patient Consultations

80

Pap Smears Performed

12

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

El Dorado has eight 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 El Dorado 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 El Dorado attend Medical Brigades in the health center of El Dorado. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 296 patients.

El Dorado 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. El Dorado’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 364

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LA FORTUNA, SACATON, SANTA RITA

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook Medical May 2014 36 University of Notre Dame Medical March 2015 50
Pace University/ University of Arkansas Medical March 2016 36 University of Michigan – Dearborn Medical April 2018 26

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.

192

Patients Consultations

292

Flouride Treatments

27

Fillings Performed

12

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 El Dorado attend Dental Brigades in the health center of El Dorado. The average amount of patients seen per day is 32 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

El Dorado 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. El Dorado’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 30

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LA FORTUNA, SACATON, SANTA RITA

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Pace University/ University of Arkansas Medical March 2016 36 University of Michigan – Dearborn Medical April 2018 26

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Currently, El Dorado utilizes a gravity-based system. The system was constructed in the 2010’s, and has in-home connections to 78% of the households. There are seven elected Water Council members whose responsibility is to maintain the system and make repairs when needed. The community as a whole supports the system’s maintenance with their monthly water fee. While this system has certainly increased access, some homes only have water available for limited amounts of time, sometimes only two hours a day. 

Water System : Yes
Type of Water System : gravity- based with in-home connections
% of Homes with Access to Water : 78%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Dorado 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 : Coffee farming
Existing Microenterprises : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in El Dorado 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 : 92%
% of Homes with Showers : 0%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 1%
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