La Ermita de Saraguasca

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

Overview

La Ermita de Saraguasca is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua in the department of Jinotega. A typical house is made of cement block or wood. The community has access to a health center in the neighboring community, Las Lomas, 5 Km away. Within La Ermita de Saraguasca is a primary school that 27 students attend the primary school with two teachers and one classroom. The primary school goes up to grade six, and there is no secondary school located in La Ermita de Saraguasca. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers, day laborers, or cattle raisers.

La Ermita de Saraguasca was one of the first communities in Nicaragua that Global Brigades began a partnership with, in 2013. Prior to Global Brigades programming, the top three needs expressed were lack of latrines or properly functioning latrines, limited access to potable water, and limited access to medications. Since then, La Ermita de Saraguasca has attended Medical Brigades in a nearby neighboring community, as well as partnered with the Water Program to have a system completed in 2016. La Ermita de Saraguasca is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: Jinotega

Department: Jinotega

Homes : 32
Population : 170
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 0%
Education : Up to 6th 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.  

La Ermita de Saraguasca has access to a health center in a neighboring community, Las Lomas, 5 Km away. 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 La Ermita de Saraguasca expressed were cough, pneumonia, flu, and fever. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as hypertension, as well as kidney infection and gastritis. 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.

*These statistics represent brigades in the community of Tomatoya, where community members from La Ermita de Saraguasca attend Medical Brigades.

239*

Brigade Volunteers

2365*

Patient Consultations

0*

Pap Smears Performed

0*

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

La Ermita de Saraguasca has two 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 La Ermita de Saraguasca 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 La Ermita de Saraguasca attend Medical Brigades in the health center of Tomatoya, about 5 Km away. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 263 patients.

La Ermita de Saraguasca 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. La Ermita de Saraguasca’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 263

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: CORRAL DE PIEDRA, POTRERILLO, EL ZAPOTE, TOMATOYA

BRIGADE SITE: COMMUNITY SCHOOL

 

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Connecticut January 2013 38 Washington University in St. Louis March 2013 33
Oakland University April 2014 42 Texas A&M University January 2015 37
Florida Gulf Coast University May 2015 21 Texas A&M University January 2016 41
Case Western Reserve University May 2016 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.

*These statistics represent brigades in the community of Tomatoya, where community members from La Ermita de Saraguasca attend Dental Brigades.

109*

Patients Consultations

149*

Flouride Treatments

37*

Fillings Performed

0*

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 La Ermita de Saraguasca attend Dental Brigades in the health center of Tomatoya, about 5 Km away. The average amount of patients seen per day is 18 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

La Ermita de Saraguasca 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. La Ermita de Saraguasca’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 18

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: CORRAL DE PIEDRA, POTRERILLO, EL ZAPOTE, TOMATOYA

BRIGADE SITE: COMMUNITY SCHOOL

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Florida Gulf Coast University May 2015 21 Texas A&M University January 2016 41
Case Western Reserve University May 2016 27

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete
Hand-pump water system used in La Ermita de Saraguasca before new water system was constructed

LA ERMITA DE SARAGUASCA WATER CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades involvement, La Ermita de Saraguasca had a public, hand-pumped well, which was located approximately .5km from most homes in the community. The water was typically pumped into jugs or buckets and carried back to the home to use for cooking, cleaning, and hygiene. The well did not have sufficient amounts of water for the entire community. Additionally, the well was completely dry certain months of the year. When the well was dry, community members walked approximately 3km to a neighboring community to use their well. The walk required community members to hike down a mountain, across a valley, and up the adjacent mountain to arrive at the well – only to carry water 3km back home. 

 

1541

Water Brigade Volunteers

6315

Meters of Piping Installed

100%

Percentage of System Completed

170

Project Beneficiaries

The tap is turned on for the first time at La Ermita de Saraguasca water system inauguration, July 2017!

LA ERMITA DE SARAGUASCA‘S WATER SOLUTION:

From January to April 2016, 1,541 volunteers partnered with community members from La Ermita de Saraguasca to complete 85% of the water project. Additionally, a 23-cubic meter concrete water storage tank was constructed. Once trench digging was complete, what was left was installing one submersible electric pump as well as water meters in each of the receiving homes. An electric pump was needed to carry water against gravity to homes at higher elevation. The problem however, was that at the time, La Ermita de Saraguasca did not have electricity. Global Brigades and local NGO partner, AVODEC, submitted requests to the national electricity company to install electricity within the community. Due to the national electricity company’s many requests and limited budget, it took approximately one year to complete the request in La Ermita de Saraguasca. Once installed, it was not only a success in the community to have electricity, but it also meant that the water system could begin being pumped out to households! The inauguration of the system was hosted on July 7th, 2017. Prior to the celebration, system tests were conducted to guarantee that the water was potable and had sufficient flow rate. Water quality results indicated the water was safe for drinking. The capacity test demonstrated 22 gallons per minute, with the 7.5 hp electric submersible pump. This test showed that the system was ready to supply it’s projected 31 households, with 170 individuals! In addition to construction, a water and sanitation council was trained to empower the community to manage the maintenance, repairs, and treatment of their own water system. The water system was funded in part by Global Brigades ($27,740.00), and local NGO partner, AVODEC ($832.00). $9,349.00 in funding was raised by the community of La Ermita de Saraguasca.

WATER BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
DePaul University January 2016 24 University of Illinois at Chicago January 2016 32
University of California – Los Angeles January 2016 51 Oakland University January 2016 55
University of Miami January 2016 33 Ball State University January 2016 24
Governors State University/ University of Wisconsin – Madison January 2016 30 University of Maryland Baltimor January 2016 37
Carroll University January 2016 25 State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton January 2016 29
Wellesley College January 2016 29 Rutgers University January 2016 45
University of Wisconsin – Madison/ University of Virginia January 2016 54 Texas A&M University January 2016 43
Marquette University January 2016 76 Albion University January 2016 37
Boston University January 2016 13 University of Dayton January 2016 58
University of San Diego January 2016 29 Milwaukee School of Engineering March 2016 48
Stetson University March 2016 27 University of Münster March 2016 15
Carnegie Mellon University March 2016 28 Arcadia University – Glenside March 2016 44
Arcadia University – Christiana March 2016 27 University of Notre Dame March 2016 16
Texas A&M International University March 2016 20 Vanderbilt University March 2016 35
University of Notre Dame March 2016 35 Pennsylvania State University March 2016 31
RWTH Aachen University March 2016 15 Indiana University/ University of Arizona March 2016 16
College of William and Mary March 2016 34 University of Southern California March 2016 29
University of Maryland Baltimore County March 2016 54 Indiana University/ University of Maryland Baltimore County March 2016 17
University of Denver/ University of Arizona March 2016 10 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/ University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill March 2016 17
University of Denver March 2016 39 University of California –
Davis/ University of California – Irnive
March 2016 17
Marquette University March 2016 27 Ohio State University March 2016 10
West Virginia University/ University of California Irvine March 2016 20 University of Arkansas/ Pace University March 2016 34
Santa Clara University March 2016 28 Northwestern University March 2016 14
Louisiana State University March 2016 49 Palo Alto Brigades/ University of California – Davis March 2016 21
West Virginia University March 2016 48

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

This community has started the Business Program. The community bank, Milagro de Dios, has had capitalization and currently, they’re 20 members in the bank.

$142.63

Capital Invested

20

Savings Accounts Opened

Community Bank : No
Community Bank Members : None
Economic Activities : Agricultural labor, day labor & cattle raising
Existing Microenterprises : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

The community is in the phase of planning for Public Health projects. Currently, the families are saving to purchase the sanitary units.

% of Homes with Latrines : 0%
% of Homes with Showers : 0%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 0%
Common House Materials : Cement block & wood

Local Reference Points

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

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