Las Lajas

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

Overview

Primary school in Las Lajas

Las Lajas is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua in the department of Esteli. A typical house is made of mud-packed bricks. The community has access to a local health center in the neighboring community, Licoroy, 3.5 meters away, and a multigrade primary school within the community. 55 students attend the primary school with three teachers and four classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade 6, and there is no secondary school located in Las Lajas. For students wanting to attend secondary school, they must travel to a neighboring community, either La Trinidad (15Km) or Las Animas (11Km). A bus to these schools cost 20 cordoba for one way ($0.65 USD). This expense can be difficult for families to cover the cost of daily. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the Medical Program in Las Lajas and has been since the first Medical Brigade in June 2016. In their communication with Global Brigades, the top three needs expressed are limited access to potable water, lack of medications, and no health center directly in the community. Las Lajas is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: La Trinidad

Department: Esteli

Homes : 67
Population : 387
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 100%
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.  

Las Lajas has access to a health center in the neighboring community, Licoroy, 3.5 meters away. The nearest hospital for advanced care and surgeries is in the community of La Trinidad, 15Km 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 three illnesses in children that Las Lajas expressed are diarrheal diseases, flu, and fever. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as hypertension, as well as cough, and allergies. 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.

89

Brigade Volunteers

974

Patient Consultations

74

Pap Smears Performed

35

Health Education Workshops

Darling, a Community Health Worker in Las Lajas, holding medications she is responsible for bringing to patients, provided by the Ministry of Health

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

Las Lajas has five Community Health Workers that are trained by the Ministry of Health two times a month. 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 Las Lajas 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 Las Lajas attend Medical Brigades in the community house of Las Lajas. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 168 patients.

Las Lajas 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. Las Lajas’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 168

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS PILAS, CEBADILLA, LICOROY, EL TAMARINDO, El MOJON, LOS TENDIDOS, SAN LORENZO, OTRA BANDA, ZARZALES

BRIGADE SITE: COMMUNITY HOUSE

 

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Chicago Brigades/Texas State University Medical January 2017 30 Rutgers University/Seton Hall University Medical May 2017 26
Michigan State University Medical December 2017 33

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.

212

Patients Consultations

301

Flouride Treatments

169

Fillings Performed

31

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 Las Lajas attend Dental Brigades in the community house of Las Lajas. The average amount of patients seen per day is 35 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

Las Lajas 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. Las Lajas’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 35

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS PILAS, CEBADILLA, LICOROY, EL TAMARINDO, El MOJON, LOS TENDIDOS, SAN LORENZO, OTRA BANDA, ZARZALES

BRIGADE SITE: COMMUNITY HOUSE

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Chicago Brigades/Texas State University Medical January 2017 30 Rutgers University/Seton Hall University Medical May 2017 26
Michigan State University Medical December 2017 33

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

In January 2018, the community of Las Lajas had a new water project built by the municipality of La Trinidad. The type of system is a well which is an underground water with a pump. It covers 100% of the houses and they have water 24 hours a day.

 

Water System : Yes
Type of Water System : Well
% of Homes with Access to Water : 100%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades has begun with the Business Program in Las Lajas.  The community bank was started in May 2018 with 18 community members as initial shareholders. Currently, the bank has 20 savings accounts opened.

20

Savings Accounts Opened

$61.55

Capital Invested

Community Bank : No
Community Bank Members : No
Economic Activities : Agricultural labor
Existing Microenterprises : No

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Las Lajas 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 : 100%
% of Homes with Showers : 0%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 0%
Common House Materials : Mud-packed Brick

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature