Los Zarzales

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

Overview

Los Zarzales is located in the dry corridor of north central Nicaragua in the department of Leon. A typical house is made of cement block. The community has access to a local health center within the community as well as both a multigrade primary and secondary school. The primary school has eight teachers and thirteen classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade 6. Following primary school, students have the option of attending secondary school up to grade 12. The secondary school has seven teachers working in thirteen classrooms. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers, day laborers, or cattle raisers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the Medical Program in Los Zarzales and has been since the first Medical Brigade in January 2017. In their communication with Global Brigades, the top three needs expressed were limited access to potable water, and limited access to medications, no permanent medical professionals based in the community, and lack of access to ambulances or other general transport in emergency situations. Los Zarzales is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: El Jicaral

Department: Leon

Homes : 290
Population : 1470
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 80%
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.  

Los Zarzales 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 Los Zarzales expressed are diarrhoeal diseases adn  respiratory infections. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as kidney infections. 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.

67

Brigade Volunteers

1802

Patient Consultations

81

Pap Smears Performed

30

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

Los Zarzales has eighteen 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 Los Zarzales 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 Los Zarzales attend Medical Brigades in the health center of Los Zarzales. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 300 patients.

Los Zarzales 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. Los Zarzales’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 300

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS PILITAS, EL TAMARINDO, VILLA SAMARIA, LA CARBONERA, LA DEFENSA, DOS MONTES, EL PORVENIR

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

 

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Texas A&M University January 2017 41 University of Arizona May 2017 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.

222

Patients Consultations

451

Flouride Treatments

134

Fillings Performed

30

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 Los Zarzales attend Dental Brigades in the health center of Los Zarzales. The average amount of patients seen per day is 37 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

Los Zarzales 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. Los Zarzales’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 37

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS PILITAS, EL TAMARINDO, VILLA SAMARIA, LA CARBONERA, LA DEFENSA, DOS MONTES, EL PORVENIR

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Texas A&M University January 2017 41 University of Arizona May 2017 26

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Currently, Los Zarzales has an artisan pump water system. This system was built in the late 1990’s, and has in-home connections to 100% of the households. While this system has certainly increased access, water still needs to be rationed during the dry season (November- May). 

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Los Zarzales 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 : Artisan pump with in-home connection
% of Homes with Access to Water : 100%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Los Zarzales 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, day labor, & cattle raising
Existing Microenterprises : Rice & sugar cane cooperative

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Los Zarzales 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 : 80%
% of Homes with Showers : 80%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 50%
Common House Materials : Cement block

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature