Sierra Morena

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

Overview

Global Brigades Monitoring & Evaluation team meeting with community members in Sierra Morena to conduct the Rapid Needs Assessment

Sierra Morena 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 health center in the neighboring community, La Colonia, 5Km away. Within Sierra Morena is a primary school that 98 students attend, with five teachers and five classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade six, and there is no secondary school located in Sierra Morena. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers or coffee farmers.

Global Brigades will begin working with the Medical and Water Program in Sierra Morena in May 2018. Community bank establishment with the Business Program began in February 2018. 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 limited access to medications. Sierra Morena is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: Jinotega

Department: Jinotega

Homes : 170
Population : 710
Water System : No
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 80%
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.  

Sierra Morena has access to a health center in the neighboring community, La Colonia, 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 Sierra Morena expressed were diarrhoeal diseases, and respiratory infections. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as urinary tract infections, and asthma. 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

734

Patient Consultations

21

Pap Smears Performed

33

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

Sierra Morena 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 Sierra Morena 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.

Community school where Medical Brigades are held

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Community members from Sierra Morena attend Medical Brigades in the community church of Sierra Morena. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 245 patients.

Sierra Morena 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.Sierra Morena’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 245

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: SAN PABLO, LA FORTUNA, LA PAZ DEL TUMA

BRIGADE SITE: COMMUNITY CHURCH

 

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
London, Ontario May 2018 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.

73

Patients Consultations

221

Flouride Treatments

50

Fillings Performed

20

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 Sierra Morena attend Dental Brigades in the community church of Sierra Morena. The average amount of patients seen per day is 24 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

Sierra Morena 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. Sierra Morena’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 24

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: SAN PABLO, LA FORTUNA, LA PAZ DEL TUMA

BRIGADE SITE: COMMUNITY CHURCH

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
London, Ontario May 2018 27

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Water Brigades in Sierra Morena begin in May 2018!

Currently there is only one sector of the community, called La Plancheta, that has a small private water system. The system has in-home connections to only 53 homes (approximately 29% of the community). For the remaining homes of the community, they must utilize spring water or walk to La Plancheta to receive water.

Global Brigades is currently working with Sierra Morena to construct a system with a separate water source, in order to provide for the remaining majority of the homes. When complete the, this Mixed system will have a submersible electric pump to pump water to the tank at higher elevation. From there, water will flow by gravity through a distribution network to each of the connected homes.

193

Water Brigade Volunteers

1981.5

Meters of Trench Dug

30%

Percentage of System Completed

494

Project Beneficiaries

Water System : No
Type of Water System : Gravity
% of Homes with Access to Water : 29%
Water Council : Yes

WATER BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Michigan – Dearborn April 2018 26 London, Ontario May 2018 27
University of Utah/ University of Central Florida/ Florida International University May 2018 25 University of Central Florida May 2018 37
Pennsylvania State University May 2018 50 Ohio State University May 2018 28

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete
GB Nicaragua Business Technician speaks at Sierra Morena Community Bank meeting

Global Brigades established a community bank with Sierra Morena in February 2018. Business brigades will begin in May 2018! Now 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 : Yes
Community Bank Members : Yes
Economic Activities : Agricultural labor & coffee farming
Existing Microenterprises : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete
Plastic tarp washing stations used currently in Sierra Morena

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Sierra Morena 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 : 10%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 3%
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