Tomabú

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

Overview

Tomabú is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua in the department of Esteli. A typical house is made of wood. The community has access to a local health center within the community as well as both a multigrade primary school and secondary school. 90 students attend the primary school with six teachers and eight classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade six. Following, student have the opportunity to attend secondary school in Tomabú, until grade 12. Currently there are about 150 students, five teachers, and ten classrooms in the secondary school. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the the Medical Program in Tomabú and has been since the first Medical Brigade in June 2016. 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 lack of medications. Tomabú is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: La Trinidad

Department: Esteli 

Homes : 190
Population : 1200
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : No
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 50%
Education : Up to 12th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1.5 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.  

Tomabú 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 Tomabú expressed were diarrheal diseases, cough, and fever. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes, as well as diarrheal diseases 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.

55

Brigade Volunteers

669

Patient Consultations

37

Pap Smears Performed

31

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER:

Tomabú 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 Tomabú 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 Tomabú attend Medical Brigades in the community health center of Tomabú. This location has rooms for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen per day is 229 patients.

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

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 229

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS CUEVAS, EL TOMOTAL, LAS LIMAS, EL ESPINAL

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

 

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Texas State University/ Chicago Brigades Medical January 2017 30 DePaul University Medical March 2018 25

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.

120

Patients Consultations

92

Flouride Treatments

100

Fillings Performed

16

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 Tomabú attend Dental Brigades in the community health center of Tomabú. The average amount of patients seen per day is 34 patients, with approximately 10-15 minutes per patient.

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

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 34

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS CUEVAS, EL TOMOTAL, LAS LIMAS, EL ESPINAL

BRIGADE SITE: HEALTH CENTER

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Texas State University/ Chicago Brigades Medical January 2017 30 DePaul University Medical March 2018 25

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Currently, Tomabú has both manual private pump wells, and a mixed gravity system with an electric pump. The Mixed system was constructed in 2010’s and has in-home connections to 40% of the homes. The other 60% of the community uses private manual pumps. 

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Tomabú 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 : Mixed- Gravity and electric pump powered, & manual pumps
% of Homes with Access to Water : 40%
Water Council : Yes

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Tomabú 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
Existing Microenterprises : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Tomabú 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 : 50%
% of Homes with Showers : 0%
% of Homes with Washing Station : 0%
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