There are several factors that still prevail in Nicaragua which make it difficult to provide comprehensive care to the low-income population: geographic inaccessibility, absence of nearby health posts, lack of trained professionals, lack of medical supplies and necessary medicines, and a belief rooted in the communities that prevents seeking conventional medical care. Due to these factors and the current socio-political crisis that Nicaragua is experiencing, which severely affects families with scarce resources, Esperança has decided to implement this new primary care program. This way, families in rural areas of the country would still be guaranteed continuous and comprehensive medical care, a project of which has never been done before at Esperança or AVODEC.
The team is made up of AVODEC medical staff: Luis Lanzas, RN, Dr. Morales, MD, Dr. Reeder Lanzas, DDS, and medical students who have been volunteering to help with patient registration. The team travels up to three hours each way to reach the furthest communities of Nicaragua. They provide primary care for adults, which includes anything from chronic disease management to chronic pain management, common colds, rashes, conjunctivitis, migraines, allergies, etc. The team announces the brigade through a Community Associate and asks people to call and set appointments for the given day they will be in town. Our team will treat anywhere from 15 to 25 patients per day.
*Community Associate: AVODEC volunteer community leaders or “associates.” These men and women represent communities throughout the state of Jinotega. As the representatives, they gather and help prepare proposals to present to AVODEC for projects/work needed in their communities. They are also the main liaison between community members and AVODEC. This is another way that Esperança remains deep rooted and up to date on the needs of our communities.
More on Esperança’s in-country partner model can be found here.
Read how Dr. Reeder Lanzas became involved with Esperança here.
More on AVODEC here.