Dr. Tercero examining a patient in Ocotal.
On August 4 and 5, Dr. Evertz Tercero led a two-day continuing education program for our health care providers, known as brigadistas. All fourteen brigadistas attended. This was especially impressive, given the current unstable political situation in Nicaragua. Several of our villages are located in areas where anti-government demonstrations have been held and villagers have been jailed. In May, Dr. Tercero orgainzed a experimantal one-day continuing education program. Its success led to the new, expanded two-day format.
The training that the brigadistas received in 2016 and 2017 gave them the skills to provide basic health care to the people in the ten mountain villages where they live. However, that training needs reinforcement. The quarterly training sessions give the brigadistas a chance to share their medical experiences with each other and to learn new skills.
To facilitate communication between the brigadistas in their mountain villages and our project headquarters in Ocotal, Nicaragua Projekt has given each brigadista a cell phone that can call three numbers: Dr. Evertz Castillo, our nurse Alba, and our Executive Director Dulce Maria Calderon. Each month, each brigadista is given a new $5 phone card. The brigadistas can call Dr. Castillo if they need advice concerning treatment for a patient, or need his prescription for medication for a patient. Nurse Alba also calls each brigadista during the month to see which medications and other items they need to resupply their mini-pharmacies. Communication between the brigadistas, our doctor, our nurse, and headquarters is extremely important. We seem to have found a solution that works well.
At our project headquarters in Ocotal, Dr. Castillo sees patients who have come in from the villages because they have a serious health issue. He then refers them to specialists, if necessary. Dulce Maria has identified several specialists who will see our village patients for a reduced fee, which is paid by Nicaragua Project.
Due to current political instability, we have experienced some difficulties buying medicine to resupply the botiquines, but so far, each month we have found a way. Monthly visits to the villages have become more difficult, as roads are unpredictably blockaded by government forces. The health services Nicaragua Projekt provides to the campesinos and their families in our ten villages is now more vitally important then ever.
Brigadistas and Dr. Tercero at training session