Today was our final day of clinic. We were anxious to get started and were again split between 2 locations. One team was practicing at El Coyol/ Las Pilas where they were able to care for multiple patients. The other team’s health clinic was in El Gigante. Illnesses, both chronic and acute, continue to mirror those found in the United States. It would seem that hypertension, diabetes, and other diseases know no borders. There is no way to express the gratitude of the Nicaraguans regarding our efforts to provide care to them. While they have health posts, they are usually only staffed with one doctor during the week which makes it close to impossible to see everyone in need. Each of our teams has 2-3 nurses and 5-6 providers to help meet the needs of these communities. Working with the local nurses and doctors proved to be an extremely rewarding experience and they, too, seemed receptive and eager for us to relieve some of their load. The education that our team was able to provide will hopefully leave a lasting imprint to help the patients and health care providers sustain the promotion of good health to those in need.
We were so excited to start our day and when we made our first turn, we were surprised to find that the road we must travel was decreased to one lane of traffic due to resurfacing. Unlike the road surfacing in the United States, in Nicaragua large stones that are then pressed and packed into the soil are used. As if the obstacle of single-lane traffic was not enough, we had only traveled approximately 1 mile when we discovered that there were 2 cars and a bulldozer blocking our path to the clinic which was at least 25 minutes from our location. The 2 cars were literally stuck and had to be removed from the road before we could pass. After approximately 30 minutes, the cars were removed only for us to realize that one of our vans was also unable to move forward or backward. Our medical team then pulled together to physically push the van out of its position to allow it to move.
Today was yet another amazing day. Working at the Nancimi Clinic we were able to provide so many different services to the patients. Along with routine medical exams, Amanda Bruggman, MD, was performing ultrasounds on the pregnant ladies presenting to the clinic. Her patients were so happy to be able to have a glimpse at their unborn child and feel that sense of security that so many of us in the world take for granted. We also cared for 3 very sick patients who had to be transported to the hospital. Two of the patients were transported in private vehicles. The GivingMore team transported the third patient 10 miles to the outpost in Tola. The patient was extremely ill and was taken via ambulance to the hospital in Rivas.
All in all, our team saw 109 medical patients and 37 dental patients.
A couple of hours after sunrise, the brigade packed up the vans, split into teams and left for the medical clinics at Las Canas and Astillero. There were already several patients waiting when we arrived. We went right to work, triaging and treating patients who showed up for both common complaints and emergent conditions. Today in addition to the help of FIMRC, we were excited to have the assistance of a local physician and local nurses; whose help was greatly appreciated.
When we arrived at the clinic early this morning, there were patients already lined up. FIMRC has been advertising our brigade for the past month and the local people have been anxiously awaiting.
After a breakfast of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, gallo pinto, and french toast, the team headed over to the FIMRC headquarters to unload the 40+ boxes and divide the hundreds of medications and supplies into manageable quantities to take for the clinics during the upcoming week.
We had what seemed to be an endless supply of Children's Chewable Vitamins and many other medications to total over 8,000 doses of medication for our patients. The bulk bottles of Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Mebendazole, Prenatal Vitamins, Amoxicillin, and other antibiotics were split into individual bags and labeled. Nebulizers, glucometers, splints, central line kits and a plethora of other supplies were packaged for distribution.
Watching the team work together for one common, selfless goal was utterly inspiring. The local representatives from FIMRC were there to assist us. They were amazing and helped make things run so smoothly. Their dedication to the people of Las Salinas is immeasurable.
A late lunch of grilled fish, coconut chicken and shrimp tacos at Yolanda's followed. Then it was on to the beach for a friendly, competitive game of soccer. By the time the sun set and 7 goals were scored, the group had bonded.
For the few who had never been to Nicaragua, it was the perfect introduction into the country. For those who were coming back for a medical trip, it was like coming home.
This year for Christmas think about a different way of giving. Make a donation in someone's name and change a life. The #givingmore team leaves in February for Nicaragua for the next medical brigade! Make a difference this year and #givemore! OR email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase one of these awesome tanks! 100% of the proceeds go towards medical care and equipment. #medicalbrigade #nicaragua #givingback #mavs #mavsdancers #donate #christmas #adifferentkindofgift #nbacares
After traveling to 4 different clinics in Nicaragua, the GivingMore team was able to see and treat nearly 500 patients! This would not have been possible without your generous donations which we appreciate immensely. We are truly touched by your willingness to give and are grateful for the opportunity to treat those we saw on our week long stay in Nicaragua.
More pictures and stories to come...
Only 35 days until our team heads to beautiful Limon, Nicaragua! We can't wait to meet the community and provide as much medical support as possible during our week long visit.