Esperança’s brigade team travels to a different Nicaraguan community every week and sets up a “pop-up” clinic for the day. This can take place anywhere from a local church to a local leader’s house. The set up includes a waiting area with plastic chairs, a pharmacy, and three separate spaces where our physician, pediatrician and dentist see patients. At every encounter, patients are informed about the condition in question and their treatment options. A volunteer nurse oversees the pharmacy and carefully reviews the medication indications with each patient. Esperança’s brigade team returns to each community every 6 to 8 weeks, allowing for follow-up care in each area.
“We continue to provide regular care to the communities of San José de Bocay, El Cua, and Abyssinia, and are met with an overwhelming acceptance by the local population. Patients come to the clinic from near and far, walking up to three hours to meet with us,” Dr. Anyelka Rivas Hernández, Surgical Dentist, Esperança
Last month, the team traveled to El Cua, Jinotega, home to Maria Elena and her three children.
Maria’s husband left the family five years ago in search of work in Costa Rica. She was promised monthly stipends to help support their growing children, but he never returned, and never sent any money.
Now a single mother, Maria Elena works hard every day, making and selling tortillas out of her home to support her three children. Needless to say, there is no spare money to go around. So when Maria began to suffer from horrible toothaches, panic set in.
She went to the local health center in El Cua, but they have no dentist on staff. Getting the treatment she needed would entail taking days off of work to travel to Jinotega and paying out of pocket for the procedure. Not to mention, who would watch her children?
She quickly put the option out of her mind as impossible and bought what painkillers she could afford from the health center. But eventually the medication faded and her pain came back more fiercely than before.
“My teeth rotted more, and eventually I got a fever. I remember that the health center had to admit me to the hospital to lower the fever and remove the infection because I came near death,” Maria shared.
Fortunately, Esperança’s brigade team reached El Cua before Maria’s condition became deadly. Dr. Rivas spoke with Maria and determined that it would be best to remove her two infected molars.
The surgery was performed that day and Maria was prescribed aftercare procedures to keep her teeth healthy. Dr. Rivas provides preventative education to each community she serves, in the hopes that more extractions will not be necessary.
“We are very grateful for this blessing from God, bringing you here to help our community. I have already brought my grandchildren and a daughter-in-law, and the doors have never been closed when I searched for you.”