A new medical post is up and running in Coyolar, Nicaragua, thanks to the incredible persistence of the community Health Group! Back in 2017, families in Coyolar identified the lack of access to health care as one of their most pressing issues. Common illnesses and chronic diseases often went without diagnosis and treatment because medical care was too distant or too expensive.
With support from an Outreach facilitator, the Health Group made their case to the local Ministry of Health (MINSA) that Coyolar was the ideal spot for a centrally-located medical post. They successfully secured medical assistance in October 2017, but these services were cancelled five months later because the community did not have an adequate facility.
Monthly Health Clinics Continue
Refusing to give up, the Health Group found a private home to host monthly health clinics in the fall of 2018. An influx of patients at this location motivated them to find an unoccupied house that could accommodate more frequent services and, by mid-2019, doctors were seeing patients there 2 to 3 days per week.
While functional, this space was small, dark, and lacked a shaded waiting area. So the Health Group decided they’d need to build their own medical post. Their vision was to develop a facility where the community of Coyolar and four neighboring communities could regularly access medical attention provided by MINSA.
With incredible resourcefulness and tenacity, the group forged partnerships to purchase a 600 square meter lot, secured commitments to provide ongoing health services, leveled the construction site by hand, and accessed materials and labor to build their dream health center. Construction began in March 2020 and was completed by May.
The grand opening in May 2020 coincided with the rise of COVID cases in Nicaragua. Between May and December, doctors and nurses provided 2,682 medical consultations, including treatments for respiratory infections. Mobile clinics also make an occasional appearance to provide specialized services; for example, the December 2020 clinic performed molar extractions and sonograms.
More Services to Come
The medical post in Coyolar is serving over 300 families with regular medical attention. The Health Group, however, is not content to rest on their laurels. They’ve already added sanitary latrines to the clinic and four benches in the patient waiting area. Up next – an income generating initiative to help community members cover medical expenses when needed.
“I am motivated by this great triumph… now everything is possible with this experience in which we proved our ability and succeeded.” – Marcia, Health Group Member
We can’t wait to keep you posted about all the good coming up at this medical post!