After a scenic bus ride and then a boat ride down the river, the team arrived at the lodge that will be their home base for the week. They spent the evening organizing supplies for the clinics this week. The lodge is in the rainforest and the team enjoyed some of the local wildlife including monkeys, alligators, tree frogs and more!
They will be treating patients in the neighboring town and also some remote villages. Many of their patients will be members of the Rama Indian tribe, one of the indigenous groups in the area. Our talented ground crew in Nicaragua includes many talented interpreters who speak English, Spanish and Rama!
We had a great first day of clinic in the small town near the lodge. We saw 150 patients and extracted 25 teeth. This community is close to the lodge and we will return there tomorrow.
After a busy morning, we finished up around 3pm and returned to the lodge for lunch and a debriefing. We noted lessons learned and with some fine tuning were prepared to perform as a well oiled machine today.
While we expected our second day in town to be a smaller clinic, that did not prove to be true. As predicted yesterday, we were much more efficient on day 2.
Our patient count was 212 with more than 40 seen in pediatrics. The dental team rocked today with nearly 50 patients and 67(!) extractions. The patients were so appreciative and the team had a great, if exhausting, experienced here.
As you may know, IMR has a strong focus on community health education and empowering these communities to take health matters into their own hands. Our Community Education Director worked with the entire IMR team to provide community health seminars to small groups of children and adults. Patients were given a series of training classes complete with gifts. They conducted education seminars on nutrition, clean water, hand washing/hygiene, oral health/hygiene, mosquito-borne illnesses, and much more. The community education classes are always a huge success and are the backbone of IMR clinics. Our goal is to provide life-changing health and prevention information and help communities improve their health even after the team is gone.
The team divided into 2 groups to serve two smaller villages today. Both groups, after only 3 days, have really embraced the processes of working in a different environment daily.
Whether asked to fill in at the dental clinic or see switch to community ed everyone is working hard with a great attitude. It’s a really good team.
Total patients seen were 166 with 50 dental extractions. So many of the locals tell us how happy they are were here as they wait patiently in line to have a tooth (sometimes multiple teeth!) pulled.
The internet is a little slow so if you haven’t heard directly from your team member don’t worry. Everyone’s doing great! 35 Americans on one small wifi at the same time can slow things down!
We’re off to go up the coast today.