Urban Community Health
AMOS addresses urban health disparities in the community of Nejapa in Managua through its Urban Community Health programs.
El Samaritano Medical Clinic
During the first quarter of 2012, AMOS made a successful transition to a new facility donated by the Samaritan Foundation in the community of Nejapa in Managua. One aspect of the Samaritan Foundation’s ministry that AMOS is carrying forward is an outpatient clinic adjacent to the AMOS office. The El Samaritano Medical Clinic offers quality outpatient primary health care services to the surrounding Nejapa community at affordable rates, including general medical services, a pharmacy, ultrasound, and laboratory services.
Through its Urban Community Health programs, AMOS periodically holds community health fairs to publicize the services of the clinic to the surrounding community and help people to identify chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension. In the case that someone is found to have diabetes, AMOS offers them the chance to become part of a recently formed diabetes support group in which they receive accompaniment in adjusting to the care and treatment they will need for this chronic disease.
A Health Educator, also called a Consejera, is an individual from Nejapa who has been trained to work alongside the Samaritan Clinic to bring better health care to their community and families.
In 2014, we realized that many of the people we wanted to serve in the Samaritan Clinic were not using our services. Our strategy changed to incorporate many aspects we use in our rural community work. Volunteers were chosen to become advocates for health and be trained, just like we do with our health promoters, to improve the health of people living in Nejapa alongside the clinic.
Health Educators Serve their Community through:
- Helping medical service teams and clinic staff conduct health fairs for Nejapa
- Attending trainings on a variety of relevant health issues
- Visiting with the most vulnerable patients in their homes
- Participating in weekly support groups at the clinic
- Planning and facilitating community clean-Up projects
- Collecting and documenting census data for the 3 Sectors in Nejapa
“The trainings on palliative care helped me understand the needs of my father. I was able to handle my emotions, give strength to my entire family and now that he is not with us anymore, I share my knowledge with other people in the community who have terminally ill relatives to help them in those difficult moments.”
~ Juana Leonor Vallejos, Health Educator in Nejapa
Support groups are a place for patients and youth from Nejapa to come together and be encouraged in their present circumstances.
Since the groups began, individuals have been coming weekly to the Samaritan Clinic to join in the activities of the groups.
4 Different Support Groups
- Pregnant Mother’s Support Group
- Chronic Patient’s Support Group
- Youth Empowerment Support Group
- Early Childhood Development
Support Group Helped Juan Overcome Diabetes and Depression
Juan Alberto Lazos Martinez is 55 years old. He lives in Nejapa with one of his daughters.
Juan has been a regular patient of The Samaritan Clinic since it opened in 2000. In January of 2015, he came in for his regular consultation. During his visit, he found out he had high blood sugar levels. After the proper tests, Juan was diagnosed with diabetes.
Juan has lived a hard life. When he was just a baby, his parents abandoned him. He was raised by a woman who took care of him the best way she could. However, his family was very poor, and at the early age of 8 he began working. As an adult, Juan made sure his family always had food on the table, received an education, and knew their father loved them. Last year, Juan went through the stress of a divorce.
“It was a really difficult time for me,” recounts Juan. “I had lived with this woman for 31 years. For almost two months after the divorce I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t eat well, and I wanted to be left alone.”
When Juan was diagnosed with diabetes he knew he had to make some changes in his life.
“When the doctor told me I had diabetes, I gave thanks to God! I knew He was giving me the chance to control this disease so that it wouldn’t affect my health so much.”
At the clinic, the doctor invited him to participate in the Chronic Patients Support Group.
“I wanted to see what it was like,” says Juan. “Now, I don’t miss a session! We meet every Thursday and we share life together. This group has really encouraged and strengthened me. I have begun to make exercise and walking a daily routine. I watch what I eat and drink. For example, before attending the support group, I used to drink two liters of coke everyday. Now, I have lowered that amount quite significantly. Instead, I drink natural juices, oatmeal, and three to four liters of water every day.”
Juan feels the group has been a great initiative and would like to see it grow and reach out to more people who need this accompaniment.
“AMOS has given me a hand: physically, psychologically and spiritually. With the group I feel emotionally accompanied. I have hope and joy to keep living. I am grateful to God, the AMOS staff, medical teams, and the support group.”
Juan continues to attend the Chronic Patients Support Group’s weekly meetings and desires to see more people from his community get involved.
“I know that since I began the process of changing my lifestyle, I can prolong my life expectancy. I come regularly for check ups at the Clinic, and my last glucose level was 91! The remaining time that God gifts me with in my life, I plan to live it to the fullest.”