Health care is a basic human right. In Nicaragua health care is guaranteed by the Nicaraguan Constitution and despite the huge national debt and the extensive poverty, the government offers universal health care to its citizens. But the Nicaraguan government lacks the funding to comprehensively care for its people, which might mean a patient can’t buy a needed medication, because the government stopped financing that medication in favor of buying food for poor families instead.
Through the Nueva Vida Clinic, the CDCA tries to help alleviate that burden, as well as tries to address health needs that are not being met. Three examples out of many are:
(1) The clinic’s part-time pediatrician sees many asthma cases… due in part to poorly ventilated wood cook stoves and dirty air from burning trash (Nueva Vida barrio borders the Ciudad Sandino dump which is constantly on fire). The clinic’s pharmacy provides rescue inhalers AND maintenance inhalers to prevent the number of asthmatic crises that children have. Support groups with parents with asthmatic children meet. As a result, the Nueva Vida Clinic is slowly becoming the asthma center for the city.
(2) Many clinics will only treat acute illnesses and not chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems, epilepsy, etc., but these people need continuing care in order to have quality of life. The Nueva Vida Clinic has a program to treat such patients. The pharmacy keeps a steady stock of medicines; therefore, the patients will not suddenly be without their life saving medications.
(3) Patients in Ciudad Sandino who need ultrasounds, x-rays, and mammograms have to go to a public hospital in Managua to get on a waiting list. The Nueva Vida Clinic’s radiologist provides ultrasounds at a low fee or gratis. The clinic has one of the few ultrasounds in an area serving over 180,000 people. The clinic also has an x-ray machine and the CDCA’s construction staff is building a lead-lined room for the machine. We lack funds to finish it. If you can help, please contact us.
These are just three examples. The Nueva Vida Clinic tries to fill gaps left by the government due to its lack of funds, to provide a family clinic atmosphere instead of a walk-in clinic atmosphere, as well as a more holistic approach to health.