Like women all over the world, Nicaraguan women will take care of their children and partners before considering their own health. But Nicaraguan women are extremely vulnerable due to poverty:
- Nicaragua has the highest cervical cancer death rate in the Western Hemisphere; a disease that is preventable in countries where the HPV vaccine is available for girls and easily treatable when caught early with routine PAPs.
- Housewives are the fastest growing population of people testing positive for HIV in Nicaragua due to mandatory testing of pregnant women in order to prevent passing the virus on to the infant at birth.
- Four out of every 10 Nicaraguan women will die of complications due to type 2 diabetes.
We do PAPs at our clinic and send them out so that results are back in a week or two instead of the six months it can take through the public clinics. We accompany women through the stages of treatment if the PAPs or mammograms results show abnormalities. We can use the services of gynecologists who are able and wiling to freeze or cut off abnormalities found on the cervix.
We have a support group for new mothers, a place where women pregnant for the first time can learn about pregnancy and childbirth, where they can ask questions and receive answers. A place where these young women (most in their teens) can learn about mothering, breast feeding, vaccinations, child development, nutrition, and bring their babies in for regular checkups.
We offer family planning counseling. Women can receive birth control pills, injections, and IUDs free of charge. We offer free condoms in the clinic to protect women and men against HIV, other STDs and unwanted pregnancy.
We offer part-time counseling by a licensed clinical social worker who counsels mostly women and children. Women suffer from abuse, trauma, and grief most intensely, and our counselor listens and helps using various methods.