Global Partners-Nicaragua aims to improve the health of the people and their communities in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua by promoting education and collaboration with Nicaraguan medical providers to improve access to vital healthcare. The program also supports changes that are seen as valuable by the citizens of the region and can be sustained by their own efforts.
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, second only to Haiti. Most of the country is mountainous and rural, making it difficult for people to access needed services and opportunities. The state of Wisconsin and the Coulee Region in particular enjoy a long history of partnerships with Nicaragua, making it a natural fit for Global Partners.
Cervical Cancer Screening and Education
Providing training and equipment needed to perform procedures leading to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer for women in the Matagalpa Region of Nicaragua.
Why this matters: It is ready access to screening and preventative care services that has made cervical cancer quite rare in the U.S., but it is still the major killer of women under the age of 50 in Nicaragua.
- Training Nicaraguan providers on procedures to improve early detection and treatment
- Donating cervical cancer screening supplies and equipment to clinics
- Supporting a "Casa de Cancer" fund to support patients to travel to Managua for cancer treatment
Early Detection of Breast Cancer
Providing breast health education in rural communities to increase awareness of breast cancer
Why this matters: Lack of effective prevention and detection programs in low-resource countries contributes to breast cancer being detected at more advanced stages, with lower survival rates.
- Offering breast health education to women in rural communities to promote understanding of breast cancer, self-breast exam and available resources.
Teaching education program coordinators, government teachers and student tutors simple, effective and adaptable strategies and games they can use to encourage and reinforce reading and math skills to primary students.
Why this matters: Children who do not achieve reading and literacy skills in primary school will have lower educational and economic developmental opportunities in their future.
- Provide education workshops in rural areas focusing on literacy, math skills, as well as classroom planning and management skills.
- Continue to support training for after school program staff
- Continue to support classrooms with educational materials to promote a learning environment
Lending Library and Early Literacy Training
Establishing and maintaining small lending libraries in rural Nicaraguan communities to promote literacy through access to books and training.
Why this matters: In 2013, literacy assessments in a rural Matagalpa community showed 41 percent of families had no reading materials at home and four out of 10 adults could not read or write a simple sentence.
- Opening lending libraries in rural Nicaraguan communities
- Providing early literacy training to adults in preparing their children to learn to read
- Donating Spanish children's books to open and maintain lending libraries
Nursing Education and Training
Supporting the education of future nurses in Nicaragua through classroom training, hands-on workshops, and educational resources.
Why this matters: In many communities of the Matagalpa region, nurses are the only healthcare provider staffing rural health posts, with the closest hospital more than two hours away by bus.
- Teaching nursing students each year and providing hands-on labs in topics including: care of ill neonates, CPR, managing obstetrical complications, lacerations, suturing, burns, and breast cancer awareness
- Providing graduating nurses from La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN) with the official nursing protocol manual
Vascular Surgery and Training
Providing training for Nicaraguan providers to diagnose and treat varicose veins for patients living in the Matagalpa Region.
Why this matters: Varicose-vein disease is a common condition that, left untreated, can lead to debilitating symptoms and complications. Treatment is costly and access is limited for individuals living in the Matagalpa Region.
- Continuing advanced vascular ultrasound education with Fara Clinic providers to increase their knowledge and capacity to treat patients who come from rural areas.
- Diagnosing and treating varicose veins to increase access to services and improve quality of life for affected patients.
Providing comprehensive eye exams and glasses to rural Nicaraguans who do not have access to this level of care.
Why this matters: The cost of an eye exam and single vision eyeglasses in Nicaragua is equivalent to one month's salary ($60-100).
- Providing comprehensive, dilated eye exams to several hundred people in rural communities annually
- Dispensing prescription glasses and sunglasses, and obtaining custom-made eyeglasses for patients with difficult prescriptions
- Creating a sustainable network of providers, including recent graduates from the La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN) Optometry program
- Exploring opportunities for Ophthalmologists to provide eye procedures in Nicaragua