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“It was as if the materials fell from the heavens...it was just what we needed at just the right time.”
Lic. Blanca Nubia Lazo, Jefa de insumos medicos, Hospital Bertha Calderon in Managua, Nicaragua
Population: 5.5 million, 15.8% survive on less than one dollar/day (2005 figure)
Life Expectancy: 74
Infant Mortality Rate: 23
Maternal Mortality Ratio: 100 [57-180]
Global Links' first 40-foot container of medical aid, in 1990, was sent to Nicaragua to support rebuilding efforts in the country after years of conflict. The program grew quickly, and from 1990 to 1996, 50 large sea containers of medical aid were delivered to hospitals and clinics throughout Nicaragua. With the election of Arnoldo Alemán in 1996, the political climate changed, becoming hostile to foreign NGOs, and Global Links made the difficult decision to halt shipments. In 2004, with the cooperation of the Pan American Health Organization and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, Global Links resumed its program.
Our collaborative efforts have focused in the Rio San Juan region, as well as the Autonomous Regions along the Atlantic Coast. These areas were chosen by the Ministry of Health and PAHO due to their high infant and maternal mortality rates when compared with the rest of the country. In these areas, the lack of basic infrastructure can make traveling very difficult and access to public health facilities, in some cases, nearly impossible. Many communities are only accessible by boat. Improving and supplying remote health facilities makes healthcare more accessible to all Nicaraguans.
Global Links also supports the national teaching hospitals in Managua, where patients from all over the country are treated and medical residents are trained, making them critically important hospitals in the country's public health system.
To support our program in Nicaragua, donate here.