Photos from the Field

Nicaragua 2010

In March 2010, Program Officer Patti Skillin (left) and Community Outreach Manager Jennifer Novelli (middle) traveled to Nicaragua to evaluate previous Global Links donations and assess hospitals and clinics for new projects. Representatives from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and from the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health accompanied them around the country.
Hospital Aldo Chavarría in Managua is the national reference hospital for rehabilitation and physical therapy, and the only public hospital solely dedicated to rehabilitation in Nicaragua. In addition to conditions such as spinal cord injury or stroke, the hospital sees patients with injuries from decades-old landmines placed during the Contra conflict, and those resulting from unsafe diving practices.
Last June, Global Links sent a shipping container filled with physical therapy equipment for this busy hospital’s vulnerable population.
Of special benefit was a motorized physical therapy table that lifts weak patients into a standing position. This table saves the staff the grueling job of manually cranking the table or lifting the patients themselves. Equipment donated by Global Links improves the standard of care available at the hospital and contributes to a safer environment for both staff and patients.
Hospital Bertha Calderon, also in Managua, is the women’s reference hospital for obstetrics and for cancer treatment. Hospital staff and patients in this intensive care unit were glad to receive modern beds from Global Links – replacing the old beds that did not change position – along with overbed tables and other furnishings.
The needs are still overwhelming. Hospital staff wash out glass blood collection tubes, resterilize them, and refit them with rubber stoppers, shown here, to use again. Global Links includes such basic supplies as blood collection tubes in most donations.
In addition, the hospital’s staff appreciate simple items such as new chairs. Global Links includes basic furnishings in every donation, because chairs like those shown here are all too common in hospitals we visit.
At Hospital Cesar Amador Molina in Matagalpa, a newborn warming station from Global Links was in use. Global Links is dedicated to helping our partners improve infant and maternal health.
And in Matagalpa’s Sebaco Health center, an ob-gyn exam table was getting a lot of use – and appreciation - as a birthing table. “It has saved us,” said Dr. Violeta Gonzalez. “The one we had before was horrible!”
The brand new hospital in Muelle de los Bueyes did not have funds for furnishings and equipment, and had to use exam tables without stirrups, chairs without backs, and improvised hooks to hold IV bags. A simple item like an IV pole, which allows patients to have some mobility, improves comfort and speeds recovery.
Surgeons explained to Skillin how they were operating without adequate instruments and supplies. Global Links’ subsequent donation to Muelle de los Bueyes included high quality surgical instruments and hundreds of boxes of supplies, along with basic furnishings such as IV poles, exam tables and chairs.
Site visits such as this one enable Global Links to evaluate our previous donations, assess needs for future projects, and improve healthcare -- for every member of a community.