The Santa Rita de Casia medical dispensary has started providing outpatient care to the general public
(MissionNewswire) The Santa Rita de Casia University Clinic for Women and Children, part of the Catholic University of the Dry Tropics in Estelí, Nicaragua, is working to improve medical care for people with limited economic resources in the northern area from the departments of Estelí, Madriz and Nueva Segovia. This project was made possible by a grant from the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID-ASHA) obtained by Salesian Missions, the American development branch of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
The project, which runs from October 2019 to the end of September 2023, is currently in the early stages of construction and initial planning is nearing completion. Once the installation is complete and equipped, the medical-surgical clinic for women and children will provide high-quality obstetrics, pediatrics and gynecology services. The clinic, created to American standards, will promote American values of gender equity, scientific excellence and equal access to quality medical care.
“With the support of USAID, the Salesians in Nicaragua are improving access to medical care for people with limited economic resources, especially women and children,” said Fr Gus Baek, director of Salesian missions. “This project also provides hands-on experience for medical students as they prepare to become healthcare professionals. This will help improve the overall medical care and expertise available in this part of Nicaragua.
The Santa Rita de Casia medical dispensary, which is also part of this project and the program of the Catholic University of the Dry Tropics School of Medicine, began providing outpatient care to the general public in July. There are 25 fourth-year medical students who help manage patients through assigned rotations four days a week. These students work under the supervision of three teachers, two specialists and a general practitioner.
The first year medical students also benefited from the clinic. About 100 first year students had the opportunity to receive training and practice in medical and surgical procedures, including first aid, vital signs and primary health care. These students were under the supervision of a specialist teacher.
To date, 180 patients have received general or specialized medical care. The clinic has seen an increasing number of patients since it opened.
A dental clinic is also available to the general public. From July to September, 1,096 patients received dental check-ups and 1,306 dental treatments were performed, including regular dental cleanings, dental implants, surgeries and restorations.
Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, experiences widespread underemployment and poverty, with a quarter of its population living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank . Over 80 percent of Nicaragua’s poor live in remote rural communities where access to basic services is a daily challenge.
Years of widespread poverty have taken their toll and many residents suffer from poor health conditions, including HIV / AIDS. In addition, crime, violence against women, gang violence and high unemployment rate lead to difficult economic and social conditions, especially for young people and women.
Photo courtesy of the Salesian Missions (contact for authorization of use)
Catholic University of the Dry Tropics
Salesian missions – Nicaragua
World Bank – Nicaragua