Dear Friend of the Clinic,
The rainy season has started in Nicaragua, and we are ready to shower you with great news from our Clinic! We have numerous updates on our projects and programs, including exciting new plans to respond to growing pressure on our Clinic to expand.
Responding to Zika
As we shared with you in our last newsletter, we recently received a very valuable donation – a portable fumigator. With the recent outbreak of Zika virus and the continuous cases of dengue, malaria and chikungunya in Nicaragua, this thermo-nebulization equipment has been a priceless contribution to our prevention efforts.
There are already 215 cases of Zika in Nicaragua. In February, our Clinic team was carefully trained to start fumigating many areas of the Clinic. Furthermore, we have teamed up with health professionals in the area and leaders of the communities near to the Clinic to use our fumigator to disinfect public schools. We are doing everything possible to prevent the number of cases from going up in the different communities of Tola.
Understanding that prevention plays a huge part in minimizing the number of Zika cases, we plan to start a small campaign to raise money to purchase five additional fumigators and insecticide-treated nets to distribute among the 35 surrounding communities. Nets are an effective way to prevent mosquito bites and to avoid getting this terrible disease for which a lot more research needs to be done.
Summer Is Coming…Want to Volunteer Abroad in Paradise?
We continue to welcome volunteers from all over the world. The volunteer program at The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic is as rewarding to the volunteers as it is to the local patients. We invite anyone with an interest in an international volunteer experience to come. You only need to have the desire to help out. We will make sure your volunteering experience is the most rewarding and unforgettable. We have a variety of opportunities for everyone – healthcare, business, and administrative professionals, teachers, social workers, dieticians, high school and college students, and retirees.
In March, we received a group of 12 volunteers from Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, organized by Tonia Parker.
Volunteers were able to assist local schools and public health authorities with ongoing campaigns in the different communities, such as oral hygiene and lice epidemic treatment and prevention. The Clinic is always determined to find different means to educate and empower our community. We firmly believe that conducting local public awareness activities not only helps the individuals in attendance, but also positively affects the behavior of the general public through local interaction.
Additionally, volunteers helped us conduct surveys for our Clean Water project and played a huge role during a first aid training.
We also received a couple of volunteers from The Sobrato Organization – Ben and Marissa – who made a great donation of diabetes supplies to our Clinic – 20 glucose meters and 3,600 test strips. During their visit, our Volunteers Coordinator, Ronnie Prado, and Dr. Ruiz made arrangements to connect them with members of the Diabetes Club to efficiently distribute glucose meter kits to the community.
Update From Our Plentiful Organic Garden
We have come a long way since we started our Healthy Eating Initiative. We are still able to produce organic vegetables for the community, and we continue teaching locals natural techniques to grow their own fruits and vegetables at home.
Our enthusiastic gardener, Eliezer, has been extremely busy taking care of our organic garden now that rain has finally come to the area. He is also sharing his valuable knowledge in basic gardening, soil enhancement, nutrition and natural pest control with the community on a daily basis. Through the use of drip irrigation and with the arrival of the rainy season, our garden is looking more beautiful than ever!
Eliezer is really getting the locals very excited about the possibility of starting mini-gardens in their own backyards! We are also starting a campaign to help make this dream come true for the many people who consistently come to his classes and have shown eagerness and the disposition to start their own gardens, especially those families who are part of our Padrino Program.
Another great effect of the rainy season in the area is that the bees are multiplying and our Beekeeping Program is benefiting from it! We plan to divide the beehive and start a second colony once we determine the current colony is strong enough to go through the process.
Everyone Deserves Clean Water
Chris Rios, a Harvard University graduate who volunteered at our Clinic for several months, has now returned home. Chris was a huge asset to our Clean Water project, and he will be missed. His hard work and perseverance is admirable. We appreciate all his knowledge and recommendations for improving our current system.
One of the improvements we recently completed was the installation of additional higher capacity filters to improve the water filtration system.
In the near future, we would like to expand our current bottle filling system and cleaning system, always keeping in mind the importance of offering a high quality product to our communities.
Expanding our current distribution route to reach communities located farther away is also part of future goals for this project.
More Exciting News…
- We rearranged our Clinic to offer more privacy and proper space to our patients.
- We purchased a new water tank that offers higher water storage capacity.
- We distributed school supplies and uniforms to every child in our Padrino Program. Also regarding this priceless program, we are proud to inform you that two students who have been part of the Padrino Program have now started college.
- We are planning “emergency response drills” in coordination with the local coastal developments.
Our small Clinic keeps growing, and an expansion to it is starting to turn into a necessity in order to keep our programs and projects in full swing. This will be vast expense for such a small organization.
Would you please help us keep pace financially with the pressure from the growing Nicaraguan community to expand the Clinic? We are 100% donation-supported. We receive matching funds from The Oxford Club LLC. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland, so all donations are tax-deductible. If you donate on our website, you can use PayPal and select which program you want your funds to go to.
P.S. GreatNonprofits – the No. 1 source of nonprofit stories and feedback – is honoring highly regarded nonprofits with its 2016 Top-Rated List. Will you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us? All content will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It’s easy and takes only three minutes. Go here to get started!
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U.S. Development Office
The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic