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Mobile clinics, for better health in Nicaragua

Several projects have been implemented to restore the right to health to thousands of people in need in the neighborhoods and communities and the most remote places in Nicaragua’s geography.

With this perspective, the first mobile clinics were created here in 2016, a government initiative implemented by the Ministry of Health, whose vans are acquired from police seizures by drug trafficking gangs and organized crime.

According to the director of the National Center for Mobile Clinics, Rudy Baca, the project is widely accepted by the population because it reduces the previous routes of those who wanted to see a doctor because of an illness.

“It’s not the same as leaving a home in a city and going to a community for medical care that they reach out to the neighborhood with that attention,” Baca commented to Prensa Latina.

The official recalled that during neoliberal governments, the dominant model was to privatize all healthcare.

In this sense, he recalled that more than half of the hospitals in Nicaragua are privatized and they care for those who pay, “those who did not have to wait or simply did not receive the service”.

“Many communities here had never seen a doctor, there were people who died and nobody noticed, but now with the mobile clinics everything is different, we go to the most complicated places and people are very grateful for it,” stressed he.

These mobile hospitals, the only ones of their kind in Central America, have three rooms, the first being the gynecological area, where, among other things, ultrasound and cardiological examinations are also carried out.

The second area focuses on everything related to internal medicine, while the third area is dedicated to the specialty of dentistry.

According to Baca, the remodeling of each of the vans has an estimated cost of $60,000, including remodeling work that includes design, flooring, walls, air conditioning and medical equipment, among other things.

The initiative, part of the Department of Health’s Family and Community Health Model, currently has more than 80 clinics, with at least one of the country’s 19 local comprehensive care systems.

Official data shows that since the program was launched, more than three and a half million visits have been made here.

“We have performed more than 900,000 ultrasound scans and the services offered in the field of stomatology register 1,200,000, which shows the needs that these clinics had in the communities,” Baca pointed out.