As with many developing countries, Nicaragua faces a number of challenges regarding access to quality healthcare. Many health needs can be tied to issues stemming from poverty, geographical positioning, and a disorganized healthcare system.
One of the main contributors to the sub-optimal healthcare in Nicaragua is the lack of sanitary habits and healthy cooking methods. Most households in rural areas do not have access to suitable water supplies; many have no electricity; most use firewood for cooking; and most of the country’s garbage is neither collected nor processed, leaving many households to regularly throw garbage into the street instead of disposing of it properly. In addition, many live without access to an adequate toilet.
Though the country has thirty-two public hospitals, the majority of them are located on the Pacific side of the country, mostly in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city. There are only three public hospitals in the Caribbean region of the country.
The considerable lack of access to sanitary living conditions has had serious consequences for the health of the Nicaraguan people, particularly young children. Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation standards cause children to die each year from diarrhea. In addition, large segments of Nicaragua’s population are negatively impacted by high rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and child malnutrition.
NSI needs to address this issue to have a healthy workforce and will provide at least one nutritionally balanced meal for each worker daily.
NSI will also work closely with Aid4Nicaragua and Grace4Nicaragua to develop educational programs to talk about nutrition and healthy diets, to develop programs to allow families to grow healthier staple crops, and to support increased sanitary and septic systems construction.