Social Issues

Project Highlight: Medical and Dental Brigades throughout Northern Rural Communities

PSE hosts several medical and dental brigades each year. These take place in various rural communities surrounding the northern city and department of Estelí. PSE partners with the medical and nursing students of a local university, Universidad Católica del Trópico Seco (UCATSE), to fully staff each brigades. The brigades set up pop-up clinics to provide free consultations, dental extractions, and pharmaceuticals to rural communities that would not otherwise have access to such services. Participants work directly in communities that have limited to no access to medical care.

Project Highlight: HIV/AIDS Educational Workshops in Santa Julia

Nicaragua has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Latina America, at about 0.3% as of 2012. However, there are still an estimated 9,600 people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the country. While HIV tests in public hospitals are free, not all hospitals and clinics have the resources available to actually administer the test. As preventative measures are is vital to containing Nicaragua's HIV/AIDS rates, education about safe sex practices, such as the promotion of consistent condom use, are essential. In 2014, a PSE group carried out a series of workshops regarding HIV/AIDS in Santa Julia. These workshops provided local community members with the opportunity to gather information and speak about the issue in an open and safe environment.

Partner Community Highlight: Estelí

The city of Estelí is situated in the northern central highlands of Nicaragua. It is a dynamic city, the hub of creative artisans and sites of importance in Nicaragua's history, as it was the scene of heavy fighting in the civil war against the Somoza government from 1978 to 1979. The city of Estelí is also famous for tobacco production, the rolling plantations surrounding the city and the preservation of natural areas such as woods, cloud forest reserves and waterfalls. Estelí serves as the urban center for a sizeable portion of the North, providing medical services to surrounding areas. However, due to the poor quality of the roads and expense of travel for extremely poor rural community members, commuting to Estelí for health services is not a feasible option for many inhabitants of the surrounding rural areas. PSE works with the local medical school, UCATSE, in providing medical care for the remote parts of the north, as well as training for theirs and our students, through pop-up clinics, giving free consults and medication.

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