Nicaragua: Women receive care and compassion

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In Quilali, in Nueva Segovia, a reproductive health care project encompasses "Casa Materna" - a clinic where pregnant women from remote areas can come and deliver their babies - and six health posts. MSF trains traditional birth attendants and promotes family planning. Recent construction of surgery facilities means that Caesarean and at-risk births can now be attended properly. At a special welcome desk at the Casa Materna, abused women and children can file complaints against domestic violence, and receive information and guidance. In January 2001, a maternal and reproductive health program began in Ciudad Sandino, an urban area on the outskirts of Managua. Working out of several health posts and private clinics, MSF provides pre- and postnatal care, family planning, and training for medical staff. Information campaigns and other activities target at-risk groups in an effort to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies. In the same area, MSF has run a sanitation program since the passage of Hurricane Mitch in late 1998. Fighting AIDS In the city of Bluefields and on Corn Island, MSF is working to reduce transmission of STDs and HIV and improve the quality of life of AIDS patients. In December 2000, MSF opened a center in Bluefields for HIV diagnosis, information, counseling, and medical care. Over the last year, a post-Hurricane Mitch water and sanitation program in Ocotal and Quilali was extended to new settlements of displaced people. The project will draw to a close in 2001. A three-year medical and psychological program for street children in Managua finished in March 2001. International staff: 11 National staff: 50