20 October 1999
In Western Nicaragua, MSF has provided post-emergency assistance in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Chinandega, LeÃ?³n, Managua and Jinotega. Teams provide medical assistance and water and sanitation relief. Since early November, MSF has brought assistance to 20,000 displaced people living in 10 camps, including the Nueva Vida camp in Managua. MSF also brings assistance to rural communities and carries out epidemiological surveillance. Teams support health structures and monitor the nutritional status of the population. In the east of Nicaragua, MSF teams work in and around the Rio Coco river, an area inhabited by 35,000 members of the Meskito and Mayanga indigenous groups. Following the hurricane, floods destroyed many houses, health posts, harvests and water facilities. MSF is concentrating on repairing and improving the water and sanitation facilities. The team trains community health workers and supplies health structures with medicine. MSF is present in the RAAN where teams have constructed 23 wells and have distributed tools for latrine building and drainage. Well digging has started in 29 communities. Teams have distributed 30,000 zinc sheets for shelter,re-equipped health posts and carried out a nutritional survey covering about 40,000 people. MSF has also distributed 7,000 mosquito nets and provided health education in 13 schools. MSF teams run an assistance programme for Managua's streetchildren. At night time, Mobile medical teams provide assistance on the streets of the capital. The first objective is to ensure the children are in good health, the second to reunite them, where possible, with their families. Team members are also able to provide them with psychological assistance and legal advice. MSF is currently trying to establish a welcome centre for these children and plans are afoot to run an awareness campaign. Also in the capital, teams run a primary health care programme in the slums of sectors 1 and 2. The objective is to improve the population's access to health care. From Managua, MSF continues to run a support rural pharmacies. MSF has a well-established programme supporting health services in the Nueva Segovia department in Northwest Nicaragua. More recently, MSF opened the casa materna in the municipality of Quilali. Here, high-risk deliveries can be carried out. It is also from this base that MSF helps the local community promote women's rights. The Casa Materna is in the process of becoming a fully independent organisation. Since February 1999, MSF is active in the autonomous South Atlantic region of Nicaragua. Teams run a water and sanitation project in the city of Bluefields. An AIDS/STD prevention and control project is also carried out in Bluefields as well as the municipality of Corn Island. In the municipality of La Cruz in Rio Grande, MSF runs a project to rehabilitate health care structures destroyed by Hurricane Mitch.