Nicaragua: Focusing care on women's health and Chagas disease

During 2003 and until June 2004, MSF continued its sexual and reproductive health project in Ciudad Sandino, a shantytown on the outskirts of the capital, Managua. With high levels of adolescent pregnancy and maternal death following unsafe abortions, MSF's project aimed to improve the level of reproductive health care for this community. Special attention was given to pregnant women, postpartum mothers and their babies, adolescents and commercial sex workers. The staff provided prenatal and postpartum care, offered advice on family planning and treated sexually transmitted diseases. The MSF team also supported three health posts and one health center and worked with a community health worker network in four parts of this shantytown. In northern Nicaragua, MSF is treating patients with Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) around the municipality of Esquipulas in Matagalpa province, where almost 30 percent of the population is estimated to be infected. The project targets 8,000 children under 15 and focuses on prevention and treatment as well as on improving access to good-quality diagnostics and treatment. As part of its international campaign to increase access to essential medicines, MSF is also advocating for national institutions to improve Chagas control and access to diagnosis and treatment. MSF has worked in Nicaragua since 1983. INTERNATIONAL STAFF: 6 NATIONAL STAFF: 52