The Roberto Clemente Santa Ana Clinic works to provide access to primary healthcare to individuals living in rural areas in Nicaragua. This includes providing doctor care seven days a week, dental care one day a week, vaccinations, Vitamin A supplements, referrals to the hospital, deworming in local schools and health education for the local community.
Located in south west Nicaragua, the clinic focuses on tending to patients in isolated communities. Their mission is to help villagers gain access to primary and emergency health care in Limon I and Limon II, Nicaragua. The clinic is named after Roberto Clemente, a baseball player for the Pittsburg Pirates from 1955 to 1972 who died in a plane crash while providing aid to victims of a massive Earthquake in Nicaragua.
Researchers at the clinic have found Nicaragua to be the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. This prevents many residents from receiving the medical treatment they need because many of them cannot afford it or don’t have access to medical facilities.
The clinic was launched in 2004 in collaboration with the Pittsburg Rotary Club and the Oxford Club. The facility is located in Limon and covers 2,750 square feet. It is staffed by medical professionals who have been accredited by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health.
Each year, the Roberto Clemente Santa Ana Clinic services over 12,000 people in Limon, Nicaragua and the 27 surrounding communities in general and emergency care, minor surgery, dentistry and lab work and also provides locals with a fully stocked pharmacy.
The clinic has worked on three major projects as well as a volunteer program since its creation. One of their projects, the Water Treatment Project, is working to improve water for Nicaraguans living in underdeveloped regions. Contaminated water can cause severe illnesses like diarrhea, typhoid and cholera which can lead to birth defects and even death. The clinic developed water filtration system to use as a prototype in Limon.
Families will be able to use system to refill canteens and use at home for a discounted price. The system allows the team to distribute five gallons at a time, which they have determined to serve the average family for two to three days. They initiated the pilot program for the Water Treatment Project in April and have estimated they will benefit 300 families per month during the trial with an estimated 22,500 gallons served in total.
Their second project, Organic Gardening in Nicaragua, was established to increase the production of nutritional food and help with soil sustainability. Staff at the clinic have noticed many Nicaraguans living the Limon area consume lots of starches and salts resulting in many cases of Vitamin A deficiency and anemia.
The last project involves expanding the clinic itself. With this expansion, they hope to provide new surgery rooms, backup energy and an open classroom for trainings and meetings.
– Julia Hettiger