Public Health Program

Public Health Program
Since 2011, ViviendasLeon has sought to identify the health challenges and their causes faced by families living in the Sutiaba communities. Among these are chronic diseases including diabetes, dengue and malaria, diarrhea, renal disease and malnutrition, born by insects, contaminated water, insufficient diet, heat exposure, and inadequate sanitation. At present we are developing partnerships with local and national Nicaraguan health agencies and clinics, U.S. universities and medical professionals, and granting foundations to understand the causes and potential solutions to these various problems.

Our current initiatives include the following:

  • Food security farming
    Since 2012, this program has provided fresh vegetables for families who have learned to farm their land.
    See our Agroforestry-Family farming page for details.
  • Field research
    In 2015, three medical researchers developed papers and surveys on the public health system in Nicaragua, strategies for partnering with local and national public health agencies, and the current health statistics of a statistical number of residents in the communities where we work. To read these papers and surveys in detail, go to:
    >Public health system report April 2015
    >Community health assessment August 2015
    >Rural environmental health survey June 2015
  • Local agency partnerships and community health education
    Our plan in 2016 is to coordinate a partnership with the Master of Public Health (MPH) at the University of San Francisco, and the Sutiaba clinic to support the health education agenda of the Nicaraguan national health system, MINSA.
  • Reforestation
    Since 2012 this program has provided 20,000 trees annually for reforestation, soil improvement, firewood and erosion control.
    See our Agroforestry-Reforestation page for details.
  • Water quality and sanitation research and project development
    In 2015 we conducted a set of water quality laboratory tests on 10 family wells and 2 locations in the adjacent Telica River.
    >Water quality lab report January 2015
    Since 2014 we have partnered with Clarkson University, and more recently, Yale University Environmental Engineering Department, to develop a strategy for water quality management and sanitation.
    Currently we are pursuing a plan to improve domestic wells, install solar water pumps and storage capacity so that families will have sufficient irrigation water for their farms.  In addition, this system will be upgraded to clean and store well water for potable use.
  • Rainfall catchment, water resource management and drip irrigation
    Based on unexpected challenges to our farming program in 2015 due to changes in rainfall quantity and regularity, we are developing a comprehensive program in 2016 to catch and store rainfall, protect and mulch soils, create wind barriers and improve physical pest management strategies to improve farm production on family farms.