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 have an agreement to work with the Sutiaba Health Clinic, part of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSA), to provide public health training, education and health data collection. In addition, we have identified a number of related projects in rural communities that are part of an overall public health strategy. We are currently exploring partnerships with U.S. universities to develop global health internships that will help us to work with the Sutiaba Health Clinic while further understanding the causes and developing solutions to the various health challenges.
To apply for our summer internship program in public health, please go to our Trips menu, Upcoming, then to the College and Professional Internships 2018 program.
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 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 current goal is to coordinate a partnership with a Master of Public Health (MPH) or Medical Program in the United States, and the Sutiaba clinic to support the health education agenda of the Nicaraguan national health system, MINSA.
- Water quality and sanitation research and project development
In 2017 we began a partnership with Clarkson University to develop a plan for water quality management and sanitation through their environmental engineering program. The plan will improve domestic wells, install water pumps and storage capacity so that families will have sufficient irrigation water for their farms. In phase 2, this system will be upgraded to a solar pump and decontamination system to store well water for potable use. The plan also calls for the replacement of hand dug latrines with composting latrines to eliminate the main causes of shallow groundwater contamination. This is supported by a set of water quality laboratory tests on 10 family wells and 2 locations in the adjacent Telica River completed in January 2015
>Water quality lab report
- Rainfall catchment, water resource management and drip irrigation
Based on unexpected challenges to our farming program in 2015 from changes in rainfall quantity and regularity due to climate change, we are developing a comprehensive program in 2017-18 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.