Public health challenges in Sutiaba, Nicaragua

Our Spanish health recommendation campaign for our rural communities.
Our Spanish health recommendation campaign for our rural communities.

Recommendations to support Public Health in Sutiaba, Nicaragua

León, Nicaragua

The global pandemic that the COVID-19 virus has caused requires dramatic shifts in public behavior and brings to light the lack of preparedness our governments worldwide have in combating a public health crisis. This, coupled with the many obstacles already in place regarding sanitation and access to water, especially in developing countries and rural communities, makes navigating this crisis all the more difficult. 

In response, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) has issued many procedures for the government to deal with the arrival of the coronavirus. These procedures coincide with the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and include: washing hands, covering cough/sneeze, self-isolation if one becomes sick, and avoiding crowds. However, the Ortega-Murillo Government has not taken these precautions seriously, and has refused to declare a preventive quarantine, arguing that "....we do not have a positive case." This contrasts with much of the rest of the country's response including universities, banks, businesses, and the Catholic Church all of which have issued their own preventive measures.

This lack of governmental response could be detrimental to the health and well-being of all Nicaraguans. The coronavirus poses a serious threat and without proper preventative measures, the paralyzation of vulnerable healthcare systems would have a drastic impact on public health, and push people further into poverty and deprivation. In addition, it is important to recognize the variables regarding vulnerable supply chains such as poor health and nutrition, poor quality of healthcare, resource constraints, and varied vaccination rates. 

According to our staff in Leon, national protocols still have yet to be put in place, even as surrounding countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama have ordered quarantines, border closings, and suspension of classes. Given this, ViviendasLeon is working to be a resource for the community.

Currently, our Agriculture Coordinator, Lesbia, has been holding daily telephone briefings with rural families to share our recommendations and best practices. In addition Agriculture Technician, Camillo, is providing socially-distant visits to check up on our rural community and support our farmers in their efforts to ensure the health of their farms. Lastly, VL will be collaborating on a mask-making campaign for our team and communities in Nicaragua. 

Below are some specific recommendations specifically for the Sutiaba community that we created for all to use as a resource during this difficult time. Please continue to follow these precautions as well as the directives put in place by WHO to stay safe and help contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

Recommendations for Sutiaba community:

Wash your hands frequently

  1. If possible, wash your hands frequently using an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.  Dry your hands with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  2. Do not touch your face
  3. Do not greet others by shaking hands, hugging or kissing.  Maintain your distance from others.

Cover your sneeze or cough

  1. Do not sneeze or cough into your hand.  Sneeze into your elbow.  This helps keep your hands clean.

Keep your distance from others

  1. Maintain a distance of 2 meters at all times from others
  2. Do not gather in a group of greater than 10 people
  3. Do not permit neighbors, friends of visitors into your home
  4. Go outside to exercise or do activities.  Remember to always maintain your distance from others.

Buy and store additional food if possible

  1. Have two weeks of food stored in your home if possible
  2. For ideal health eat the following 2-3 times a day:
    1. One serving of protein including beans
    2. One serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit
    3. One serving of rice, bread or tortillas

Buy and store necessary resources

  1. Store enough water, fuel, medicines and cleaning supplies for two weeks.

Stay at home

  1. Only leave the home for essential needs: food, medicines or exercise
  2. Self-monitor: Watch for signs of infection including fever, shortness of breath and coughing.
  3. Self-quarantine if you have symptoms or believe you have been in contact with symptoms
  4. Self-isolate if you have symptoms: Stay in a separate room with no contact with anyone.

Please remember the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health has created a 24/7 hotline to call regarding COVID-19. To reach this hotline, you can call +50584189953. 

Recomendaciones para apoyar la salud pública: Sutiaba, Nicaragua

Lava tus manos frecuentemente.

  1. Si es posible, lávese las manos con frecuencia usando un desinfectante a base de alcohol o agua y jabón durante un mínimo de 20 segundos. Séquese las manos con un trapo limpio o una toalla de papel.
  2. No te toques la cara.
  3. No salude a los demás dándose la mano, abrazándose o besándose. Mantén tu distancia de los demás.

Cubra su estornudo o tos.

  1. No estornude ni tosa en su mano. Estornuda en tu codo. Esto ayuda a mantener tus manos limpias.

Mantén tu distancia de los demás.

  1. Mantenga una distancia de 2 metros en todo momento de los demás.
  2. No se reúnan en un grupo de más de 10 personas.
  3. No permita que vecinos, amigos de visitantes entren a su casa.
  4. Solo salga a hacer ejercicio o realizar actividades de compras. Recuerde mantener siempre su distancia de los demás.

Compre y recolecte alimentos adicionales si es posible.

  1. Tenga dos semanas de alimentos almacenados en su hogar si es posible
  2. Para una salud ideal, coma lo siguiente 2-3 veces al día:
    1. Una porción de proteína que incluye frijoles.
    2. Una porción de vegetales y una porción de fruta.
    3. Una porción de arroz, pan o tortillas.

Compra y almacena los recursos necesarios.

  1. Almacene suficiente agua, combustible, medicamentos y productos de limpieza durante dos semanas.

Quedase en casa.

  1. Solo salga del hogar para necesidades esenciales: alimentos, medicamentos o ejercicio.
  2. Auto-control: observe si hay signos de infección, como fiebre, dificultad para respirar y tos.
  3. Auto-cuarentena si tiene síntomas o cree que ha estado en contacto con los síntomas.
  4. Autoaislar si tiene síntomas: permanecer en una habitación separada sin contacto con nadie.

Recuerde que el Ministerio de Salud de Nicaragua ha creado una línea directa las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana para llamar con respecto a COVID-19. Para comunicarse con esta línea directa, puede llamar al +50584189953.

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