Team: We had 22 U.S. members of the delegation, plus 12 energetic and cheerfully helpful University of Virginia students. We had 5 RN's, 2 Advanced Practice nurses, a Certified Nurse Midwife-Coordinator, a Family Nurse Practitioner, 3 MD's, five clinic helpers; two part time clinic helpers who split time with the construction project; a fulltime construction worker and 2 logistics persons. One logistics/clinic worker also served as chief cook and co-disburser of money. We had 8 Nicaraguan Interpreters and 3 part time interpreters. One full time interpreter also served as our driver. Our interpreters do not just interpret the language but advise on culture and survival info as well, and we are so grateful for that. Sometimes they brought us fresh seafood. Yum.
Website and Tax status: Our website continues at www.olivetreenica.org and we continue to have 501c3 status making donations tax deductible for those who itemize. We have a Facebook page called "The Olive Tree".
Teaching: We did three health fairs, at Huehuete and Casares schools in the Carazo region and at Rancho Hebron. These involved teaching primary and secondary students about healthy eating, dental care, hand washing, exercise and nutrition.
Community Projects: The Hub City Vineyard Church members contributed 9 person work days of construction labor to the Nica Impact library/education center project in Jinotepe and one to a walking bridge project in Los Gomez. (see http://www.nicaimpact.org/ and http://www.bridgestoprosperity.org/.) Olive Tree contributed many additional books for the school library in Huehuete and tested out a blackboard renovation plan . The clinic team took the annual individual photographs of children in 3 group homes for the use of their house parents and the students' families.
Clinics: We did 13 medical clinics at 9 clinic sites. We worked 9 full 8 hour days and two half-days of 5 hours each. Two of the sites were at Nicaraguan Ministry of Health Centers (MINSA) and we worked with a Ministry of Health doctor at an additional church based site for a total of 6 days. We examined and treated over 900 patients. Most common diagnoses were respiratory, nutrition, GI, dermatology, gynecological complaints, and hypertension. At our sites we did height/ weight/blood pressure checks, performed vision tests, applied fluoride varnish to teeth, recorded vital signs, and performed focused physical exams. We provided albendazole to all appropriate persons plus other needed medications using Nicaragua formulary based medicines.
Vitamins: We distributed over 38,000 vitamins. Most went to patients directly. Some were left in bulk at the children's homes for use over the next year and with two of the government health centers.
Supplies: We distributed medical books, equipment and supplies to local health center physicians, a hospital, and to a health promoter. This included medical dressings, surgical and orthopedic supplies, blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes, glucometers and strips, and 2 HemaCue instruments for anemia testing.
Medications: We purchased close to $3200 in medications (cost to us but with U.S. value much higher). We purchased more than three-fourths of this in Nicaragua and the rest was purchased or donated in the United States. Leftover meds were left at the Huehuete, Casares, and Ojochal health centers under the supervision of medical personnel, and first aid boxes were left at two children's homes. MINSA clinic workers continue to report low supplies of many essential medicines throughout the country.
Other donations: We distributed close to 2000 pounds of nonmedical books/clothing/shoes/toys/ to people (estimates based on suitcase weight limits figuring about 34 people with at least 50 pounds each and 3 others with 140 pounds each. The Hub City Church provided money, construction tools, and household items.
Eye/Dental: We distributed approximately 750 reading glasses and dozens of sunglasses. We gave approximately 800 fluoride treatments, including about 500 at the school health fairs, with materials generously donated by U.S. dentists.
Continuing Care: We have a list of about 45 people from Casa Mateo, Quinta Esperanza, Huehuete, Casares, La Boquita and Rancho Hebron who will get vision and dental services from a local dentist and eye doctor throughout 2013 based on our screenings and because of donations. Our Nicaraguan coordinator Shirley coordinates appointments with local dentists and eye doctors for these patients.
Student support: We met with all but one of the 16 full time Nicaraguan university students whom we now assist. We are supporting them with the costs of tuition, carnet, books, internet costs, transportation, and graduation costs. We have helped 3 other students with partial tuition, books, and some medical equipment. Significantly this year we provided all of our 10 students from last year who did not have computers with a new laptop using about $3500 of donations received for the education fund. We left one additional laptop in a home with 3 other students to share. We have added four new students this spring. One student graduated in March and we anticipate 2 more will graduate in the next 6 months. Costs for eye, dental and education came to about $12,000 cash plus other material donations.
Large supply donations: Two HemaCue instruments plus cuvettes worth approximately $4000 from HemaCue company; toothbrushes, paste, floss and fluoride from dentists; 600 cloth bags donated by a women's sewing group; soaps and lotions collected from hotels; rehydration salt packets prepared by MBK and UVA students; clean birthing kits prepared by EK; minor surgical instruments recycled and sterilized by an urgent care center; student uniforms, etc.
Thank you to all who donated thought, time, money, encouragement, labor, books, supplies, and everything else.