Olive Tree Logo
The Olive Tree, Inc.
7 West Irwin Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21742
EIN 42-2871181

Olive Tree Delegation

Year 7 February 18 - March 18, 2014

Team: We had 22 US members of the delegation, plus 14 energetic and cheerfully helpful University of Virginia students. We had 9 RN's, one Certified Nurse Midwife-Doctor of Nursing Practice-Coordinator, l Family Nurse Practitioner, 3 MD's, 7 clinic helpers; and 1 logistics person among the USA volunteers. We had 5 Nicaraguan Interpreters, 4 part time interpreters and 3 Nica drivers. Three of the interpreters did logistics work as well. Additionally seven of our supported students helped out with interpreting, pharmacy, and nursing duties, an exciting first effort.

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 a teaching day on Ometepe Island at the Health Center with community women, some parteras and some pregnant women. Hotel Merida provided liaison work as well as lunch. We reviewed normal childbirth, some emergency issues and grief issues. Birth kits as well as a set of Hesperian books on health were left with the health center and community members.

Community Projects: The Hub City Vineyard Church members and a few others visited the almost completed Nica Impact library/education center project in Jinotepe where they had helped with construction in prior years. See http://www.nicaimpact.org/. The center hopes to provide English-Spanish classes and has about a dozen computers which they plan to make available to the neighborhood with internet shortly. The project also has experimental gardens and fish growing tanks. They support college students in two group homes.

Clinics: We did 11 medical clinics at 9 clinic sites treating about 900 patients. One day was a half day. Two of the sites were at Nicaraguan Ministry of Health Centers (MINSA). We worked with two Ministry of Health doctors at two additional church based sites and one school for a total of 5 days. Most common diagnoses were respiratory, nutrition, GI, dermatology, gynecological complaints and hypertension. At our sites we did height, weight, and 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 the Nicaragua formulary based medicines.

Vitamins: We distributed over 38,000 adult and children's vitamins. Most went to patients directly. Some were left in bulk at two of the government health centers, at a Senior citizen home, and at a children's day center.

Supplies: We distributed medical books, equipment, and supplies, including medical dressings, surgical and orthopedic supplies, blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes, infant caps and nebulizers to local health center physicians, a hospital, and a health promoter. First aid boxes were left at Casa Mateo and one of the churches.

Medications: We purchased close to $4500 in medications (cost to us but with US value much higher). We purchased more than ¾ of this in Nicaragua with the rest purchased or donated in the United States. Leftover meds were left at two MINSA health centers, one senior nursing home and one children's home under the supervision of medical personnel. MINSA clinic workers continue to report low supplies of many essential meds.

Eye/Dental: We distributed approximately several hundred pairs of reading glasses and dozens of sunglasses. We gave several hundred fluoride treatments with materials generously donated by US dentists.

Continuing Care: We have a list of about 65 people from all sites who will get vision and dental services from a local dentist and eye doctor throughout 2014 based on our screenings and because of donations to Olive Tree. Our Nicaraguan coordinator Shirley Gonzalez Flores coordinates appointments with a local dentist and eye doctor for these patients from end of March through October. We are grateful for their assistance and care.

Student support: We met with the seventeen full time Nicaraguan University students whom we are assisting. We are supporting them with the costs of tuition, carnet, books, internet costs, transportation, and graduation costs. We have helped one other student with partial tuition. Significantly, with a large donation received for the education fund, we were again able to provide laptop computers this year for 5 of our students who have completed their first year and for our coordinator. Two students graduated this past year. Employment is an issue as all three grads are underemployed currently due to economic situation in the world and in Nicaragua.

Costs for eye, dental and university came to about $19,000 for 2013. We anticipate slightly higher costs for 2014 due to 2 additional students. Delegation costs are pending final calculations.

Other donations: We distributed close to 2500 pounds of nonmedical books, clothing, school uniforms, shoes, art supplies and toys to people (estimates based on suitcase weight limits figuring about 34 people with at least 50 pounds each and others with 70 pounds. Large supply donations: Two HemoCue instruments plus cuvettes worth approximately $700 from HemoCue company were donated but unfortunately hung up in Nicaragua Customs until after we left. We will get them to our Nicaraguan health centers. Tooth brushes, paste, floss and fluoride were donated from US dentists; soaps and lotions were collected from hotels; birthing kits were prepared by nursing volunteers; minor surgical instruments were recycled and sterilized by the nurses at an urgent care center; and student uniforms came from St Mary's/St. Alphonsus grade school in Glens Falls, NY, etc. Olive Tree purchased several blood pressure kits for our new pharmacy students.

Rest and tourism: Group volunteers visited the volcanoes at Mombacho, Masaya and Ometepe. The Islands and town of Granada remain popular. Huehuete has its beaches and Jinotepe its vibrant markets and cooler evenings. Nicaragua is a country with much natural beauty as well as many economic and infrastructure challenges. It has great geographical diversity amidst great poverty. We do not begin to understand all the political issues.

The BUS: We bought one and it is finally in Nica. A long and tortuous story. It was in Managua as of Mar 16. Stay tuned. Thanks Steve.

Thank you to all who donated thought, time, money, encouragement, labor, books, clothing, supplies, and everything else. Thanks to Steve and Verna Raynor for the use of their beach house, Ginny Scrivener for USA logistics, Shirley Gonzalez Flores for Nica logistics, Sandra Mejia at Posadita Bolognia in Managua, the Schweitzers at Casa Mateo in Jinotepe and Carmelo/Gloria at the Huehuete house.