Olive Tree Nicaragua Delegation Year 10 Feb 23-Mar 9 2017

Team: We had 22 enthusiastic United States members of the delegation, plus 12 energetic and cheerfully engaged University of Virginia students. We had 8 RN's(some with MSN’s), a Certified Nurse Midwive/Doctor of Nursing Practice, 1 Family Nurse Practitioner, 1 ER Physician Assistant, 1 Family doctor, l IM/Peds doctor, 8 talented helpers including 2 logistics folk, one professional cook, one Veterinarian/esteemed cook, one acting pharmacist coordinator, and 2 teenagers. We had our Nicaraguan Coordinator, 8 other Nicaraguan interpreters and 3+ Nica drivers. One of our recently graduated pharmacy supported students helped out with pharmacy duties.

Website and Tax status: Our website is at www.olivetreenica.org and we continue to have 501c3 status making donations tax deductible for those who itemize. We have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/olivetreenica. Members pay their own travel costs to and from Nicaragua plus an additional sum for group expenses, ie., housing, in-country transport, and food.

Community Projects: Our UVA students were dust-stormed out of a painting project. They did a great health fair in the Huehuete primary school. .

Clinics: We did 4 l/2 days of medical clinics at clinic sites treating about 400 patients. We worked with a Ministry of Health (MINSA) doctor at one site. Most common diagnoses were respiratory, nutrition, anemia, GI, dermatology, gynecology and hypertension. At our sites we did height, weight, and blood pressure checks and performed focused physical exams. We provided the anti-parasite medicine albendazole to all appropriate persons plus other needed medications using the Nicaragua formulary based medicines. We offered vision checks for those with visual complaints and for kids 6-12.

Eye/Dental: Several hundred reading glasses and sunglasses were distributed. Dental flouride treatments were provided for children.

Customs and Supplies: Customs was kinder this year and we got all our supplies through. We distributed medical and children’s books, surgical and orthopedic supplies, blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, and infant and children’s clothing to local health center physicians, to an assisted living home, and to patients.

Medications: We purchased close to $1500 in medications in Nicaragua (US value much higher) and brought in approximately $1000 of meds from the US. Leftover meds were left at two MINSA health centers. MINSA health center workers continue to report low supplies of many essential meds. Health centers are happy to get meds from us but, citing accounting problems, don’t share theirs even when we detail the use

Continuing Care: From our clinic screenings, we have a list of about 38 people sites who will get vision and dental services from a local dentist and eye doctor throughout 2017. Donations to Olive Tree help to cover these costs. Our Nicaraguan coordinator Shirley Gonzalez Flores coordinates appointments with a local dentist and eye doctor for these patients from the end of March through October. Patients express gratitude for this care. We also get additional requests for help throughout the year.

Student support: We met with most of the 25 part and 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 were again able to provide laptop computers this year for 2 of our students who have completed their first year and provided money for repair of one previously donated computer. Several of the graduated students requested further support with English classes, citing this as a requisite for obtaining certain jobs.

Costs for eye, medical, dental and university came to about $30,000 for 2015. Delegation costs are pending. The latter cost is raised at a fall Soup Supper” at St. Ann’s Church, Hagerstown MD and by other donations in addition to delegation member fees. These funds go for housing, in-country transportation, payment for interpreters, and food.

Other donations: We distributed close to 1800 pounds of books, clothing, sports and school uniforms, shoes, art supplies and toys to people (estimates based on suitcase weight limits.).

Large supply donations: Tooth brushes, paste, floss and fluoride were donated from US dentists and these were distributed to patients. Soaps and lotions collected in the US were also distributed. More school uniforms were donated from St Mary’s/St. Alphonsus grade school in Glens Falls, NY and distributed in Huehuete

Rest and tourism: Many of the group took a few days when able to visit various areas of Nicaragua. This enriches the trip experience. Sites included San Juan del Sur, Granada, the lovely crater lake town of Catarina, Laguna Apoyo, Masaya town and Volcano national Park, and the popular Islands near Granada. Huehuete has lovely beaches. Nicaragua is a country with much natural beauty and great geographical diversity amidst great poverty. Panama was an add-on country for some.

The BUS: We used it this year again along with minivans. Steve and Ginny bought a pickup truck which proved very useful. Thanks Steve and Ginny for all your work and negotiations on this and the donors who have helped with this.

Thank you to all who donated thought, time, money, encouragement, labor, books, clothing, supplies, and everything else. Thank you to all who took their valuable family and vacation time and paid their way to donate their skills. Thanks to Steve and Verna Raynor for coordinating things and for the use of their Pacific coast beach house, Peter Smith and Ellyn Stecker for pharmacy and some clinical planning, Ginny Scrivener for USA and NICA logistics and food preparation, Shirley Gonzalez Flores for in-Nica logistics and coordination throughout the year, all our delegation members, Blessings International, Accion Cristiana Medica, MINSA personnel, all our donors, all our interpreters, our drivers, Gilda Lyons and friends for a volunteer lunch, and Carmelo and Gloria who are caretakers at the Huehuete house.

File: Report Nica 2017 March