OBGYN Program

HOLA implemented the OBGYN program in late 2017, hiring Dr. Maria Teresa Zelaya Vasquez to work two mornings a week in the new clinic in the Raul Cabeza community complex in Chacraseca, Nicaragua. The program was designed to provide access to obstetric and gynecological services that would otherwise be unavailable to women in this community and was part of HOLA’s new focus on women’s health.

In its first two years the clinic proved to be a great success. In 2018, Dr. Zelaya conducted 564 patient consultations at the clinic with this

(Pre Natal vitamins and other supplies to be used in the clinic in Chacraseca)

number increasing to 576 in 2019 across almost 400 individual patients. The program has been well received by the community, by representatives from the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Pan American Health Organization. Throughout this process, HOLA has worked in conjunction with MINSA to identify additional communities where these services could be especially valuable. In March, 2020 HOLA hired Dr. Leyla Maria Chevez Gonzalez to work two mornings a week in the at the MINSA clinic in La Leona increasing our estimated annual consultations to upward of 1,000..

(Dr. Zelaya, pictured right, alongside Dr. Chevez)

HOLA tracks patient data through its board led quality control committee, ensuring all our doctors are practicing to current WHO standards.

We intend to continue and expand these clinical efforts during the 2020 year by focusing on three approaches:

•    Increasing access to health care services

•     Improving care coordination

•     Enhancing and supporting existing health care infrastructure.

By year’s end HOLA plans to hire a third OBGYN to work in an additional, MINSA approved, community.

Public Health Education

Striving to promote an increased quality of life, both emotionally and physically has long been a priority for HOLA. In the past we have implemented a Sexual Health and Wellness program with the local middle and high schools. Over the coming year we plan to build on this work partnering with the local schools in Chacraseca to implement a comprehensive Sexual Education Curriculum. Sexual Education has become a renewed focused for the local schools following, among other factors, rising rates of teen pregnancies and both parties are excited to work together on this project.

 

Through rigorous data collection, to be conducted by both in country and out of country volunteers, and a collaborative approach with the schools and teachers themselves, we believe we can produce a highly impactful curriculum that will have positive impact on a great number of students and the wider community as well.

Nicaragua Nonprofit Network

The Nicaragua Nonprofit Network (NNN) provides a common sustainable platform where all humanitarian organizations, government entities, and individual volunteers helping Nicaragua can share knowledge, resources, experiences, and accomplishments. The NNN uses its internet-based networking platform to facilitate an organization’s ability to communicate with one another while

simultaneously increasing the visibility of their efforts. In recent years, the NNN has strived to be a source of real time information and resource sharing tool during the Nicaraguan civil unrest and Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The HOLA foundation is the parent NGO for the NNN. Starting in 2013 the NNN concept was founded and developed within the infrastructure of the HOLA foundation and still operates under the supervision of the HOLA board of directors. The NNN leadership is composed of a large array of HOLA veterans and the NNN initiative is supported in large part by the HOLA foundation’s ongoing efforts. All those involved with the NNN initiative believe active collaboration between organizations results in the better allocation of resources, more effective programming, more responsible usage of charitable donations, and more consistent programming delivered to the target community.

For more information, click here for the official NNN website (https://www.nicaraguanonprofitnetwork.org/).

Veterinary Work

Work animals in rural Nicaragua can form the cornerstone of the community. When these animals are in poor health, so too are the community members depending on them for their livelihood. According to Central America Data, there are fewer than 1,000 veterinarians throughout the entire country of Nicaragua.

Our veterinary teams partner with local veterinarians to provide vitamin supplements, de-worming and surgical care for animals in the community. These procedures help to lower the burden of zoonotic

diseases on the community while simultaneously improving the health of the community’s animals, which serve as a source of both food and capital. Additionally, the Jamie Byers fund established in memory of one of HOLA’s original founders helps fund tuition scholarships for financially disadvantage veterinary students in Nicaragua who have demonstrated a commitment to community service, as Jamie spent the better part of his life doing.

In 2017 HOLA assisted in the treatment of nearly 700 animals. While recent turmoil, both domestically and globally, has limited HOLA’s ability to run its veterinary programs, the organization is excited to start re-running veterinary trips in 2021 and the years beyond.