Improving the Health of Women in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has the highest mortality rate from cervical cancer in Latin America (33 deaths per 100,000 women) and according to the Pan American World Health Organization, more women in Nicaragua die of cervical cancer than any other cancer.  The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.  This is a preventable and curable disease if it is detected early through screening with the Papanicolaou or PAP smear.  Unfortunately most women in Nicaragua do not know about HPV early detection or have access to PAP smears.

Our clinic in Empalme de Boaco has been screening women for cervical cancer for the last 3 years.  We have dedicated one day a week to gynecology and women services.  All women are screened through direct visualization of the cervix through colposcopy as well as obtaining a PAP smear.  Abnormal smears are followed by colposcopy and cervical biopsy.  This year, our staff physician, Dr. Jessie Castillo, received specialized training on cervical biopsy and the LEEP procedure to removed abnormal tissue from the cervix.  Our clinic is educating young women about the spread of HPV and the importance of early detection.

Our ministry is also starting to provide training in laparoscopy to the the local gynecologists in the city of Boaco.  We are developing a partnership with the hospital of Boaco to support this training opportunities.  This past June, Dr. Peter Tinsman, a retired gynecologist from Iowa travelled with our team and provided 1 week of training in laparoscopic tubal ligation and other gynecologic procedures at the hospital in Boaco.

 

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The use of laparoscopy for gynecologic surgery will significantly improve women’s health by decreasing post surgical infections, hospital stay and other complications of traditional surgery.  Our goal is to provide all the tools needed for this type of surgery and provide opportunities for on going training to the local doctors.  If you are interested in improving women’s health in Nicaragua, please contact us at laluzministries@ymail.com.

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