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May 28, 2019

Dr. Leal traveled by mule, across rocky terrain

After an approximately 12 kilometer walk, the Clinica Verde team arrived to provide medical and optometry services to the remote community of Mombachito in the municipality of Camoapa, Nicaragua. Mombachito is one of the rural communities in the department of Boaco that is totally deprived of basic services. Clínica Verde had identified two groups of especially vulnerable populations in this community: The first group is the elderly – those over 60 years of age – and the second group is children under 14 years of age. We are focusing our efforts in this region on these two important populations. 

During the community consultations, the villagers express deep appreciation for the efforts of the clinic team, who on foot or on mule manage to transport the medicine and supplies needed to the region. If not for Clinica Verde, community members would have to walk themselves to reach the nearest health center, sometimes with the person who is ill loaded on a hammock.

This is how difficult it can be for rural, impoverished populations to simply access care. Often, the only and best solution is to bring the care to them. We're so grateful for the support of you, our awesome donors, who make this service possible.


Why Clinica Verde?

We asked our Executive Director, Yolanda Paredes-Gaitan. Here's what she said.

We treat people with dignity.

We do not discriminate based on political party, religion, sexual orientation, age or precedence.

We respect human rights.

We offer excellent quality healthcare in a space that communicates respect and hope.

We reach the underserved.

We understand the community needs.

We do not judge our patients, we understand them.


Thank you to all of our supporters for making this possible.


Mar 1, 2019

Leading with Love + Compassion

Yolanda Paredes-Gaitan has been working at Clinica Verde in Nicaragua since 2016 as its executive director. With Yolanda’s guidance, Clinica Verde has made momentous strides providing affordable health care options to the local community. We interviewed Yolanda on the progress, challenges, and future of Clinica Verde. 
What are you most proud of about the work being done by Clinica Verde?
I am most proud of our unique institution that prioritizes compassionate care and how we incorporate this philosophy into our daily activities. We are the only institution in the region that has an infrastructure to offer the best quality service to our clients. In addition, I take pride in the fact that we exemplify that primary health services can be provided with dignity and high quality. We do all this while keeping in mind the three main goals of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental. We demonstrate transparent work with respect, ethics, and fulfillment of the law and through this we can achieve many objectives. We feel confident that our work is making a positive difference and that we are advancing the development of Nicaragua. Lastly, I am proud of my team that is committed to helping others.

What initiatives that Clinica Verde is involve in do you think hold the most hope for transforming the health of communities – and why? 
I totally believe that health promotion and prevention are the keys for a healthy and developed country. Policies created around these main public health components have proven to decrease the number of persons affected with chronic diseases. Some of examples of this at Clinica Verde are our Prenatal Nutrition Groups and our Teen Club that teaches teens in sexual reproductive health. We also do hands-on training around health and nutrition education that is highly impactful. Health promotion and prevention are components of Clinica Verde’s daily activities and I believe these measures hold the most hope for transforming the health of our communities.
What is your greatest need as you continue your efforts in providing healthcare for the community? What are some of the largest health obstacle you are seeing? 
We have big issues with chronic disease and limited access to medicine to control them. We can offer many services in regard to promotion, prevention, diagnosis and control, but treatment is something we cannot always afford with our patients. We are also seeing an increase in emotional and mental health problems resulting from the current social crisis and poverty with very few means to help these individuals. Lastly, Boaco (the city we work in) does not offer rehabilitation services for persons with different capabilities (speech therapy, physical therapy, etc.). I would also like to see us improve in data collection and analysis. We can always be better.
What has been the hardest obstacle to overcome in providing care to the community? 
There is a great difficulty in accessing communities due to the lack of roads. In addition, the majority of our patients are living in extreme poverty and this presents many challenges. Poverty coupled with low levels of educational attainment makes our mission more challenging. We are so honored and inspired by the work we do each day for this population.
Taylor Moss is currently in her third year at UC Davis majoring in Global Disease Biology with a minor in International Relations. She’s been interested in pursuing a health care career ever since she volunteered in Nicaragua with Clinica Verde as a sophomore in high school. Taylor recently completed a public health internship in India and helped an NGO in Nepal start a program with an emphasis on women’s health. She continues to support the work of Clinica Verde.

Nov 1, 2018

Did you know that you help prevent blindness?

This month, we invited one our optometrists to share the importance of the work she does. We are so inspired by the lives being improved each day through our team's work and dedication. Here, in Yuribeth's words:

Recently, the Clinica Verde team attended to the community Cerro de Piedra, which is very remote and difficult to access. There, we found a 49-year-old woman with an affectation in the left eye that came for an optometric consultation. When she underwent an ocular physical examination, we found multiple red and black nodules inside and outside her eyes. The patient felt shame not only because of the appearance of her injuries but also because of the smell they emitted. It was a very shocking case. The whole team we attended was stupefied, as it was the first time we saw something like that. During the exam the lady could not read the larger letters of the eye chart we used to assess visual acuity. She could scarcely perceive the movement of the hands before her.

The medical and optometric evaluation concluded that we were in the presence of an ocular tumor that can reach locally to the orbit, the eyeball and the brain, so an ophthalmological evaluation was urgently needed to perform an operation.

The patient asked for help to treat this problem. We took care of her with great respect. We also donated dark glasses so she could go out and move around freely without people seeing the embarrassing appearance of her problem.

Clinica Verde does not have operating rooms for this type of problem, but it does have a compassionate team committed to helping people in need, as in this case. For this reason, we are having the contacts made for this patient to be managed by a higher level of ophthalmologic care, referring the patient to the FONIPRECE Foundation in Managua or to the center specializing in ophthalmological diseases for the prompt intervention, improvement or cure of our patient.

For me as an Optometrist it is a great experience to be able to reach these types of places where access to health services are very difficult, especially those related to optometry. In the communities that we visit, most of the people from the youngest to the elderly have never had an eye examination during their whole life. If injuries such as the one discussed in this case are identified and treated early we can prevent complications such as blindness. This is our great motivation to continue in the struggle to reach the most remote places and be able to give our professional help and human warmth to those in need.

I am tremendously grateful to those who support Clinica Verde – and who help restore vision to those who otherwise would be left in darkness. 


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