Sara in the Land of Dengue

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cooperativa Maria Luisa Ortiz (Mulukuku)

Mulukuku and the Cooperativa were founded around the same time. During the revolution the area became a training came for the Sandinistas and also home to a lot of the rebel groups during the Contras.
There is a long history of violence in the area, which continues today augmented by alcoholism which leads to an alarming about of domestic violence as well. These serious problems have caused the Cooperative (clinic) to focus mainly on women’s health. Granted they do not turn away men who seek their services but the focus and outreach is directed toward the women in the municipality.
The services offered are surprisingly complete and all encompassing given the rural location. This is the result of a great deal of involvement by Dorothea Granada, a north America nurse who came to Mulukuku in the late 70s. She came for 3 years to assist the Cooperative start a health clinic and is still there today. Dorothea has used her resources to raise funds and gather supplies to serve the people in this area. Additionally, which all of her connections, the health clinic has become famous throughout the network of global health and there are continuously north American doctors and nurses coming through to volunteer some time.
While I was there, there were 2 doctors, a general physician who immediately was embraced and embraced the community and an OB/GYN.

The general physician started weekly health program that was broadcast over the radio that dealt with a variety of health topics, from rabies (of which there was currently an outbreak) to dental health – a large problem especially among children. Many many children there had a mouth full of cavities.

While I was there, I followed the OB/GYN around for a day, got to see and take ultrasounds and see patients with him. It was great and affirmed my suspicion that a nursing career would be a good choice for me.


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