Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throwing in Our Lot With You

Today we told Rogelio not to buy doorknobs to replace the broken ones on exam room doors at the clinic, just put hooks and eyes on so that no one can open the door while the doctor is taking a pap smear. 

Yesterday we asked Neville to only take $4 cash to put enough gas in the car to run his errand, we’d fill it up later when we could pay with a credit card.

Tuesday we decided to fix the faucets on only the two most important sinks at the clinic, the other broken faucets will have to wait.

Tomorrow we’ll buy a new fuse to fix broken windshield wipers on the ambulance, but will wait to take it to an electrician to see why fuses keep burning out.

As you can see, we are in a bit of a fix.

Like most non-profits, the majority of our donations come in December, many of them just before the New Year, which makes the holidays a happy time, but… 

…unfortunately, most of our expenses don’t come in January, they all seem to come right now.  In addition to the usual (electricity bill, phone, insurance, internet, gas, paper for the photocopier, etc) we’ve got two big expenses:
  • farmer co-ops are harvesting sesame, peanuts, cotton and coffee.  They need to pay farmhands & COPROEXNIC needs to pay the farmers for the crops…hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Nicaragua has exceptionally good labor laws including a 13th month to be paid to all employees on 30 November.  While this is awesome for workers all over the country, it is a lot of cash out the door at once for small  organizations like ours – we have 25 employees and we pay them all as well as we can…so an extra month for everyone at once is expensive!  Above all else, we make *sure* we have money set aside to pay our staff…but that means things get tight in other areas.

In short, we don’t sleep well in October and November. 

We’ll be honest with you: right now we need help to make it to the end of the year.
And friends, we’ve learned that you have to have money to know people with money…so we’re not holding out for any sugar daddy in a shiny suit.  We’re throwing in our lot with you. 

If you haven’t yet signed up to donate $10 a month, please do so now.

If you haven’t yet made a donation this year, please do so now.

If you have already made a donation, but can spare an extra $20 (or $200, or $2,000!) please send it now.

Please re-post this on Facebook, on Twitter, email to your friends, because we need their help too.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. – Becca & Kathleen

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gestational Diabetes - Who's Screening?

 Last week I wrote about the rise in type 2 diabetes here in Nicaragua.  While I was researching for the blog I read about gestational diabetes and thought, “Oh dear!  We do not screen for that!”

And this is how a great deal of our health work expands…we start to deal with one aspect and then we are presented with a whole range of levels of health care that we are not doing and neither is anyone else in our area.

For example: gestational diabetes should be tested in a pregnant mother at 26 to 28 weeks.  The Ministry of Health does this testing, but not a full screening. The danger of gestational diabetes is twofold: 1) overly large babies and 2) babies have an increased chance of going into a hypoglycemic coma in their first hours or days of life.

Gestational diabetes has to be controlled by diet, which is difficult when the women are poor and carbohydrates, sugar and fruit are the cheapest foods.  

To test, we would need a quiet space that women can lie down for up to 4 hours if needed.  We would need to provide the drink for the testing and protein for when the test is over.   We would need to help the ones that have gestational diabetes stay on their diets.

The reality with health care in a poor country is that the need is so great and the layers upon layers needed to address the problems are overwhelming.  We know that we can do only so much but it seems that we could address this need too or so we think…or so we hope.  We will keep you posted.       -Kathleen