Ministry of Health (MINSA)

TecNica Volunteers worked on many projects for the Ministry of health. Here is a small sampling.  Please contact us if you were part of this effort strengthen the Healthcare system in Nicaragua in any way as a TecNica volunteer.

Henry Alquist, a retired mechanical engineer specializing in fuel and alternative energy, worked at the Ministry of Health diagnosing and working on problems with the steam boilers at hospitals in Masaya, Matagalpa, and Managua.  Working with the single Nicaraguan responsible for all of this equipment throughout the country, who had only limited operational and repair training, Henry took steps toward establishing a preventive maintenance program and changing numerous incorrect operating procedures which would have resulted in more serious breakdowns. Henry also prepared an extensive list of badly needed manuals, valves, filters, lubrication oil, and other parts.

Upon their return, volunteers frequently hunted for manuals, replacement parts, and equipment in the U.S.  They would then ship them to the location that needed them, asking subsequent delegations to deliver them personally.

Bernie Hovden, an electronics and computer hardware repair specialist, worked at the Ministerio de Salud conducting a survey of electronic gear in MINSA offices and clinics in Nicaragua. His objective was to identify weaknesses in employees’ understanding of computer and electronic systems, with the objective of offering training where it was needed.

Victoria Meyers, a health services administrator here in the U.S., designed an audiovisual program to educate medical students and mothers about infant diarrhea—the leading cause of death among Nicaraguan children under five years old. She trained third- and fourth-year medical students at the Pedro Altamirano Health Center and advised administrators at three Nicaraguan hospitals on the design of prevention education materials for the local population. Vicki’s audiovisual program was used in hospitals and clinics throughout the country as part of the Ministry of Health’s campaign to eradicate infant diarrhea and save the lives of Nicaragua’s children.