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Healthcare in Nicaragua

The socio-economic condition of Nicaragua has a great impact on Nicaragua Healthcare. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the world. People here are victims of all kinds of diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiac diseases and various lifestyle-induced illnesses such as diabetes and kidney problems. Some of the common diseases that pose the greatest threat to the health of the people of Nicaragua are pneumonia, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. These diseases, which are curable in economically advanced nations, cause numerous deaths in a poor country like Nicaragua. The people of Nicaragua suffer from malnutrition which makes them very susceptible to various diseases. Lack of proper hygiene and clean drinking water leads to the outbreak of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, jaundice, cholera, typhoid and dysentery.

Each department of Nicaragua has a public hospital. These do not charge for emergency services, but will charge for supplies and medicines. There is an extensive network of health posts and health centres in rural areas, however, their resources can be limited. There are about 10 private hospitals/clinics in Managua. Many doctors and hospitals will require payment in cash before treatment. International travellers are strongly advised to take out full medical insurance before departure. In 2000, Nicaragua had 5,656 general practitioners, 950 specialists, 323 registered nurses, 974 dentists, and over 1,000 pharmacists.

Several hospitals and private clinics in Managua and Granada provide high-quality healthcare at a very affordable price. It costs just $30 for an office visit. A house call is only $35 and house calls are routine. A CAT scan costs $100, an x-ray $17. Some drugs manufactured in Europe that are not yet approved for distribution in the United States are available here.

The lack of proper and affordable healthcare facilities in Nicaragua has led to several problems. The current statistics of birth rate in Nicaragua shows that average Nicaraguan woman bears four to five children in her lifetime. But they are provided with adequate maternity healthcare. The infant mortality rate in Nicaragua is highest in Latin America because of healthcare deficiency. Other than this, the rate of maternal death is extremely high as well. Millions of Nicaraguan women are suffering from breast cancer, which is undoubtedly extremely alarming.





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