Dr. Marina Roma-March is in touch with a Rotary Group which would like a VOSH team to do an eye care project in Jinotega Nicaragua, located 2-2 1/2 hour drive from the Managua airport on a very good highway. Please contact Dr. March at twecs@shaw.ca

The clinic is located about 20 minutes outside of Jinotega. It is the Centro Clinico “Nazareth” and is a facility recently  built by a Spanish charity specifically for the use of visiting health care professionals. It is located in its own compound and has a back-up power supply. There is also a surgical suite, if needed, for an eye surgeon. There is plenty of space for people to wait under shelter from the sun or rain. Photos of this clinic can be seen here.

The host would be AVODEC, a Nicaraguan NGO with extensive experience in hosting medical teams from outside Nicaragua. They have quite a bit of experience in helping health care people obtain Ministry of Health approvals and customs clearance of supplies and equipment. The accommodations would be at the Hotel Cafe in Jinotega, a family-run boutique hotel that is the most common accommodation for visiting medical teams. It has about 25 rooms and is very well run and secure. (President Obama’s Secretary of Labour stayed here a couple of years ago so it must have passed the Secret Service test.) Room rate is about $40US per night. Meals are an additional charge.

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

Due to an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections, a new variant that is more contagious, and these being early days in the vaccination distribution, VOSH/International DOES NOT recommend that chapters participate in domestic or international eye and vision clinics at this time.

We reiterate that at a time when the coronavirus continues to spread quickly in many parts of the world and vaccinations are not yet available to local populations, the risk of close contact with patients in a crowded outpatient environment remains high.

If a VOSH Chapter or VOSH volunteer chooses to hold a clinic against our best guidance, this is done at your own risk, by your own decision and should be in line with current local/national government rules.  VOSH/International would like to reiterate that safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process.

We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context.  You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here

Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times, hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

January 2021