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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 70 | Abril 1987
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Nicaragua

NICARAGUA BRIEFS

Envío team

BREAD WITH DIGNITY
The Indian freighter M.V. Bharantendu of the Shipping Corporation of India arrived in the port of San Juan del Sur carrying 10,000 tons of wheat, part of an overall donation of 20,000 tons. The gift is a result of President Daniel Ortega's trip to India and meetings with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in September of last year.

During the September visit, India also agreed to extend a $10 million credit line to Nicaragua and will offer other economic and technical assistance in the coming years under the auspices of the Program for Technical and Economic Cooperation. As he watched the ship unload, a hotel worker in San Juan del Sur commented, "Now we'll have bread again... and with dignity."

In April 1981 incoming US President Ronald Reagan cut off PL-480 wheat shipments to Nicaragua, claiming that the unexpected move was to force Nicaragua to respect human rights. Nicaragua cannot grow wheat and must rely on imports to provide the "staff of life" for its population.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH EXPANDS SERVICES
The birth rate in Managua has climbed steadily in the last several years and today over 40,000 children—equivalent to the entire population of Estelí, a small city in northern Nicaragua—are born in Managua every year. Only one hospital in Managua, the Bertha Calderón Women's Hospital, currently offers maternity services. To better address the population’s needs, Health Minister Dora María Téllez recently announced that gynecological and obstetric care will soon be available in all but one of Managua's hospitals.

The Ministry of Health (MINSA) also announced that the Aldo Chavarría Hospital will be equipped as a special center for those disabled by war wounds or accidents. The center will be able to fit people with artificial limbs and offer physical therapy. The center's financing will come in large part from East Germany. Nicaragua's hospitals don’t have the capability to treat some of the more serious injuries incurred by the young soldiers on the battlefield. Therefore, many of the soldiers wounded in battle are flown to East Germany where they are treated for an average cost of $7,000 per person. MINSA's goal is to be able to provide these essential services within Nicaragua.

AND ALSO TEACH THE BLIND TO READ
An East German donation of 30 Braille machines, paper and other materials recently arrived at the offices of the Nicaraguan Organization for the Blind. The Managua organization represents 250 out of an estimated total blind population of 4,000 in Nicaragua.

East Germany also plans to donate materials and money to finance technical workshops and training centers for the blind. Nicaragua currently has one center for the blind, the Carlos Fonseca Center in Managua.

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