Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Nicaragua expanded their activities in 2019 to offer medical, psychological, and psychiatric care to patients affected by widespread political and social violence.
Ongoing social and political violence has threatened both the physical and psychological health of the Nicaraguan people. The circumstances have prompted thousands of people to seek asylum in the neighboring country of Costa Rica. Since April 2018, approximately 68,000 Nicaraguans have fled to Costa Rica. Learn how you can best help in Nicaragua and other countries.
Throughout the year in Nicaragua, MSF provided medical and mental health care to victims of traumatic episodes of violence experienced during armed unrest or while detained. We offered mental health care to patients and their relatives, most of whom were suffering from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to running basic medical services, MSF facilitated access to specialized care, such as physiotherapy and neurology, and treatment for sexual violence. The teams strengthened their activities in the capital, Managua, and in Masaya, Jinotepe, León, Estelí, Jinotega, and Matagalpa.
Until September, MSF staff also treated Nicaraguan patients who had crossed the border into Costa Rica to request asylum. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, Costa Rica has received more than 68,000 of the estimated 82,000 Nicaraguans who have fled the country since April 2018. Our teams there offered medical and psychological care and organized referrals to specialist services. Please donate to support our work in Nicaragua and other countries around the world now.
In both countries, MSF provided training in basic mental health care, psychological first aid, and self-help to community leaders, groups and educators to enable them to give psychological support to others in crisis situations. After collaborating with other groups and organizations, the teams were able to extend these activities. At the end of the year, we handed over all services and referred patients to these organizations.