A few months ago, a mother named Vilsa held her sick baby as radio news reported conflict all over Nicaragua. José was only 23 days old. She was afraid to lose him.
Baby José had been suffering from a fever. He had diarrhea and had been vomiting for four days. Two days before, Vilsa had taken him to the community clinic of Apantillo, where she knew Ada Luz Montenegro, a Health Promoter trained by AMOS, could help him.
“When I examined the baby, I realized he was dehydrated. His eyes were sunken. He had wrinkly skin, and a haggard face. He was in critical condition. I treated him with zinc sulfate, rehydration fluids, and Tylenol,” said Ada Luz.
But Ada Luz knew the baby needed a higher level of medical care. She urged Vilsa to take him to the nearest health center immediately.
But what she didn’t know was that Vilsa’s husband, like many other men in Apantillo, had just lost his job due to the economic effects of the crisis. They didn’t have the $4 for bus fare to get to the nearest health center.
So Vilsa took her baby home, praying that the medicines Ada Luz gave him would be enough.
That’s where you come into this story. Fortunately, thanks to your generous support, Ada Luz was trained not only to treat common illnesses, but also to provide follow-up care to the most vulnerable.
So when Ada Luz talked to one of Vilsa’s neighbors and found out baby José had not yet gone to the nearest health center, she immediately rushed to their home, knowing the baby’s life was in danger.
“I called several people until we got an ambulance for the baby. Given his condition, he was taken directly to the regional hospital [three hours away],” Ada Luz said.
The baby recovered completely. Vilsa still holds her baby and smiles to see him healthy. But this could have ended very differently.
This year, with the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Nicaragua, moms like Vilsa face even greater obstacles to getting the health care their children need. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and have no means to provide for their families’ basic needs, making it harder for them to access emergency transportation, provide enough food to their children, and get important medicines.
Their struggles and sufferings are ours too. They are the reason we stay.
While other national and international organizations have cut back services or left Nicaragua, AMOS health promoters and staff are working harder than ever to continue our mission during this difficult time. We stay for Vilsa and baby José. We stay for the thousands facing poverty and emotional trauma because of this crisis. And we stay for the more than 69,000 people we serve throughout Nicaragua.
But we can’t continue to do it without you.
Now through December 31st, start a monthly gift to AMOS and your gift will be matched every single month for an entire year! Your sustaining support will ensure we can provide life-saving medications and care to moms and babies, promote emotional healing throughout the current crisis, and bring health and hope to the people we serve.
Not ready to make a monthly gift? Your help is still needed! Make a one-time gift to bring health and hope to vulnerable people in Nicaragua.
We are so grateful for your support, which allows us to work alongside our Health Promoters as they provide essential care to the most vulnerable people in their communities each and every day.
May this holiday season be filled with peace and hope for all!