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Nicaragua: child deaths down 30%

In the 19705 Nicaragua had one of the highest levels of infant mortality in Latin America. Diarrhoea was one of the chief killers of infants and children, followed by respiratory infections, tetanus, measles, malaria and whooping cough.

After the change of government in 1979 a comprehensive primary health care system was begun. In four years, the number of health posts and health centres was trebled, and over 80% of the population now has access to free primary health care.

Nicaragua's focus on primary health care is having a measurable national impact. No polio has been registered since 1981 . Since 1978 the infant mortality rate has fallen by one third, from 121 to 80 per 1000 live births one of the most dramatic improvements in child survival in the developing world.

But these achievements are under threat. The US backed contras have murdered over 100 health workers and blown up many health centres. Thousands of Nicaraguans have been disabled by the war.

The United States aggression against Nicaragua has been declared illegal by the United Nations International Court of Justice, Yet Reagan wants the US Congress to give a further $270 million to the contras.

Scottish Medical Aid for Nicaragua is part of the international effort to support Nicaragua in its struggle to survive.

La Dalia Health Centre Project

La Dalia is one of the areas in northern Nicaragua where people have suffered most from the war. Many are refugees forced by contra attacks to flee from their homes. Every day the health workers in La Dalia struggle to cope with the hundreds of people that come to the health centre which is little more than a wooden hut. They are dedicated and enthusiastic but the overcrowded conditions make it impossible to work effectively.

Scottish Medical Aid for Nicaragua is campaigning to raise £70,000 to build a new health centre in La Dalia and to provide transport for the health workers to visit the rural communities. This will help improve health care for over 50,000 people.

We need your help to reach our target. With co-funding from the EEC every £1 you give is effectively doubled. S.M.A.N. completed a similar project last year in Belen in the south of Nicaragua which now now has a new, well-equipped health centre.

La Dalia needs one too!

We know we can do It. Why not give us your support?

Gil/fan Brear, Secretary, Scott/sh Med/ca/ Aid for Nicaragua, 7 Orm/ston Avenue, GLASGOW G 74 QDT

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