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Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies

Intersections Between Health and Politics: the Public Healthcare System in Post-Revolutionary Nicaragua

Rico Chenyek ('11); Héctor M. Cruz Feliciano*; Mentor: Gilda Ochoa
*Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), Managua, Nicaragua

Abstract: In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the corrupt, 43-year Somoza dynasty. During the decade following this triumph, Nicaragua experienced its greatest advancement in healthcare, developing a completely public, nationalized healthcare system that gained international recognition for eliminating polio and decreasing the infant mortality rate and whooping cough, measles and rubella. Three neoliberal governments that maintained privatized healthcare followed this decade. With the 2007 return of president of the Revolution, Daniel Ortega, I evaluate his health policy reform and return to public healthcare through interviews with diverse healthcare providers and observations primarily in a comprehensive primary care health center in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. I explore the U.S.’ unforgettable role in the terrorizing counterrevolution of the 1980s and the maintained neoliberal domination in Nicaragua, the second poorest nation in the Americas (after Haiti), and the implications on preventing Nicaragua’s healthcare system from thriving at its full potential.
Funding provided by The Fletcher Jones Foundation

Research at Pomona