Helping to improve healthcare in Nicaragua

MANAGUA – Nicaragua’s biggest hospital is being built in the capital to improve medical services for the local population.

The Alejandro Dávila Bolaños Military Hospital will occupy an area of 47,000 square metres, with space for more than 400 beds, 66 consultation areas, as well as high-tech medical equipment.

The $83 million project is being executed by the Cuerpo Médico Militar on behalf of the Government of Nicaragua and has generated more than 900 jobs for local people so far. In an example of South-South cooperation, the Government of Mexico has provided 80 percent of the funding through a loan via the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.

UNOPS role includes providing project management expertise and advisory services for the hospital’s construction, as well as managing the procurement of the necessary equipment. In addition, UNOPS has helped develop a system that supports the day-to-day administration and technical management of the new hospital.

Once complete, the new hospital will be twice the size of the facility it is replacing.

Ensuring long-term use

UNOPS experts in equipment and hospital management ran a training session to teach senior administrative and finance personnel how to use the new management system, which aims to inspire change in the current organizational culture.

The training was intended to better equip managers with the right information for decision making, not only in terms of planning and management of the new hospital, but also to help solve gaps in financial statements of the existing hospital.

In addition, UNOPS has also helped organize training for doctors and nurses on how to use the new medical equipment, which is being provided under a lease agreement with various medical manufacturers.

Environmental and disaster risk reduction features

There are plans for the new building to incorporate a number of sustainability features such as a water treatment plant so water can be reused for irrigation purposes. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization is also supporting the project and aims to provide solar panels for water heating.

As the hospital is being built in an area vulnerable to earthquakes, the facility will comply with strict anti-seismic standards, demonstrating best practice in disaster risk reduction.

The Pan American Health Organization is supporting the project by providing disaster risk reduction training for hospital staff.

The hospital will be open to the general public, military personnel, as well as for medical training purposes. Departments will include intensive care, paediatric and neonatal, gynaecology, operating rooms, emergency, clinical laboratory and an outpatient clinic.

 The construction work, which is being carried out by a consortium of Nicaraguan and Mexican contractors, is scheduled for completion in July 2015.