Chelsea Roberts, PA
Chelsea Roberts, PA
Pediatrics · Portland, OR

Chelsea's Nicaragua Medical Mission

October 22nd

Project Description

I will be traveling with International Medical Relief to provide medical relief and health education to the vulnerable and isolated indigenous Rama tribe in Nicaragua in the Rio Indio rainforest. As a pediatric PA, there will be many ways I will be able to help the large population of children that typically wouldn't receive any healthcare or health education. The services we will be providing include community health training, medical treatments, medical supplies and equipment, and clinic operations. IMR strives to provide life-changing medical care to people who do not have reliable access to treatment and help increase the communities education and knowledge on their own health to improve the overall health of the most remote and underserved communities in Nicaragua.

Population Served

The Rama tribe live on the Rio Indio in Nicaragua, in a remote area of the rainforest where healthcare is not available. Many of the Rama who attend clinic will have paddled up to 10 hours up-river to reach our medical team. While treating patients, we will learn about their daily struggle to protect their indigenous culture and the surrounding rainforest.

Expected Impact

Many of the patients will have conditions that are easily treatable with education and modern medicine. I expect being able to treat these medical ailments for them will fill me with pride and help renew my love of medicine and helping others. After 14+ years working in medicine, it is easy to get burnt out, overworked, and a bit jaded at times. Being able to help a population that truly needs my help will be incredibly rewarding, and help refresh my perspective, so that upon my return I will be able to meet my patients and their families with a renewed spirit and provide better patient care with increased compassion and insight.

Trip Photos & Recap

While originally I was set to go to Nicaragua, I ended up being rerouted to Honduras, where we were able to treat nearly 500 patients in 4 days. I provided well child check to many children that had never had a check up, and treated many dental infections and common acute pediatric conditions (AOM, coughs and fevers, skin conditions and much more). We were able to provide toothbrushes and dental care education to each patient (children and adults), and every child receive fluoride varnish and multivitamins. Most of the patients in the community have very little access to medical care, so we’re incredibly grateful for our help.