The NICHED Foundation is based on the three pillars: Education and Training, and Infrastructural Improvements, and donating equipment supported by proper maintenance contracts. The sole purpose of the activities is to help to improve the level of Diagnostic Care in Nicaragua and more specifically for the people in northwest Nicaragua who need this the most. It is important to stress the fact that NICHED has no political, race or colour or religious preference and is solely focussed on assuring that the donations in which ever form will be used for giving the best possible care to people who are in need.
Niched`s approach is based on the guideline “ Operational Framework for Essential Diagnostic Imaging “, published by the WHO (World Health Organization), which states that 80%–90% of the diagnostic needs can be solved by applying basic Xray and basic Ultrasound.
In the same guideline it is stated that Education adapted to the Local needs is the key to success, and that most improvements can be achieved by exchanging old and inadequate imaging equipment, also for improving substantially the Quality and Safety of the procedures for the sake of the patient and the healthcare worker.
In four years time , what started as a small initiative in two hospitals in Chinandega, grew to an activity where Niched has been able to improve the basic care in ten hospitals, and renovate seventeen diagnostic rooms.
Meanwhile we have been able to find other donators besides Philips Healthcare, and therefor have been able to continue our work in Nicaragua.
Education and Training
To improve the outcome of today’s diagnostic practice, and to improve reliable and safe operation of diagnostic equipment, basic training is needed, adapted to the local needs. This training concerns training for medical doctors, lab technician, and technical engineers.
In parallel, a fundamental transition is done to move from analogue to Digital Imaging and Filmprocessing. This transition will bring better image quality, less film development time and higher patient throughput, and eventually financial savings.
Equipment and Maintenance
Based on the needs of the delivered care, the required equipment should be selected and prepared for installation, respecting the local circumstances. Appointment of a Guardian Angel of the equipment, supported by proper service contract, to secure preventive and corrective maintenance, are key to assure proper functioning and long life of the equipment.