Since 2007, the Nicaraguan government has implemented a health care strategy called MOSAFC, Modelo de Salud Familiar y Comunitario (Family and Community Health Care Model). This provides the population with free health cover and access. The emphasis is on health promotion and preventing ill health.

MOSAFC has increased the supply of health services and reduced access barriers. Between 2006 and 2013:

  • health expenditure rose by 41 per cent
  • the number of doctors in the public sector grew from 2182 to 4659
  • the number of nurses grew from 4329 to 7271
  • primary health care consultations rose from 8.5 million to 16.7 million

Millennial Development Goals

Nicaragua is on track to achieve some of its health-related Millennial Development Goals (all figures compare 1990-95 and 2010-15):

  • under-five mortality has fallen from 59.8 per 1000 to 23.6 per 1000
  • infant mortality has fallen from 46.2 per 1000 live births to 20 per 1000
  • incidence of tuberculosis has fallen from 108 per 100,000 people to 38 per 100,000

However other goals have seen less progress:

  • maternal mortality has fallen from 196 per 100,000 live births to 156 per 100,000 (the country has a target of 42.5 per 100,000)
  • prevalence of HIV in the 15-24 age group has risen from 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent (the goal is to reverse the trend)

Nicaragua faces a triple burden of disease - infectious diseases, chronic diseases and external causes.

Current development objectives include strengthening quality and access to health services, adapting the public health system to deal with the country's changing healthcare needs and securing financial support to deal with public health alert and emergencies.