UW Radiologists Visit Nicaragua, Establish Ultrasound Program For Those In Need

Posted on September 2013

For five days from August 27 to 31, Drs. Gillian Battino and Mark Kliewer and Radiology Manager Dana Walker will find themselves in a very different clinical setting as they traveled to Managua, Nicaragua to do preliminary research on establishing an ultrasound program for Nicaraguans living in poverty.

Battino, Kliewer and Walker are working as part of UW’s chapter of the worldwide organization RAD-AID to pair with a non-profit Nicaraguan organization, Amos Health and Hope, to complete a radiology readiness assessment in the Latin American country. Contingent upon a positive assessment, they hope to provide ultrasound equipment as well as education to Nicaraguan radiologists on its use and maintenance.

“I think we’re stepping in at a perfect place, because I believe the infrastructure is already there for a successful program,” Battino said. Battino already has previous experience working in the country, as she spent part of 2 summers as part of CEPAD, a Nicaraguan NGO that has worked on issues such as food security, education and environmental concerns.

“Sustainability has become an important word in global medicine,” Battino said. “The goal is not to just drop a piece of equipment down there. We have to review everything, like do they have access to a continuous power source, equipment disinfectant, and appropriate educational background? At UW Radiology, we have expertise in every type of imaging modality and in education and that is what we can share with them.”

In addition to the radiology readiness assessment, the UW radiologists plan on presenting lectures on body and breast ultrasound and ultrasound technique for local radiology residents. Battino also said they hope to lay the foundations for a continued exchange program so UW residents, fellows and staff can continue to support the ultrasound program, share global outreach in radiology with trainees and serve those in need.

“It’s going to be an exhausting, wonderful, and productive trip,” Battino said.