Pre-natal nutrition program

Clínica Verde operates a prototype of a sustainably designed outpatient health clinic in Nicaragua to be replicated in areas of need.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Clinica Verde

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water

Headquarters location: Country

  • United States of America

Headquarters location: City

Angwin, CA

Location(s) of impact

Nicaragua: Boaco


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Roughly 55% of women in rural Nicaragua still give birth at home and infant mortality remains high in the country’s poorest regions. Maternal outcomes are worse for the rural poor, who have difficulty accessing health facilities and have higher fertility rates. In addition to poor pre- and postnatal health outcomes, more than 29% of children in Nicaragua suffer some degree of under-nutrition. Malnourishment is a greater problem in rural areas, where 37% of children are undernourished.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The Prenatal nutrition program has the potential to radically transform reproductive, maternal and child health in Nicaragua by starting at the most upstream point – when women are pregnant – and giving mothers the education, tools and support to ensure healthy outcomes for their children. Our program is built on evidence indicating that if expectant mothers are provided a supportive, caring community and a curriculum that provides interactive health and nutrition education, short- and long-term outcomes for mothers and their children will improve, thereby transforming the health of the community. Using interactive lessons to deliver a socio-behavioral change curriculum and regular antenatal checkups, our program teaches pregnant mothers about stages of fetal development, ways to care for their child in the womb, the importance of breastfeeding, and how to improve nutrition during the antenatal and postnatal periods and the first five years of their children’s lives.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Our solution to rural health care was based on engaging with communities to understand patients’ health needs, to understand the living conditions and to identify problems that needed treatment. Since opening its doors in 2012, Clínica Verde has served more than 56,775 patients. We have conducted over 3,100 prenatal check-ups and nearly 6,320 growth and development consults for children under-five. Through our TeenSmart and charlas programs, over 8,100 individuals have received preventive health education. In 2015, Clínica Verde began community health outreach through rural site visits and has served over 3,900 rural patients in the surrounding Boaco region. Our program also addresses gender equality directly and indirectly. We provide poor rural, often single and teenage mothers, the knowledge and tools to make healthy decisions. Our programs also foster pride in pregnancy and create a supportive community of mothers which can help women to lead healthy and productive lives.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

We provide high-quality care to the poorest of the poor at a discounted rate, and provide free services and consults to those with an inability to pay. We also often absorb the costs of transportation for patients who, for example, can’t travel to the public inpatient hospital or return home unassisted. Our clinic is managed and operated by an entirely local staff in Nicaragua who is devoted to our mission and long-term vision. Clinica Verde aims to increase foundation support and corporate support over the next five years. We also aim to increase earned income and financial sustainability. The long-term goal is to make the Clinica Verde health hub in Nicaragua fully sustainable through local revenue, which we believe is achievable.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

From its inception, we sought the input of our users to help us design and think through the strategy and the interventions of the organization. To deepen empathy we traveled the journey of a patient from her rural home in the hills to Clinica Verde, to better understand what points along that journey created friction. These assessments allowed us to create a sustainable design that both addressed the needs of the community and our aspiration of being “place for health.”

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

In 2006, Susan was trying to figure out what to do with her life. She had left her job, moved to another coast and was asking herself “Who was she?” She heard about a group of people going to Nicaragua to work on a housing project for an impoverished village. She knew she had to go. When she arrived in Nicaragua, she toured a local hospital and was struck by the deplorable conditions. Someone asked if they could help. It was that simple. Yes. Absolutely. She partnered with other amazing women in Nicaragua who knew the health system better and rest is history. It took them 4 years to raise the money, design, build and open Clinica Verde. She created a place for health that was nothing like the hospital where barefoot teenage girls waited outside to hear the fate of their premature babies. She created a place where people WANT to go – a clinic that was clean, well-supplied, and sustainable

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Joseph Brenyah

The work being done is highly commendable but on account of the settings in which it is being operated, there must be more ingenious ways to sustain the project beyond grants. Keep up with the good work.