Bruce Helps Nicaraguan Women Understand Importance of Health Care

Maggie Bruce recently spent a week researching teen pregnancy in rural Nicaragua and learning the importance of educating females there about health care.

Bruce, who is working toward earning a master’s degree in social work at Radford University, spent a week in January interviewing numerous young women and health care providers in Nicaragua, where the pregnancy rate is highest among all Central American countries, she said.

Maggie Bruce in Nicaragua

MSW candidate Maggie Bruce in Nicarargua

Bruce learned that a fear of cancer has led many Nicaraguan women to stop using birth control. “They are attributing the rise in cancer to the use of birth control, and therefore are stopping safe sex practices,” she said.

Through her study, Bruce said she learned the importance of helping Nicaraguan woman understand the “consequences of one’s actions,” particularly in an area of the world with limited health care access.

A desire to help others led Bruce to Nicaragua and fuels her passion for international social work. “It was important to travel abroad so that as a social worker, I am able to help others understand the reasoning behind this current social issue,” she said.

Bruce’s work didn’t end when she departed from Nicaragua. She is co-authoring a textbook chapter that she said will “help other social workers become educated in the factors that have so strongly shaped the young women in Nicaragua.”

Feb 24, 2011
Chad Osborne