Extreme poverty in Honduras impacts community health and emergency medical services
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Honduras is the poorest country in Central America. Unfortunately, the geographic location of the country makes it particularly vulnerable to natural disasters like hurricanes, droughts and floods. Several devastating disasters over the years have drained the Honduran economy and continue to prevent the government from offering adequate health services to the entire population. Over 50% of the Honduran population live below the national poverty line with 35% of the population living on less than $2 per day. In recent months, Honduras has suffered from political turmoil that has resulted in the international community cutting off foreign aid, making it even harder for those in need to receive assistance.
Our work in Honduras
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch ravaged Honduras, creating a tremendous need for international assistance. We responded quickly and worked in partnership with Cadena de Amor to aid the hurricane victims.
Since that time, we have worked to meet the ongoing development needs in Honduras through partnerships with local Honduran agencies. We have:
- Provided health and medical services to more than 30,000 people through PAG's Community Health program.
- Conducted an EMS "Train the Trainers" program in partnership with the Red Cross.
- Sent 198 volunteer teams.
- Shipped 82 containers of humanitarian aid.
- Helped 90,632 Hondurans reduce their vulnerability of contracting HIV and AIDS through PAG's HIV and AIDS prevention and education project.
- Provided dental care for approximately 20,000 children in rural Honduran villages in partnership with Cadena de Amor.
- Carried out an HIV and AIDS education and prevention project to reduce the vulnerability of the youth to HIV in the southern region of Cortes.
Medical Teams International plans to send 23 volunteer teams to Honduras this year. Fourteen of these teams will focus exclusively on building the capacity of health workers in specialty areas, including pediatric and adult cardiology, dermatology, radiology, OB/GYN, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, HIV/AIDS, child nutrition and gastroenterology. The other nine teams will provide medical and dental care for families living in rural communities of the country.
Medical Teams International will also provide financial support to our partner Cadena de Amor. With that funding Cadena de Amor will provide medical and dental outreach to more than 4,000 school age children from rural Honduras.
Youth With a Vision, a project implemented by Medical Teams International and partner, Proyecto Aldea Global, has had a major impact in increasing knowledge and changing behavior regarding HIV. A review of the project has brought into focus the enormous progress that has been made. HIV prevention education has been directly provided to 2,000 students, 881 migrant workers and 749 parents. An additional 1,000 people have been reached through mass media campaigns. Youth With a Vision has also trained 44 non-governmental organization, government and private sector employees on HIV advocacy, legal rights and stigma reduction.
The success of the project is due, in part, to the implementation of three successful strategies to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS and reduce the region’s high prevalence rates by Medical Teams International and Proyecto Aldea Global.
More information on our HIV and AIDS successes in Honduras, please see HIV and AIDS in Honduras 2010 report [PDF].
Our partners in Honduras
Asociación el Buen Pastor (ABP) manages a rural health clinic outside of Catacamas, Olancho, that services approximately 22,000 people annually. Medical Teams International sends specialty training teams to build the capacity of the clinic’s general physicians in key areas like cardiovascular disease, gynecology, radiology and urology. Increasing the knowledge and services available allows the clinic to offer more comprehensive care to the population it serves.
Cadena de Amor (Chain of Love) provides free dental care for children, orphans and people with disabilities. In collaboration with Medical Teams International, Cadena de Amor coordinates free dental clinics throughout the country. They also facilitate and fund trips for children to travel to the United States to receive specialty surgeries not available in Honduras.
PREDISAN is a medical mission located in the city of Catacamas. The organization has a large central clinic, 2 rural clinics and 5 mountain clinics that provide basic medical care and community health services. PREDISAN also administers a drug and alcohol treatment center, a vocational school and rural health care worker training program.
Proyecto Aldea Global (Project Global Village, PAG) has supported integrated community development projects and provided medical care to remote villages in central Honduras since 1984. Their clinic in San Isidro provides community education and health promotion training, as well as, basic medical services to more than 8,400 people. PAG aims to improve crop production, grain storage, water and sanitation, natural resource and micro watershed management, microfinance, education, HIV and AIDS education and nutrition for impoverished Hondurans.
Please donate or volunteer to help save lives in Honduras.