© Christina Simons/MSF

Honduras

Honduras continues to experience high levels of political, economic and social instability, and has one the world’s highest rates of violence.

A republic in Central America, Honduras – home to 9 million people - became independent from Spanish rule in 1821.

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country with at least 5,000 people killed and 70 percent of the country's crops destroyed.

The damage was estimated at US$3 billion. The Honduran President at the time said 50 years of progress had been reversed.

Honduran society is rife with economic inequality. Malnutrition, poor housing and infant diseases are widespread.

It is also has one of the most dangerous cities in the world – the murder rate in San Pedro Sula is 51 people per 100,000 per year. Yet, the medical consequences of violence are not considered as a public health emergency. 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first worked in Honduras in 1974. In fact, our response to Hurricane Fifi-Orlene was our first long-term medical mission.  

Our work in the country has since provided a response to armed conflict, social violence, healthcare exclusion and endemic/epidemic diseases.

 

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MSF's work in Honduras: 2019

The long-running Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programme in Honduras focuses on assisting victims of violence. This year we also responded to a dengue fever outbreak in the north. 

In 2019, MSF continued to deliver comprehensive care to victims of violence, including sexual violence, in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Our teams provide medical treatment for rape, including postexposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV and hepatitis B infection, and treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. Counselling, group therapy and psychological first aid are also available.

Another team at a mother and child clinic in Choloma assists births and offers family planning, ante- and postnatal consultations and psychological support to victims of violence, including sexual violence. Health promotion teams in this industrial city visit sites such as factories and schools to raise awareness of the clinic’s services and provide information about sexual and reproductive health for adolescents.

© Kadir Van Lohuizen/NOOR

 

We continue to advocate access to comprehensive medical care for victims of sexual violence in Honduras, where emergency contraception is still banned. During eight months in 2019, we responded to a dengue fever emergency in the north, mainly in Cortés department. In February, we deployed a team to support the paediatric dengue unit at the Mario Catarino Rivas national hospital in San Pedro Sula city. 

Between February and April, as the number of cases kept growing, we triaged patients with a fever and fast-tracked them to the dengue unit. We also deployed staff to four general healthcare centres in Choloma, to take care of patients who did not need to be admitted to hospital.

find out more in our international activity report >

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