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© 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: 2018

With its long history of political, economic and social instability, Honduras is among the countries in Central America most affected by poverty and insecurity. 

In 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières continued to offer comprehensive care to victims of violence, including sexual violence, in various clinics in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Our teams provide medical treatment for rape, including post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV and hepatitis B infection, and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and gonorrhoea. In addition, counselling, group therapy and psychological first aid are available. 

© Kadir Van Lohuizen/NOOR

 

In June, we opened a health centre in Nueva Capital, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa where many internally displaced people have settled. Our services include primary healthcare, mental health consultations for victims of violence, social support and health promotion. With our community approach, we aim to help people overcome the barriers they face in accessing our service in the city centre. 

In Choloma, in the north of the country, we have a team working at a mother and child clinic, offering family planning, ante- and postnatal consultations, psychosocial support to victims of violence, including victims of sexual violence, as well as assisting deliveries. Health promotion teams visit different sites in this industrial city, such as factories and schools, to raise awareness of the services available in the clinic and to provide information about sexual and reproductive health for adolescents. 

In accordance with international protocols, we continue to advocate access to comprehensive medical care for victims of sexual violence in Honduras, where emergency contraception is still banned.

find out more in our international activity report >

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