Thursday, January 17, 2013

VCU GH2DP Honduras Trip: Final Update

Scouting out potential clinic sites
in Lomitas 
Good morning from Olanchito! Here are some additional thoughts from yesterday's activities.

Yesterday we traveled from La Hicaca to Lomitas. Lomitas is an even more remote mountainous village that is also accessible by truck.

We met with local community leaders in Lomitas and learned that this area is significantly more accessible to approximately half of the people in this region (than La Hicaca). Based on our prior experiences in this area (we held clinics at Lomitas in 2009-2011), we estimate we may have a 20% increase in patients during our next relief mission if we set up clinics in both La Hicaca and Lomitas.

We were able to scout out potential clinic sites and committed to holding several days of clinic in Lomitas during our May-June trip.

Overall this has been a highly successful trip. We were able to share information with the local Ministry of Health and community leaders, and hear from them how we can better support their efforts to improve the health of people in this area.

One of our future clinic sites, Lomitas
Our goals are to expand our water filter program to cover every home across the 17 villages we serve, to make our clinical services more accessible, and to follow-up on last year's indoor air pollution survey with an educational campaign. Additionally, as Chagas disease was identified as a major health issue in the area we will push forward with a survey project designed to assess people's knowledge about the disease in the region. Lots of work to do before the end of May, but we leave with renewed energy and purpose.

River in Lomitas; our prior research identified that a large
portion of the population here obtains their drinking water
directly from this river, which, although beautiful,  is
contaminated with animal waste
Today we travel back to San Pedro Sula and, tomorrow, back to the US.

You can learn more about the VCU Global Health and Health Disparities Program (GH2DP) and our work in Honduras here.

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