Jenny Hall spent a month working in a hospital in Honduras. She tells of her experiences working in a poorly funded health service and the great hospitality that she received
- By: Jenny Hall
Until about three months ago I would have had trouble finding Honduras on a map, so I had no idea what to expect during my summer there. Honduras--the “knee” of Central America--is probably most widely known because of the devastation left by Hurricane Mitch in October 1998. It's the third poorest country in Central America with 53% of the population living below the poverty line.1
Infectious diseases are rampant owing to dirty water, bad hygiene, poor education, and crowded living conditions; this is compounded by poor health practices, even by healthcare professionals. I saw only one sharps box in the hospital, and I'm sure I was the only one using it--everyone else dropped needles on the floor.
People have to pay for health care in Honduras, and hospitals are basic. I spent four weeks living in Danli, an agricultural town in the south. I worked in the Gabriela Alvarado Hospital,