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Dr. Benner and Sagastume met with the Director of Santa Barbara Hospital in Honduras. Their hands clasped old, bulky suit cases as did the hands of each team member that made this trek. Inside, each was packed to the brim was medication – antibiotics, provided by Teva Pharmaceuticals. This was the deal: We give you meds. You give us information – accurate information.
These two doctors direct the grass roots NGO, MAMA Project. The Honduras branch has been seeking to provide medical care (Not better care, but just care, in general, because in a lifetime some Hondurans may never see a health care professional.) to the remote towns in this economically poor, socially rich country. They needed to get information about the needs of the people in the area to provide the most effective treatment for the surrounding towns. The recently couped and often corrupt government wasn’t going to help. Who would know better than the local medical establishment? The meeting was successful. A relationship was formed and MAMA could soon start targeting the towns with medical brigades.
The Director of the Hospital gave us a tour. The government had all but abandoned them, leaving the doctors and patients to fend for themselves. Meds and supplies were scarce. I witnessed, as a conscious man (pictured above) lay on a table with a broken femur on nothing but Demerol. His family had left his side to search for the necessary medical supplies to mend his leg and for the money to pay for those supplies. The doctors thought maybe they might locate these items by Monday. It was Friday. Another man begged in the hallways for money to purchase Anesthesia. The Hospital had none of these items. This is what happens when you have the knowledge of doctors, the rooms, but no supplies, no government assistance, corrupt individuals and a people with little resource to prevent them from ending up here. It’s a cycle.
MAMA is taking baby steps to end it by providing what supplies they can; (Who do you think gets our “trash” – perfectly good supplies – when our hospital equipment is outdated? That’s right.) including equipment and medications. In turn Honduran hospitals can help prevent the cycle by providing MAMA with information about the health status of surrounding communities. It’s a start. If you want to help. Click on the MAMA link at the beginning of this article, read-up and click the donate button to the right and middle of the page, or join them. Go to Honduras and experience it yourself.