Even though Honduras has a socialized form of medicine that in theory provides access to quality health care for all; the reality is something quite different. As a result, the poor of Honduras often suffer, and in some cases even die from diseases that in a first-world setting aren’t considered serious. Another casualty of Honduras’ socialized medicine is that often the poor, when they do receive medical attention, are treated with indifference or even disdain. This lack of quality medical attention involving no medicines or supplies coupled with the medical professionals, lack of personal care and concern for the individual are most likely the result of a broken and over-taxed social system. Realizing that the poor people in the rural communities were in great need MUR responded by organizing visiting medical brigades. When MUR goes into a village and provides a doctor’s consult along with any medicines prescribed all for free the impact on the community is very positive. Not only does it sometimes save lives but it sews seeds of hope as well.
Through village brigade medical campaigns MUR became familiar with the Staff and Administration at the Public Hospital in Gracias, Lempira just 25 miles south of Santa Rosa de Copán. This is a small regional hospital that is the primary health provider for a large geographical area made up of small rural communities widely dispersed around the region. Typically, a non-emergency surgery at this hospital will require that a patient wait for 5 to 6 months or longer. However, that statistic really masks an even larger and longer waiting list because typical practices, due to scarcity of resources, like treating gallbladder infections with antibiotics when the indicated medical intervention is surgery; serve to keep people waiting much longer than is warranted. MUR presently brings two surgery teams per year to this hospital and typically operates on between 30 and 60 patients in each week long brigade. This serves to help the Hospital reduce its backlog, waiting list and at the same time actually changes the lives of those who receive surgery. A man who can’t raise his arm because of a torn shoulder cannot support his family because he cannot work. After an MUR orthopedic surgery team operates on him, he can go back to work and his life is literally transformed.
After seeing the impact that our surgery mission teams have had on a significant but small number of the population, we began dreaming of having our own surgery center where we can both increase the number of surgeries performed and also improve the quality and the type of surgeries performed by our teams. Our vision is to build a surgery center along with dormitories for the visiting groups and increase our number of teams to one per month. We have hired an Architect to draw concept drawings and renderings so that we could price out the construction and operation of the surgery center. We are presently seeking a family that has the means and desire to make a substantial, legacy donation in order to fund the construction and startup of our clinic.