Auka, Honduras Benefits from MEDICO Clinical Team – 2024

Auka 2024 Team

In February, a MEDICO medical-dental-eyecare field team returned to Auka, a remote community in eastern Honduras. This was our fourth year working with the people of Auka, a community accessed by a difficult 5-hour trip by 4WD vehicle.

Other than their community nurse, who has little medication or equipment, MEDICO provides the only health care available to the people in this area. Before MEDICO came, the remote location and difficult access to this area meant the people in Auka faced hours and hours of walking to reach even basic care.

This MEDICO team was a truly collaborative effort of US and Honduran doctors, dentists, and nurses. This is an exciting prospect for us. The US providers bring a broad background of technical skills. The Honduran providers have the local knowledge and appreciation of the conditions. Each has skills to teach the other, resulting in better overall health care for the community.

The MEDICO team reports important observations that may impact healthcare by public health workers from Honduras. For the first time, our doctors noted a significant number of children showing signs of malnutrition. A review of the complaints also showed a higher percentage of gastrointestinal illnesses than found in comparable communities MEDICO serves on the coast. Contributing factors could be that inland communities like Auka tend to rely more on surface water sources, which are often contaminated, whereas communities on the coast use more wells to draw drinking water.

The people living around Auka have suffered several crop failures after unusually severe rainy seasons, causing food insecurity in certain areas. MEDICO’s work here becomes even more critical.

Another MEDICO field team is returning from working in Uhi, Honduras, on the far east coast. Next month, a team will be in Pranza, an inland community closer to Auka. We will be watching closely to see if these public health trends are the same.

Many thanks to House of Hope, a school and orphanage in Puerto Lempira, for their logistical assistance and for housing the MEDICO team during their night in town upon their return from Auka.

Thank you to the hard-working volunteers and local Honduran healthcare staff and translators who joined this team to make a real difference. A very special thanks to each of you whose support makes this work possible.

MEDICAL . . . . . 606

DENTAL . . . . . . 185




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