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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Community pharmacies play a vital role in providing healthcare to vulnerable rural Hondurans

Community pharmacist with some of the children who have benefited from medicines and medical supplies.
With nearly seventy percent of its population living in poverty, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Many Hondurans live in remote rural regions, working the land to earn income. Despite their efforts, they are unable to earn enough income to pay for basic services, such as healthcare.

Healthcare services, especially in remote regions of Honduras, are scarce, unreliable, and often unaffordable. There is a national health system in place, but the country’s resources are too limited to provide adequate services to the entire population of nine million people.

Many Hondurans are neglected and vulnerable to even the simplest health concerns.

Families, especially in rural regions, do not receive even the most basic medical care. Unaffordable and inconsistent transportation makes the long journey to a health facility nearly impossible. Add to this the high cost of medical treatment, and families have no choice but to forgo the care they need.

Individuals often suffer needlessly from common and easily treatable ailments such as fever, pre-and-post natal discomfort, malaria, infections, headaches, coughs, colds, and diarrhea. While the latter is little more than an inconvenience in North America, in Honduras it often proves fatal if left untreated. While poor families may try every means possible to reach health facilities and receive medical treatment, often it is too late.

Community pharmacies offer a locally managed solution to the challenge of providing healthcare in rural Honduras.

By providing medicines and medical supplies to support existing health facilities in Honduras, HOPE International Development Agency is helping address a chronic lack of medical care in the country. A local partner runs an extensive medical program across the country and distributes these items to many different health facilities, including more than five hundred small community pharmacies that are often located where no other health facility exists.

The community pharmacies provide healthcare to many individuals living in remote regions and are responsible for helping treat more than seventy percent of all local ailments. Watch for next week’s post to learn more about the vital role that community pharmacies play in rural areas of Honduras.