Photo Courtesy of Jade Heverly-Campbell
This past summer, the UTSA chapter of Global Brigades, a student-led global health and sustainable development organization, travelled to Honduras to treat local citizens in need of medical services. Thirty-six pre-medical and pre-dental students, two U.S. physicians and five physicians from Honduras comprised the medical team responsible for providing care.
The trip, which lasted from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25 provided care to over 750 Hondurans. The trip was centered around the three rural communities of La Cienega, Silisgualagua and Liquidambos where the average income ranges from $18 to $29 per person.
The average profession for those living in rural Honduras is agriculture. A combination of low income and distance from medical facilities makes it difficult for the average citizen to access healthcare. Over 80 percent of rural Honduran women had little to no knowledge about reproductive care or family planning.
The UTSA Global Brigade traveled over two to three hours on dirt roads to reach many of these communities. Once there, they were able to provide basic medical, dental and pharmaceutical care– even offering gynecological services for women of reproductive age.
Along with basic medical services, the medical team also provided health education about simple habits such as brushing teeth and washing hands, as well as more serious issues related to sexual health. Sessions were held in 15 to 20 increments and were available to a majority of the adults visitied by the UTSA team. After each session, condoms were also provided to adult men in the hope of reducing unwanted pregnancies and mitigating the spread of common sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Jade Heverly Campbell, president of the UTSA Global Brigades chapter, believes that there was a mutual appreciation between the Honduran recipients of medical aid and the medical team that visited Honduras. “It is our hope that we as students were able to empower those we met to an extent equal to the empowerment they instilled in us.”