MSF team delivering NFI, medical items and COVID-19 PPE donations to Choloma’s shelter. © MSF

MSF in Honduras: Increasing activities to care for people most affect by hurricanes

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing comprehensive medical care to people affected by the recent hurricanes that have battered Honduras. As of November 25, an estimated 89,335 people are in shelters and 399,062 have been evacuated from their homes. Almost a third of the country’s population has been affected by this emergency, most of them in Cortes department.

MSF teams are working in Choloma, in Cortes department, where around half of the health centres remain closed or have been disrupted by Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Over more than 20 days of continuous activities, MSF has provided medical services, psychological care and health promotion activities in shelters and other places reaching around 14,800 people. The medical humanitarian organization has also distributed 545 hygiene kits, COVID-19 prevention kits, and water.

Increasing access to medical care

“The rain continues. Affected communities do not have access to health services due to damage to health facilities or to blocked roads. This emergency poses major challenges for the people of Honduras, for the authorities, and for nongovernmental organizations here,” says Juan Carlos Arteaga, MSF project coordinator in Choloma.

MSF health promotion team assessing needs of people arriving to Choloma’s shelter.MSF

As of November 24, MSF teams have provided 1,234 medical consultations, mainly treating respiratory and skin infections. In addition, MSF has conducted 140 group mental health sessions and 58 individual consultations dealing with issues of grief, loss, stress management, and the prevention of sexual violence. Counsellors take special care to consider the potential risks to and vulnerabilities of individuals who need support.

“We coordinate with other organizations and municipal committees to prioritize assistance and not duplicate efforts. Since day one of the emergency, MSF has been working to reach the communities that need help the most, especially in areas where no one has yet arrived with any kind of medical or mental health assistance,” Arteaga adds.