Missoula Medical Aid works with rural and impoverished communities in Honduras as they seek to improve health and access to health care.
In many communities in Honduras, the chronic malnutrition rate is almost 40 percent. And when children between the ages of zero and six don’t get enough to eat, they are more vulnerable to illnesses for the rest of their lives.
We partner with Save the Children to fund a nutrition and early stimulation program that feeds a daily good meal to around 130 young children, and pregnant and nursing mothers, in the communities of Chiligatoro and Pueblo Viejo, Intibucá.
The food is grown in a community garden, or purchased in the local market, or donated by other international charities and distributed as part of a Honduran government program. The mothers gather daily to cook in a central kitchen. The parents are taught nutritious recipes and given classes in child stimulation and development. The children are weighed regularly, taught good hygiene, and provided a safe and stimulating preschool. The result of this program is healthier children and thriving communities.
During the course of a year, we provide almost three thousand children with toothbrushes and toothpaste. The children receive instruction in their schools on how and when to brush. They are given calendars to fill in to reinforce the habit. These children are the first generation in their communities to brush regularly, and by partnering with Save the Children and Honduran dental health professionals, our money goes a long way.
We also provide a weekly fluoride treatment program for all school children in the 20 to 30 communities we visit each year. The fluoride is given to the children each week by their classroom teachers.
Each year we send three teams of medical providers to Honduras to give rural and impoverished communities access to basic health care.
We set up day clinics in rural schoolhouses and work alongside our Honduran partners to:
We pay the salary of a Honduran dentist to work three hours a day, five days a week, fifty weeks a year in the La Esperanza Lions Club clinic. The club provides the space, the equipment, and the clinic management.
Because this is a fully functioning dental clinic for low income patients, the government of Honduras places an intern in the clinic as well.
We also help pay the salary and training of a technician to perform eye exams and fit glasses in the eye clinic.
The Lions Club dental and eye clinics see around 2,500 patients a year, people who couldn’t ordinarily afford to go to the dentist or get corrective lenses.
Criteria for selecting recipients of nursing grants:
In October 1998 the most deadly storm to hit the Americas in two centuries, Hurricane Mitch, devastated much of Honduras. The owner and employees of Nightingale Nursing in Missoula, Montana, read about the disaster and went into action-they immediately organized and sent four medical and rebuilding brigades over the course of the next four months. In those first few trips, we began to form relationships with Honduran organizations, relationships that have become partnerships that turn our money and labor into efficient clinics and productive health-improvement projects.
In the world of international aid, we are a small organization. We have just two quarter-time employees, so the great bulk of our work is done by our volunteers and Honduran partners. This means your donation, because it is teamed with thousands of volunteer hours and the facilities, talents, and services of our Honduran partners, goes a long way.
We partner with Save the Children, Honduras, with the regional public hospitals in San Lorenzo and La Esperanza, with the La Esperanza Lions Club, and with various government agencies in Honduras. Our partners drive us, house us, feed us, fill out our paperwork, and do follow-up care for our patients when we are gone.
Watch this beautiful three-part film by Colin Ruggiero which follows one of our teams in Honduras.
January 9-24, 2016
Team # 49
Team Leader: Russ Parsons
Work Site: Orocuina, San Lorenzo, Honduras
Host: Save the Children, Honduras
Desired Applications: team is at capacity
April 16-24, 2016
Team # 50
Team Leader: Andrew Funk
Work Site: La Esperanza, Honduras
Host: Save the Children, Honduras
Desired Applications: MD, PA, NP, Interpreters, Orthopedic Surgical Team Members