Lack of clean water and access to healthcare are problems associated with a multitude of health issues. We have increased healthcare access for 5,146 patients over the past 5 years on our medical brigades to small, rural villages near Nuevo Paraiso, Honduras. We currently provide medication and related devices to aid in a variety of health issues. We need help buying life-saving medicine. We also bring water filters to curb increased rates of water-borne illness, hypertension, and diabetes.
Clean water is a significant problem in Honduras: over 630,000 people lack access to clean water. Similarly, lack of healthcare access creates a cycle of social immobility and oppression for the Hondurans. In Valle Arriba alone in 2015, 15.4% of our patients were diagnosed with intestinal parasites, 18.6% were diagnosed with acid-reflux issues, 32.0% were diagnosed with respiratory issues, and 37.2% had cold like symptoms. These issues are preventable with clean water and healthcare access.
After our patients see an attending physician, they go to our pharmacy for our medication and related health care devices. Each household will receive a water filter system when they receive their prescriptions, after which they will learn about how to setup, use, and maintain their filter. During this time, we will also discuss the direct benefits of using the filter. We will be returning each year, providing patients with a supply of medications to help annually, as done for the past 7 years.
Our medical brigades have been working for seven years to improve public health in small, rural Honduran villages. It is our firm belief, supported by the data we collect via health surveys, that clean water will tangibly impact the lives of those living in Honduras. Particularly, water filters are designed to not only meet the immediate water needs of a household but last for 10 years. Our long term goal is to improve public health in Valle Arriba by reducing nonchronic and chronic illness.