Medical/Dental

 

 

Nurse Rosa in ACTS clinicMedical care through La Clinica Joyce Baker

The medical clinic in El Rosario, La Clinica Joyce Baker, is at the heart of medical care in all of the villages served by ACTS.  The clinic is named after an American physician who worked in San Pedro Sula and brought ACTS to El Rosario. Early ACTS teams worked with their Honduran partners to develop a small, secure compound to include the clinic building, a bunkhouse with dining area, a cookhouse and a latrine. The Clinic building houses a reception area, two exam rooms, a treatment room and a pharmacy. The clinic is staffed by a locally trained nurse who lives in the community. Services include physical exams, treatment of acute illnesses and injuries, minor surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, counseling, dental care, overnight observation and even obstetrical deliveries. The Clinic is administered by a local Clinic Committee which sets fees and policies.  The Clinic, which receives no government support, derives income from the sale of pharmaceuticals, modest fees for service, and the sale of corn. ACTS subsidizes the purchase of medicines, a portion of the nurse’s salary and a helping fund for patients who can’t pay.

The Clinic serves the medical needs of the residents of El Rosario and approximately ten surrounding villages.  ACTS teams provide consultation to the nurse, and conduct outreach clinics in the more remote communities.  As the health of the population has improved the Clinic is involved more and more with chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.  Public education efforts emphasize the importance of good nutrition, proper ergonomics, family planning, dental hygiene, cancer screening, eye care and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases.

Hospital Care

Hospital Manuel de Jesus Subirana is located in the small city of Yoro, approximately a one hour drive by vehicle from El Rosario. The roads are sometimes made impassable by rain and washouts for extended periods. Patients may be referred to Yoro for serious illnesses, trauma and deliveries when conditions permit. The hospital is drastically underfunded, under equipped and understaffed. ACTS  provides the hospital with small equipment items, medications and disposables, but our ability to respond to their needs is limited by budget and our capacity to transport items.

AmputeeIndividuals with Special Needs

Most of ACTS projects are focused at the community or regional level. However, there are individuals with special needs who have been or are being assisted by ACTS with direct individual intervention. A few examples: Carlos was illiterate and unable to walk as a consequence of childhood polio. ACTS helped him to become independent. He can now read and travel by horseback with a customized saddle. Gloria, born with severely malformed limbs, with the help of ACTS and Honduran doctors is undergoing a series of surgeries to correct these deformities. At the same time, ACTS is helping her prepare for school with a nutrition program and pre-K teaching assistance provided by a Honduran caregiver. Lilian, a paraplegic as a consequence of gun violence, was unable to use her legs. ACTS was able to engineer a customized sewing machine. She can now sew and is moving towards financial independence.

Volunteer Jonah Ruddy with patient

Dental

A few years ago, the people of El Rosario stated that their highest priority was to improve the dental health of the community, particularly that of their children.  Over the years, teams of dentists had made visits to El Rosario, working out of the medical clinic and hiking and driving to more remote sites, to extract teeth and treat acute pain and dental infections, and to conduct education sessions to teach proper dental hygiene.   They recognized the enormity of the decay and acute needs, but were unable to provide significant restorative dental care.  It was clear that a more aggressive prevention program and a more consistent professional dental presence in the community had become essential.  ACTS set out to address this need on an incremental basis.

Starting in 2013, for the first time, dental hygienists and Honduran dentists joined ACTS teams, immeasurably helping us to educate the patients and to understand more fully the available resources for dental care in Honduras.  The teams cleaned, surveyed and varnished the teeth of hundreds of children and provided education in dental self-care, using age-appropriate videos and demonstrations. Hundreds of toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste were distributed.

A huge advancement came in early 2016, with the opening of the El Rosario Smile Clinic – a dental clinic attached to the medical clinic. Donations from foundations supported its construction and equipment. Dr. Bob Keene joined the ACTS leadership and working with the El Rosario Clinic Committee, coordinated the completion and equipping of the Smile Clinic, the hiring of our Honduran dentist, Dr. Luis Romero, and the establishment of El Rosario’s very own dental program, which includes dental hygiene in the schools. This has been a major undertaking and ACTS is grateful to the many US and Honduran partners who have helped bring the Smile Clinic to fruition.


 

Photo Gallery: MEDICAL/DENTAL