Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict
  • Social violence
  • Health care exclusion
  • Endemic/epidemic disease

Our work

This is an extract from MSF's 2012 International Activity Report:

Violence is widespread in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, but very few victims seek medical attention, fearful of their aggressors and deterred by the many barriers to accessing health care.

Each week, MSF teams visit more than 20 sites in the capital’s most violent neighborhoods, offering assistance to people who would otherwise be unlikely to receive medical attention.

Victims of violence

Social workers, medical staff and psychologists provide preventive care, first aid and psychological support. Patients in need of further medical and psychological attention are referred to four health centers supported by MSF, where staff ensure that comprehensive treatment is available.

Tegucigalpa University Hospital is the only public hospital in the city with the capacity to treat victims of trauma, and violence-related admissions have doubled over the past five years.

The overwhelming number of people in need of urgent care due to violence poses an enormous burden on an already overstretched medical system, particularly emergency departments. MSF staff hope that treating and documenting the needs of the people they see will encourage the Honduran authorities to recognize the need for a firm commitment to address this issue and implement an appropriate response.

At the end of 2012, MSF had 34 staff in Honduras. MSF began work in the country in 1974.

Patient story

Marco, 30 years old

I left home when I was around 11 years old. I have always lived on the street. One takes refuge on the streets when there’s no other option.

I got into a fight. Both of us were armed, and we exchanged gunfire. We both got injured. And that’s how my foot got injured. The truth is that there is so much meanness here on the streets that a person doesn’t hesitate to harm another. I have seen a lot of my friends die on the streets.

I was taken to the hospital. Many homeless people die at the hospital, because they don’t receive the attention they deserve or aren’t treated in time. After hours of waiting, I called MSF because they always help you out. They took care of me at the hospital. I’m getting better now.

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