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MSF in Honduras, 2008
Field Staff: 46
Reason for Intervention:
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Homeless young people living on the streets of the capital city, Tegucigalpa, are vulnerable. They live in precarious circumstances and barely have access to medical care. They are the first target of violence in an already volatile environment. Last year, more than 500 street people under the age of 24 were murdered in Tegucigalpa.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides medical and psychological treatment and social care in a therapeutic daycare center that opened its doors to the homeless in 2005. In 2008 more than 370 street youngsters came to the center, which is situated in Comayaguela, a deprived district in the capital.
MSF provided medical treatment for 310 people in 2008. Most were suffering from respiratory infections, skin diseases, dental problems, injuries resulting from violence, and HIV/AIDS.
MSF also coordinated a vaccination service for visitors to the center. Visitors receive hepatitis B and tetanus vaccinations among others.
MSF psychologists help young people cope with street life, fear, and drug abuse. Teams have also set up a medical and psychological referral system for patients who cannot be treated in the daycare center. Such patients were referred to the psychiatric hospital due to depression, suicidal behavior, psychotic episodes, or alcohol abstinence syndrome.
MSF has worked in Honduras since 1988.