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MSF in Honduras, 2012
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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 healthcare. Each week, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (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. 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.
Marco, 30 years old
I left home when I was around 11 years old. I have always lived on the street.
For more on MSF’s inner-city programs, including Tegucigalpa, visit the Urban Survivors website: www.urbansurvivors.org
At the end of 2012 MSF had 34 staff in Honduras. MSF has been working in the country since 1974.