Women are among the worst affected by the country's high levels of instability and violence

An MSF doctor counsels a patient in Choloma, Honduras.
HONDURAS 2017 © Christina Simons/MSF
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This information is excerpted from MSF’s 2017 International Activity Report.

Honduras continues to experience high levels of political, economic and social instability, and has one of the world’s highest rates of violence. Women are among the worst affected by the medical, psychological, and social consequences.

In March 2017, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started working at a mother and child clinic in Choloma, a rapidly expanding industrial city in northern Honduras that is notorious for its high levels of violence. Until MSF opened the project, there were few health care facilities catering for the needs of women in the area. Many pregnant women were not receiving antenatal care and delivery services remained extremely limited. The result was a high rate of medical complications among women of reproductive age.

MSF teams in Choloma provide family planning, ante- and postnatal consultations, assist births, and offer psycho-social support to victims of violence, including victims of sexual violence.

In the capital, Tegucigalpa, MSF continued its servicio prioritario, or priority service, in collaboration with the Honduran Ministry of Health, offering emergency medical and psychological care to victims of violence, including sexual violence. This free, confidential, one-stop service is available at three different places in Tegucigalpa, including at the city’s main hospital.

Medical treatment for rape includes post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV and hepatitis B infections, and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and gonorrhea. In addition, counseling, group therapy, and psychological first aid are available.

In accordance with international protocols, MSF continues to advocate access to comprehensive medical care for victims of sexual violence in Honduras, where emergency contraception is still banned.