Programs - Health Care Collaborative
How we provide medical care
We focus not only on the health of individuals, but also the health of a community. Our healthcare programs treat all community members, but especially focus on preventative health and our most vulnerable populations, including children, women, and “viejitos” or senior citizens. During our healthcare collaboratives, teams of international volunteers partner with Honduran staff to set up mobile clinics in our villages, providing medical, dental, gynecological services, as well as education and home visits.
The first but one of the most important stations of the mobile clinic activity. Intake is typically run by our health committee community volunteers, who help collect the demographic patient of each patient, for their individual patient form. Each patient will carry this form with them throughout the day, to keep track of the diagnoses, procedures and treatments that are provided for them.
Partnering with an interpreter as needed, nurses interact with each patient, obtaining vital signs and a brief health history.
Each patient then has the opportunity for a visit with a North American or Honduran doctor. All of the medical providers work together as a team, to ensure that each patient is treated to the highest standard of care within an appropriate cultural context. Doctors treat for the most common health conditions, including parasites and malnutrition, and also take the time to provide useful health education. While physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical students may also see patients, they are all appropriately supervised by an overseeing physician.
Cervical cancer is an unfortunate problem in Honduras that affects far too many women. Providing pap smears and other basic gynecological services, SELF offers the women of our communities and opportunity to prevent cervical cancer. Members of our healthcare team then return to the community within a month to provide women with their pap smear results, education, treatment recommendations and assistance.
Providing our patients with evaluations, cleanings, extractions and oral hygiene education, our dental providers are just as caring as they are skilled. We have an educational talk or “charla” for all of the children, when we provide basic education of how to brush your teeth, as well as providing preventative fluoride treatments every 6 months.
After all clinical stations are complete, our pharmacy team will provide each patient with all prescribed treatments including vitamins, medications, wound care supplies and compression stockings. Lead by a pharmacist, our volunteers take the time to review indications, dosing, and side effects of the medications with patients before they head back home.
With donated prescription and reading glasses, SELF can provide a very basic visual acuity eye exam and community members can try on glasses to be able to take home. We would love to expand our ophthalmology services one day to be able to provide more through eye exams and customize prescriptions for all of the patients in need.
One of the most treasured privileges of our SELF healthcare team is to be able to take care of patients in their own homes. We take a multidisciplinary team of diverse medical professions lead by community volunteers to attend patients in their home. We provide wound care, consultations for older patients with multiple chronic diseases and home visits for young newborn babies.
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SELF helps hundreds of children and families, and they depend on the generosity of supporters like you. Each and every donation makes a difference.