Honduras Dental Team (140802HODE)
Behind Haiti, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, Honduras ranks among the poorest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with an estimated 60% of its population living in poverty. Poverty is more pronounced in rural areas, although continued rural-urban migration is creating urban poverty belts. The country has an unequal distribution of income, as well as high under-employment.
Unfortunately, the geographic location of the country makes it particularly vulnerable to natural disasters like hurricanes, droughts and floods. Several devastating disasters over the years have drained the Honduran economy and continue to prevent the government from offering adequate health services to the entire population. Cost of health care can also be a barrier; over 50% of the Honduran population lives below the national poverty line with 35% of the population living on less than $2 per day. Approximately 30% of the Honduran population lacks access to permanent, quality health services.
Poverty, social and economic inequalities and periodic insecurity in the country present significant challenges to improving the health status of Hondurans, particularly the most vulnerable: women, newborns, children under five, and those at most risk of contracting HIV.
Dental health is particularly difficult to access. Public funding for this service is insufficient to meet the needs of the communities. The communities where our partner works has had a score of 9.8 on the decayed, missing and filled teeth for the school age children they serve. Their goal is to lower it to 4.5 by providing oral health education as well as dental services to children in schools during their elementary grade years.
The team will:
Provide restorative and preventative dental services to elementary school students.
Provide oral health education as they provide dental care.
Learn about Honduras, its culture and the context of dentistry in Honduras.
Greatest benefit this specific team will bring:
This dental team is providing dental services to those who would otherwise not have access to it. Their contributions will benefit patients individually, but also contribute to the broader community as the team’s presence offers opportunities to reinforce the oral health education the partner is undertaking.
Challenges you expect they may encounter:
- Challenges may occur related to Honduras being a low resource setting.
- Language and cultural barriers
- Challenges related to seeing economic poverty and a way of life much different than our own.
Cande de Amor