Mother & Child Health, Honduras

Our task in helping mothers to keep their children healthy and happy is uphill work in Honduras. The poverty of the people and the effects of natural disasters make it hard to give the children all they need.

Around our mission at Choloma, the majority of the population is formed of migrants seeking employment in the factories or hoping to emigrate to the USA. The southern part of Choloma, called Lopez Arellano, has a population of over 200,000, growing at a rate of 10% annually. Our health project is located in 'Centro Casa Visitacition', from where many different ministries are spearheaded.

The medical dispensary holds antenatal clinics, well-baby clinics and regular consultations for the sick. The resident psychologist supervises the support groups for women who are victims of family disintegration and domestic violence, and single mothers.

Attention to mother and child health is also highlighted in home visits for the sick and those needing our presence and support for social reasons. It is also a priority in visits to the communities for meetings with health committees and training of health promoters, who take healthcare to the communities.

At Marcala, five hours southwest of Choloma, the Sisters do a lot of work with community health teams. This includes creating home-based pharmacy cupboards with medications that draw on traditional knowledge, in which adults and older children are instructed.

In working with children, building their self-esteem is a big need. The games and exercises through which this is achieved are also used to impart awareness and education about basic health care. Sister Bernadette Heneghan is pictured here with one of the many groups of young folk with which she is involved.