HEALTH CARE ACCESS
The Honduran government provides two different types of health centers throughout rural Honduras: Centros de Salud Médico Odontológico (CESAMOs) and Centros de Salud Rural (CESARs). CESAMOs are the larger of the two, often found in municipalities, and typically have at least one physician on staff at all times with nurses and potentially a dentist. CESARs are found sporadically in rural communities and generally have a single nurse available. Even with this coverage, it is important to note that medications, supplies, and materials are often not available in these health centers and the physician density in Honduras remains around 1,220 people for every one doctor. According to the World Health Organization, there should be a maximum of 435 people per physician to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention.
Community members from El Retiro seek health care in both the CESAR and medical brigades in Buena Vista. The nurse staffs the health center Monday through Friday from about 9am to 3pm and lives in Morocelí on the weekends. If El Retiro’s inhabitants wish to see a doctor or dentist, they must travel down the mountain to the nearest CESAMO in Morocelí. The trip can take up to 3 hours on foot. Although there is a bus that comes to the community, it does not come very often and many community members cannot afford its fee. Therefore, health care access is very limited. The most common illnesses reported by the community are respiratory infections and the flu.
*These statistics reflect data from Medical/Dental brigades in the community of Buena Vista, where community members from El Retiro attend the mobile clinics.