8.03.2005

 

Medical TEAMWORK IN HONDURAS


From EFSW Newsletter May 2005

Portia Jones (New York), Jonathan, James, Jessie and Esther Hibbs (New York), Ralph Martinez (Arcadia), Steve, Sue and Charity Metzger (Sacramento), Scott Sward (Long Beach), Chris Thach (Long Beach) and I (Peggy Bohrer) recently traveled to Honduras with a medical brigade.


Jonathan Hibbs, his daughter -
with Friends Jane and Bruce at NYYM Annual Sessions 2004


The medical brigade, formed of Americans as well as Hondurans, worked like a well oiled machine, with all its gears in unison. We worked long hours every day. The Lord rewarded our commitment to serving Him. We saw 150 to 200 people daily and about 850 over the entire week. Many of them came from small villages far away and had to walk many hours to get to where we were.

This team was historic in that the majority of the medical providers were Honduran. The brigade included four Honduran Health Promoters. These are Friends church members who Dr. Jonathan Hibbs and Dr. Portia Jones have trained to provide basic medical care in their communities. It was wonderful to be able to partner with them.


From 2004 NYYM Silver Bay Agenda

Portia Jones and Jonathan Hibbs, members of Minneapolis Friends Meeting, attenders for the past three years at Albany Friends Meeting, are working with a project of Honduras Yearly Meeting to develop a network for primary healthcare. Jonathan is an infectious disease physician with a background in public health and epidemiology. Portia is a family physician with special interest in maternal, child, and women's health. They bring years of experience in this kind of international health work, a long working relationship with Central American Friends, and a strong sense that God has placed them in this work. Friends by upbringing and convincement, they have three children who also want to be part of the work.

They will speak about their journey as a family and why they feel led to this work. They will discuss Friends' work in Central America, including their current health project, how recent events in the area have affected Friends, and Friends' responses to those events.

 

San Marcos, Honduras - Medical Assistance

A Quaker husband and wife who are physicians and members of Rochester Meeting, travel to Honduras one or more times per year with a medical humanitarian organization - Shoulder to Shoulder. They have an upcoming trip to Honduras this October 2005.

 

Quaker Youth Trip to Honduras

NYYM Infoshare April 2004
Preparations for upcoming trip to Honduras

NYYM Infoshare October 2004
Quaker youth visited Honduras in August 2004 to build stoves and plant trees with financial assistance from NYYM Latin American Concerns Committee and others.

Powell House Youth are now (August 2005) in Honduras for the 81st annual conference of Youth

 

Hospital San Carlos – town of Altamirano, state of Chiapas – Southern Mexico

(Click on any picture to enlarge)
A NYYM Friend visited Altamirano, and Hospital San Carlos in January 1997.


The state of Chiapas, the poorest in Mexico, is located in the south, near the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, and the Guatemalan border. The region has a primarily Mayan population. Following the armed Zapatista-led uprising in December 1994, the area was a target of government retaliation, resulting in direct casualties and in disruption of food production and consequent malnutrition and starvation.







Doctors who treat patients are recruited from medical schools in Mexico City. Doctors and nurses on temporary rotations are also provided by Doctors Without Borders International (France) and Doctors of the World, Inc. (USA).



Some 15,000 people in 106 communities in northeast Chiapas, Mexico, are receiving health care through San Carlos Hospital in a small town called Altamirano. The hospital staff are headed by Sister Maite Tomasina, of the Catholic Order: ‘Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul’. The main convent is in Mexico City, and is in charge of the administration and operations of Hospital San Carlos. The sponsoring charity organization for the Hospital as well as other health projects in Mexico, is recognized by the USA IRS* and is named: Fundación de Obras Sociales San Vicente, IAP.















Hospital Water Tower




The hospital, opened in 1967, on land donated by a family of Mexican Quakers, provides culturally competent care for local citizens, including the descendants of ancient Mayans, with a full-time staff of interpreters that speak Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojolabal, Chol and Mam.











Valley near Altamirano, behind San Carlos Hospital
Main Street, Altamirano, Chiapas.





Because San Carlos doesn’t receive government funds, even poor patients have to pay something, usually what they can afford. The hospital houses patients’ visiting family members in the guesthouse and allows them to pay off bills by working in the hospital.



A patient and his father with the former director, Sor Florencia Vargas.







Girls that are refugees from villages overrun by violence and starvation are trained as nurses’ assistants and live in a separate quarters on the hospital property, they can go as they please and find work as nurses or medical technicians after their training.

















A patient recieves an examination from a French doctor.




A family from Chipas including their newborn.








A doctor from Mexico City gets ready to make the rounds to distant villages in the hospital’s truck.




A shy boy rides along with his mother to San Carlos

The young man perks up after the photographer gives him a lollipop.




A young girl waits with her mother and brother at San Carlos.


The state of Chiapas, the poorest in Mexico, is located in the south, near the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, and the Guatemalan border. The region has a primarily Mayan population. Following the armed Zapatista-led uprising in December 1994, the area was a target of government retaliation, resulting in direct casualties and in disruption of food production and consequent malnutrition and starvation.

Some 15,000 people in 106 communities in northeast Chiapas, Mexico, are receiving health care through San Carlos Hospital in a small town called Altamirano. The hospital staff are headed by Sister Maite Tomasina, of the Catholic Order: ‘Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul’. The main convent is in Mexico City, and is in charge of the administration and operations of Hospital San Carlos. The sponsoring charity organization for the Hospital as well as other health projects in Mexico, is recognized by the USA IRS* and is named: Fundación de Obras Sociales San Vicente, IAP.

Doctors who treat patients are recruited from medical schools in Mexico City. Doctors and nurses on temporary rotations are also provided by Doctors Without Borders International (France) and Doctors of the World, Inc. (USA).

The hospital, opened in 1967, on land donated by a family of Mexican Quakers, provides culturally competent care for local citizens, including the descendants of ancient Mayans, with a full-time staff of interpreters that speak Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojolabal, Chol and Mam.

Because San Carlos doesn’t receive government funds, even poor patients have to pay something, usually what they can afford. The hospital houses patients’ visiting family members in the guesthouse and allows them to pay off bills by working in the hospital.

The hospital has approximately 100 beds for both adults and children, usually full. Most of the children who come suffer from malnutrition, as well as related diseases, so much of the work is feeding and building them back to health. There are eight doctors and a variety of health care workers on staff all supplied by external organizations, and nuns from the Sisters of Charity are responsible for the operation and administration of the hospital. The hospital receives patients from the surrounding areas, and also has a truck and a small airplane that serve distant villages and outlying areas toward the Guatemalan border.

Common health problems include malaria, malnutrition, tuberculosis, parasitic infections, and high rates of death in childbirth and infancy. Much of the disease is preventable; however because clean water, sanitation, and sustainable food production are not available, these conditions continue to exact a high toll. The lack of a system of health services within the communities makes the role that Hospital San Carlos plays even more vital as it attempts to respond to these needs.

In 2002, there were 13,188 outpatients' visits and 2,518 hospitalizations: 45 percent of which were for children. Many of these patients, called ‘hermanos’ or ‘brothers and sisters’ by hospital staff, arrive in very grave health with diseases already in advanced stages due to the dire poverty and the difficulty in traveling outside their remote and inaccessible communities.

* Mexico Tax Exempt Organizations According to the US - Mexico Double Taxation Treaty 2003

The Income Tax Treaty was entered into Mexico and the United States of America in 1994. Under this treaty, Exempt Organizations are considered. This means that receipts issued by Mexican Institutions may be deducted by persons and corporations from U.S. taxable income, although it must only be from income generated in Mexico. It also facilitates the grant making process for Foundations to Mexican Organizations according to the Internal Revenue Service procedures. The following organizations have been authorized by fiscal authorities for such purpose up to May 2003:

159. Fundación de Obras Sociales San Vicente, IAP

http://www.cemefi.org/legal/2003/02.html

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