Under the direction of Honduran nurses Tomasa and Jenaina, the Clinica Evangelica Morava (CEM) works to provide primary and preventive health services to Ahuas and the surrounding community through a variety of programs.
Health Education: From flip charts with patients in the waiting room of the clinic to presentations in local churches, twice weekly classes in local schools, and talks at youth conferences we do a LOT of health education, on topics as varied as dental hygiene, alcohol and drug abuse, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), self esteem, breastfeeding, nutrition, hygiene, clean water and sanitation, care for common illnesses etc…
Lay Midwifery Training and Support: While many women in Ahuas and the surrounding area receive prenatal care through the out-patent clinic or the government’s health center, and deliver here in the hospital, the further away a woman lives from the clinic, the more likely she is to see a traditional or
lay midwife. We supply many of these lay midwives with training and some basic equipment (gloves, sterile gauze, cord clamps, etc…). For example, this April, 2013, we held a day long conference for 11 lay midwives where we discussed maternal nutrition, breastfeeding, important assessments in prenatal visits, and recognition and management of maternal risks.
Community Health Leaders: Still in the developing stages, we are working with community leaders, pastor’s wives and students in the local Biblical institute to provide training so that they can serve as health ambassadors, especially important in the more remote communities of the La Mosquitia.
HIV Testing: We provide free rapid HIV tests and prevention counseling. In partnership with the Honduran government, we also provide treatment and management to HIV positive persons in our municipality. In April of 2013, we are currently providing care for six HIV positive individuals and have performed 53 tests since the new year.
TB (Tuberculosis) Testing and Directly Observed Therapy:In partnership with the Honduran government we work to diagnose and treat TB in our municipality. Because the treatment for TB almost always involves a lengthy course of oral antibiotics (months to years), many departments of health have implemented directly observed therapy (DOT) programs. DOT is when a patient comes to the clinic daily to receive their medication under the direct observation of a health professional to ensure compliance. We currently have one patient in the DOT program. He has a cup with his name on it in the Preventative Health office and it’s a pleasure to see him every morning!
Children’s Health and Malnutrition: Every Wednesday we host a well child clinic in the out patient clinic to weigh, check growth and development, and treat for worms/ parasites (a near universal problem for children in the community). Children found to be underweight or poorly nourished are entered into our nutrition program where we work with parents to educate and ensure children’s nutritional needs are met. Weigh-ins are typically completed monthly– both in the clinic and on home visits. As of April 2013 we have 28 children enrolled in the nutrition program.
Hypertension and Diabetes Program: While most people in the developed world with high blood pressure or diabetes will have automatic blood pressure cuffs and personal glucometers at home to monitor their disease, chronic disease management is much more difficult in La Mosquitia
communities that lack these resources. In this program we provide education to patients with hypertension and diabetes, monitor blood pressure and glucose, and conduct home visits to elderly patients that have a hard time getting to the clinic.