Honduras’ need for a new hospital: Junior’s Story

Quality healthcare is hard to obtain in Honduras. It’s the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Around 75% of Hondurans live in poverty, unable to buy the food and services they need to live day-to-day.

The average rural Honduran earns the equivalent of $2.20 a day. The poorest 16% of Hondurans (1.6 million people) live on even less – just US $2 a day. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Eta and Iota both hit Honduras in November 2020, further exacerbating the country’s widespread poverty.

Imagine trying to find care when you can barely afford to feed yourself or your family. Unfortunately, this is exactly what Junior, a young man from Honduras, had to do.

Junior has spent countless hours playing soccer with his friends in La Penitas, Honduras. The game is a national pastime for millions of young men in the Latin American country, and injuries are common.

During one intense match, Junior collided with another player, breaking his tibia. The break was so severe, he would require surgical repair of his lower leg or face the possibility of never playing soccer, or even walking, ever again.

Simply visiting a local hospital was out of the question – there was no medical provider within a two-hour radius who could treat his injury. Junior eventually got a ride to the public hospital, Catarino Rivas, in San Pedro Sula, where he was told that the waiting period for surgical repair of his tibia was 7 months long.

At another, private hospital, the same surgery would cost Junior’s family over $5,000. That’s around twice as much as the average Honduran family makes in a year.

It was growing more likely that Junior would never get to play his favorite game for the rest of his life.

Finally, in desperation, Daniel Tercero, executive director of Sal y Luz ministry, contacted a group of Christian physicians, some affiliated with CHSC, to ask if they could treat Junior’s fracture. Daniel and Junior drove eight hours across the country in order to have an intramedullary rod placed in his tibia by the team of doctors.

Junior recovered quickly and is now back to playing soccer.

Stories like Junior’s are exactly why CHSC is partnering with a team of doctors, Honduran community leaders and healthcare professionals to build Hospital Yojoa in central Honduras.

Junior took two trips to find care for his broken leg. The first took over four hours to reach a government-funded hospital near San Pedro Sula which had a seven month waiting list for surgery.

His second trip, this time to a Christian mission hospital, took over six hours in a private vehicle. The hospital was able to care for Junior, but the journey would have never been possible if he was forced to use public transportation like thousands of other people in Honduras.

When Hospital Yojoa becomes operational, quality healthcare will be within reach for thousands of people in the Lake Yojoa region even if they do not have access to a private vehicle.

Hospital Yojoa will be a 100-150 bed hospital, strategically located to provide life-saving surgeries and critical care for an extremely vulnerable region. We intend to make Hospital Yojoa into one of the only teaching hospital in the western hemisphere to boost local healthcare capacity in Honduras and Latin America as a whole.

We know Hondurans want better access to healthcare, and we are collaborating with Honduran communities to make that a reality. Will you join us?

To learn more about the Hospital Yojoa project, the team behind it, and how you can support a new mission hospital for Honduras, visit the project website.  or donate to Hospital Yojoa. 

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