Community Health Partnership- Honduras (CHPH) was founded by Jennifer Smith and Terrence Noonan as a collaborative and community-based model for developing healthy communities in Honduras.
Since its formal founding in 2014, CHPH has brought together medical and dental volunteers alongside local health care professionals to improve health outcomes for individuals, and create sustainable health care practices for communities.
In this blog, Jennifer Smith reflects on their most recent trip to Honduras.
The CHPH team recently visited Honduras, where we’ve seen that our collaborative work in the regions of Opatoro and Santa Ana has advanced quickly. We have been able to provide care to thousands of people in these remote regions.
On our two most-recent team visits, we’ve been able to work with teams of dental practitioners who are all Honduran, and who came from Tegucigalpa to work with our organization. We’re participating in a local dental collaborative. This enables us to share dental equipment, including an extra chair, and allows our CHPH volunteers to work alongside their rural Honduran counterparts.
The remote dentists have almost nothing to work with, not even Novocaine or Tylenol. There is a dearth of patients in Honduras due to lack of money to pay for services.
Our volunteer practitioners are skilled and eager to work, and the remote dentists are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside colleagues both rural and American.
They are thrilled to be able provide for the population they serve.
Our Honduran dental directors travel out to these regions in between team visits to teach oral health education as part of our fluoride program.
Children receive an educational component, which includes nutrition, prevention, and hygiene, and then are able to participate in twice-yearly treatments. We are excited to share the news that we reached 97.7% of all children with fluoride in Opatoro this past year and we are striving to replicate those numbers in the neighboring region of Santa Ana.
We anticipate reaching 5,000 to 6,000 children this year, giving them the chance to keep their teeth and enjoy a healthier future.
Our recent team brought along an incredible addition to our dental effort through the donated services and materials from a local dental company, Dental Marfil Comayagua. The company sent three hard-working technicians and provided most of the materials to provide 52 people with the ability to smile and to talk without covering their mouths. These patients were given prosthetic teeth which were made to fit perfectly, providing an instant lift in their self esteem.
This was a life-changing gift and it was a joy to see their reaction and to imagine the impact on their lives.
In August we will be sending our first all-dental team out to one of the most remote areas of Honduras that has never had access to medical or dental care.
These villages were recently identified as suffering from moderate-to-severe malnutrition, and we have been working with the municipality and local health promoters to address the concern. Our team will bring ten Honduran dentists, and together the team will work hard to provide dental care for many children.
CHPH currently operates on donations and volunteer fees in order to support teams that are equally Honduran. We cannot ask our local volunteers to pay for expenses required to support our large teams; it would be impossible. However, through the generosity of Henry Schein Cares Foundation and other partners, all things are possible.
Together, we are working hard with these communities to make our dreams of a better future come true.
We are most grateful for the support on behalf of thousands of deserving rural Hondurans.
Read about Community Health Partnership- Honduras’s Spring 2016 trip here, and see some before-and-after photos from their most recent mission in the gallery below!
Written by Jennifer Smith, Administrating Director, Community Health Partnership – Honduras.
Community Health Partnership- Honduras was supported by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation Health Kit Outreach program.