The pandemic has hit Honduras, a country of 9 million, with two reported deaths and 110 diagnosed cases. People are sheltering in place under government order and for fear of going out. Groceries and banks are open only episodically. With per capita health spending of $400, Honduras has a weak health system vulnerable to shortages of medications and supplies, even in stable times. There are only 12 adult ventilators in the country.
Siempre Unidos continues to see patients and provides them extended supplies of medications to mitigate the need to leave their homes. When they do need to be seen, our staff members transport patients to our clinic due to the public transportation shutdown. Our staff have adequate supplies of masks, gloves, and gowns; their salaries are paid upfront for a month.
“We are making our best efforts for getting ahead even in the midst of this crisis,” writes Pascual Torres, the Honduran Director. At the end of January, he and the clinical staff began developing protocols for prevention and treatment of HIV-positive people during the pandemic. Honduras’ health department has adopted the protocols to serve as a model for the country.