Catacamas, Honduras: Good Samaritan Clinic
Honduras has a reputation as the new hub for drug trafficking and as the country with the world’s highest murder rate and the most dangerous airport. That did not stop me or Hegla Fielding, however, from joining Medical Teams International’s two-week Adolescent Holistic Health team in the summer of 2012.
>It was an opportunity for Hegla to return to her homeland and for me to gain nursing experience working with youth in a developing country alongside a more experienced nurse.
A passion for and a commitment to public health nursing runs deep in our veins, as recent graduates of the Advanced Practice Public Health Nursing (APPHN) specialty in the Master’s in Nursing program at UCSF.
Hegla and I were able to meet the needs of the Good Samaritan Clinic, the only community clinic in the town of Catacamas, run by the Christian health care organization Predisan. Through the identification of evidence-based clinical tools, we screened for depression in youth, and trained health care professionals in the use of these tools.
Following principles of public health nursing, we also completed a community health assessment with the young people of Catacamas, in which they identified the strengths and challenges of their community.
The top challenges they identified were: drugs and alcohol, trash in the streets, lack of water and hygiene, and violence. When all environmental challenges were combined, the environment ranked as the No. 1 challenge facing the community.
Hegla and I believe that working with youth on environmental challenges is a health prevention and promotion solution to depression and suicide among young people, one that will positively impact Honduras in a multitude of ways.