Christine Mitchell, Executive Director of the Carolina Honduras Health Foundation (CHHF) was guest speaker Wednesday. CHHF is an organization based in Barnwell, SC and founded by Dr. Henry Gibson in the 1980s. They send sixteen – nineteen mission teams a year to Limon, Honduras to support two health clinics, twenty-four shelter beds, and community outreach to ten other villages.
Honduras is very hot, year-round, but mission teams are sent from February to October in order to avoid the “wet season.” Limon is an 8-hour drive to the airport and the last two hours are over rutted mountain roads.
The mission teams are composed of all who are interested – not just doctors, dentists and eye doctors. There is “always work to do.” One major feature of their mission program is that they have return missions from the same groups. “No “one and done” mission groups in our program,” Christine surmises because the Honduran people, while desperately poor, are warm and welcoming.
Major disease issues are diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory illnesses. The latter is caused due to cooking indoors over open wood fires and substantial amounts of dust. There are efforts to provide modern stoves in homes and educate locals to serve in some of the clinical roles such as lab techs, interpreters and medical records.