After many years of political and social instability, a new government took office in 2022, with the promise of resolving the country’s problems of violence and poverty. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras has the highest murder rate in Central America, and is one of the most dangerous places for women in the world.
Throughout 2022, MSF worked with the Honduran Ministry of Health, offering emergency medical and psychosocial care to victims of violence, including sexual violence, in San Pedro Sula, Choloma and the capital, Tegucigalpa.
After 11 years of sustained advocacy efforts, the comprehensive care protocol for victims and survivors of sexual violence was approved in the country, including the use of emergency contraception pills, which had been banned since 2009.
We celebrated this important step towards high-quality and comprehensive care for victims of sexual violence. However, significant challenges remain in its implementation. We will therefore support the process, both technically and operationally.
In Choloma, we run mobile clinics providing family planning, ante- and postnatal consultations and mental health support in marginalised communities. In San Pedro Sula, we work to improve access to medical and psychological healthcare for sex workers and the LGBTQI+ community, offering family planning, cervical cancer screening, pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention, and human papillomavirus vaccinations.
In 2022, MSF also sent mobile teams to two points on the Nicaraguan border to assist migrants making their way north to Mexico and the US, offering medical and psychological care, as well as social support.
In addition, we responded to emergencies, including an outbreak of dengue in one of Tegucigalpa’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, and in the aftermath of storm Julia in San Pedro Sula, where our team carried out fumigations, provided mental health support, distributed hygiene kits and conducted health promotion activities.