Honduran Armed Forces Provide Medical Care to 60,000 Civilians

Honduran Armed Forces Provide Medical Care to 60,000 Civilians

By Dialogo
March 09, 2015





The Honduran Armed Forces recently provided medical services to tens of thousands of people throughout the country through a series of medical brigades. The Military provided the services as part of its medical outreach program.

In San Pedro Sula, the 105th Infantry Brigade, in cooperation with 300 volunteer health professionals, provided medical care to more than 12,000 people. The volunteers included general physicians, pediatricians, ophthalmologists, psychologists, pediatricians, and dentists.

As of early March, the medical brigades had already provided health services to 60,000 people so far in 2015, Colonel José Antonio Sánchez, spokesman for Armed Forces of Honduras, told Diálogo.
Military personnel and health care volunteers carried out eight medical brigades in different departments in January and February.

In addition to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, medical brigades were carried out in the western Department of Copán and the eastern Department of Olancho, as well as the Caribbean archipelago of the Bay Islands.

The mission is to provide health care to residents who do not have easy access to medical services on a regular basis, according to Colonel Porfirio Moreno Zavala, commander of the 105th Infantry Brigade.

“We gave free medications to people who needed them," the colonel said. "We obtained most of it through donations and financed another part with an institutional fund of $10,000 destined for that purpose."

Attendance was even larger at the medical brigade in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. There, medical professionals and Military personnel teamed up to provide health care to more than 13,000 people gathered at a soccer field in the densely populated neighborhood of La Laguna. Personnel from the Army, Navy, and Air Force participated in the event.

Helping the civilian population


The goal of the Armed Forces is to help provide health care to hundreds of thousands of people, according to Defense Minister Samuel Reyes, who attended the inaugural brigade in Tegucigalpa, along with General Freddy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Our aspiration is to carry out 125 medical brigades like this one in the entire country and service more than 400,000 people,” Minister Reyes said. “This year we want to exceed what was done before. We trust God and our Armed Forces that we will complete this mission.”

The Honduran Armed Forces is prepared to surpass the number of people it helped with medical brigades in 2014, according to Gen. Díaz Zelaya. “All of us Soldiers are ready to surpass the outreach we did last year,” he told the Military newscast
Proyecciones Militares
. “We want to improve the quality of life of the people who have come to us and will come to us throughout the following months.”

Many civilians are grateful for the medical brigades.

“What they are doing is wonderful,” said Tegucigalpa senior citizen Amadeo Quiroz. “If we go to one of the clinics nearby, there is no medicine there.”

Each medical brigade has become a family affair, with scaling walls set up for those who want to exercise and inflatable jumping castles on hand to entertain the children.

This family atmosphere will accompany the medical brigades scheduled to take place in March in the city of Siguatepeque in the Comayagua Department, as well as in the Atlántida, Valle, and Lempira Departments. A brigade will also return to the Francisco Morazán Department. Medical personnel from Joint Task Force Bravo, one of two task forces under United States Southern Command, will partner with the Armed Forces in La Campa, Lempira.

Bringing health care to the civilian population


The Armed Forces and health care volunteers are bringing medical care to people who live in places where such services are not readily available.

“It is very complicated for people who live in faraway places to obtain timely and proper medical attention,” Col. Sánchez said. “It is a large burden for families who can’t travel to the big medical centers in the cities. We believe in taking the care to where they are. We are aware that even people in the cities can’t always access care as well.”

The last brigade in March is scheduled to occur in Parque Central, in the middle of the capital.

Each brigade has a preventive component. In every location, private institutions and community leaders are involved to provide educational speeches conducive to better health practices. The Armed Forces also assists the Department of Health in its vaccination campaigns focused both on people and pets.

Community pastors and priests often participate, as do lawyers, to provide spiritual and legal assistance as needed.

Comprehensive assistance


“To the best of our abilities, we want the civic-military actions to provide a more comprehensive care,” Col. Sánchez said. “We have added services as we have seen additional needs on the field.”

In some instances, the Armed Forces, through its team of engineers, repairs sectors of roads that have suffered damage in the localities where the brigades take place. The Armed Forces also undertake projects to repair other public infrastructure such as schools, churches, and community centers.

It is not unusual for the community to see Soldiers applying a fresh coat of paint on a facility or cleaning the streets days prior to the brigade. On the day of the event, activities start at 7:00 a.m. and end only when everyone in attendance has been serviced and everything has been cleaned up.

“The Armed Forces has always placed a high premium on its civic duties,” said Romeo Vásquez, a Military analyst. “They play an important role in the prevention of diseases by controlling vectors that can be deadly. The medical brigades are a way for the institution to be close to the population, mainly the most disadvantaged sectors of the population, where the majority of the members of the Armed Forces are from.”

The population has embraced the program wholeheartedly.

“People from different communities approach us to request that we include them, that we take a medical brigade to their towns," Col. Sánchez said. “And we take them seriously. We are considering their requests, as we are already planning next year’s brigades.”






The Honduran Armed Forces recently provided medical services to tens of thousands of people throughout the country through a series of medical brigades. The Military provided the services as part of its medical outreach program.

In San Pedro Sula, the 105th Infantry Brigade, in cooperation with 300 volunteer health professionals, provided medical care to more than 12,000 people. The volunteers included general physicians, pediatricians, ophthalmologists, psychologists, pediatricians, and dentists.

As of early March, the medical brigades had already provided health services to 60,000 people so far in 2015, Colonel José Antonio Sánchez, spokesman for Armed Forces of Honduras, told Diálogo.
Military personnel and health care volunteers carried out eight medical brigades in different departments in January and February.

In addition to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, medical brigades were carried out in the western Department of Copán and the eastern Department of Olancho, as well as the Caribbean archipelago of the Bay Islands.

The mission is to provide health care to residents who do not have easy access to medical services on a regular basis, according to Colonel Porfirio Moreno Zavala, commander of the 105th Infantry Brigade.

“We gave free medications to people who needed them," the colonel said. "We obtained most of it through donations and financed another part with an institutional fund of $10,000 destined for that purpose."

Attendance was even larger at the medical brigade in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. There, medical professionals and Military personnel teamed up to provide health care to more than 13,000 people gathered at a soccer field in the densely populated neighborhood of La Laguna. Personnel from the Army, Navy, and Air Force participated in the event.

Helping the civilian population


The goal of the Armed Forces is to help provide health care to hundreds of thousands of people, according to Defense Minister Samuel Reyes, who attended the inaugural brigade in Tegucigalpa, along with General Freddy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Our aspiration is to carry out 125 medical brigades like this one in the entire country and service more than 400,000 people,” Minister Reyes said. “This year we want to exceed what was done before. We trust God and our Armed Forces that we will complete this mission.”

The Honduran Armed Forces is prepared to surpass the number of people it helped with medical brigades in 2014, according to Gen. Díaz Zelaya. “All of us Soldiers are ready to surpass the outreach we did last year,” he told the Military newscast
Proyecciones Militares
. “We want to improve the quality of life of the people who have come to us and will come to us throughout the following months.”

Many civilians are grateful for the medical brigades.

“What they are doing is wonderful,” said Tegucigalpa senior citizen Amadeo Quiroz. “If we go to one of the clinics nearby, there is no medicine there.”

Each medical brigade has become a family affair, with scaling walls set up for those who want to exercise and inflatable jumping castles on hand to entertain the children.

This family atmosphere will accompany the medical brigades scheduled to take place in March in the city of Siguatepeque in the Comayagua Department, as well as in the Atlántida, Valle, and Lempira Departments. A brigade will also return to the Francisco Morazán Department. Medical personnel from Joint Task Force Bravo, one of two task forces under United States Southern Command, will partner with the Armed Forces in La Campa, Lempira.

Bringing health care to the civilian population


The Armed Forces and health care volunteers are bringing medical care to people who live in places where such services are not readily available.

“It is very complicated for people who live in faraway places to obtain timely and proper medical attention,” Col. Sánchez said. “It is a large burden for families who can’t travel to the big medical centers in the cities. We believe in taking the care to where they are. We are aware that even people in the cities can’t always access care as well.”

The last brigade in March is scheduled to occur in Parque Central, in the middle of the capital.

Each brigade has a preventive component. In every location, private institutions and community leaders are involved to provide educational speeches conducive to better health practices. The Armed Forces also assists the Department of Health in its vaccination campaigns focused both on people and pets.

Community pastors and priests often participate, as do lawyers, to provide spiritual and legal assistance as needed.

Comprehensive assistance


“To the best of our abilities, we want the civic-military actions to provide a more comprehensive care,” Col. Sánchez said. “We have added services as we have seen additional needs on the field.”

In some instances, the Armed Forces, through its team of engineers, repairs sectors of roads that have suffered damage in the localities where the brigades take place. The Armed Forces also undertake projects to repair other public infrastructure such as schools, churches, and community centers.

It is not unusual for the community to see Soldiers applying a fresh coat of paint on a facility or cleaning the streets days prior to the brigade. On the day of the event, activities start at 7:00 a.m. and end only when everyone in attendance has been serviced and everything has been cleaned up.

“The Armed Forces has always placed a high premium on its civic duties,” said Romeo Vásquez, a Military analyst. “They play an important role in the prevention of diseases by controlling vectors that can be deadly. The medical brigades are a way for the institution to be close to the population, mainly the most disadvantaged sectors of the population, where the majority of the members of the Armed Forces are from.”

The population has embraced the program wholeheartedly.

“People from different communities approach us to request that we include them, that we take a medical brigade to their towns," Col. Sánchez said. “And we take them seriously. We are considering their requests, as we are already planning next year’s brigades.”


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