Thursday we hosted our weekly medical clinic in the super poor community of Armenia Bonito. Almost 30 patients received care. We gave a bible study, prayed with each person, handed out evangelism tracts, provided diagnostic care, provided professional consultations and appropriate medicine.
In Honduras the average person has only 6.1 years of formal education. Many people don’t have an understanding of basic health education – drink more water, substitute garlic for salt, brush your teeth each day, eat fruits and vegetables, wash your hands before eating. And, complicated issues like high blood pressure or diabetes are beyond most people’s knowledge. We are often asked questions like – Do you have a pill to make my husband less lazy? Or, How can you make my son smarter?
At our medical clinics we provide lots of health education. Erin shares verbally with each person how they can reduce or eliminate their problem by altering diet or lifestyle. We have many Spanish language information sheets that patients are given to take home. For those who are illiterate we provide picture-based education.
Changing culturally accepted unhealthy practices is a process that can take generations. In some cases we are fighting decades of misinformation or unfounded superstition. But, every once in a while a person will come in and let us know with great excitement, “I did what you said and I feel so much better.” It is hard to accept that not every life can be changed or saved, but once in a while, one is enough.