roatan Volunteer Pediatric Clinic
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Welcome to one of Global Healing's projects, the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic!

Roatan, HondurasRoatán is a rapidly growing island of Honduras located in the Caribbean, with a trilingual (Spanish/English/Garifuna) population of African, Caribbean, and Latino descent, totaling over 65,000. As in most developing regions, children comprise a very large percentage of the population. Honduras is one of the poorest nations in the Central America/ Caribbean region. Over 65% of the population lives in poverty; approximately one in four Hondurans earns less than $1 per day. The World Health Organization estimates that only about half of all births are attended by skilled health care personnel. Honduras also has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in Central America. The UN reports 3,300 children died from AIDS in Honduras in 2001. Another 14,000 children are orphans, losing their parents to AIDS.

The island of Roatán is served by one Public Hospital. The government has been able to supply only one permanent pediatrician to the island. Even with the assistance of general practitioners, the local staff alone cannot sustain the daily demand of over 80 pediatric outpatients, combined with inpatient ward, nursery, and infant delivery responsibilities. The Public Hospital was in need of additional medical support; children had been routinely turned away. Countless more did not come in because of the lack of physician availability relative to patient demand. With inadequate resources, the Public Hospital could meet the needs of the community. Unfortunately, there were no practical alternatives for the lower income population.

In August 2003, Global Healing opened the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic (RVPC), a modern pediatric outpatient clinic, accessible to any and all children, within the Roatán Public Hospital. The RVPC is staffed year-round with volunteer pediatricians from the U.S., rotating on a 1 month-plus basis. To provide pediatric subspecialty consultation, Global Healing brought internet service to the Public Hospital and to our pediatric clinic. In an effort to further local pediatric medical education, the RVPC has developed a one to two year fellowship program where a local general practitioner works with our volunteers daily, building a stronger base in pediatric care, to serve the region for years to come. In an effort to increase interest in international health amongst US pediatricians in training, as well as in younger students contemplating a career choice in medicine, Global Healing has also developed a structured year-round elective rotation for pediatric resident physicians and the year-round Health Education and Advocacy Liaisons student internship. With a volunteer team of pediatric attending/ pediatric resident/ student intern administrator, together with the local pediatric fellow, as of January 2012, the RVPC has had over 25,000 patient visits to date! Building on this success, Global Healing is actively pursuing efforts in perinatal medicine, newborn care, inpatient pediatrics, and, most recently, expanded emergency and trauma services.

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The Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic operates under the auspices of Global Healing, a U.S. registered 501(c)3 non-profit