Meridian residents participate in medical mission to Honduras
ON A MISSION Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi Honduras Medical Mission participated in church services in San Joaquin and Concepcion, Honduras. Six Meridian residents were among 43 participants in the trip planned and organized by St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Meridian. submitted photo
By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Feb. 23, 2002
In the mountainous Central American jungle-like country of Honduras, men, women and children often go up to a year without the most basic medical care.
In most cases, Hondurans have to walk miles to any town where medical care might be available, but more than likely unaffordable.
These are just a few of the conditions into which Pool and eight other Meridian residents ventured last week as participants in the Episcopal Diocese Honduras Medical Mission.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Meridian served as the host church in organizing and planning the trip, an effort that involved the entire parish membership. An annual event, this year's mission trip included 43 participants across the state.
The medical mission has visited San Joaquin for 21 years and Concepcion del Norte for six years, two villages in the mountains of the Santa Barbara area of Honduras near San Pedro Sula.
Other members of St. Paul's included Tommy Greer, Adrian Page, John Carrier, Faye Edwards, Henry Dowling, Ben McLeod and the Rev. Merrill Wade, St. Paul's rector.
The mission team included eight physicians, six dentists, seven nurses, two pharmacists, five dental technicians, four priests and support helpers and translators. Members of the team each paid $925 to participate.
Nine high school students from the nearby Cathedral School of San Pedro Sula helped in translating for the team.
The team treated a total of 4,865 patients and filled 19,224 prescriptions. The dental team treated 774 patients and pulled 2,010 teeth. The eye clinic treated 850 patients and dispensed 539 glasses. The veterinary clinic treated 667 horses, 197 dogs and 287 other animals including pigs, cattle and chickens.
Between Feb. 9 and Feb. 16, team members worked 10-hour days, usually until dark, and spent the rest of their time either resting or getting to know the residents.
The local Episcopal Church in each of the two villages is used for services during the week.
For the mission, more than a million pills, salves, eye drops, medical syrups, vitamins and other supplies were packed by local parishioners and shipped to the villages for the team to dispense. Funds for supplies were raised through donations, Greer said.
Some of those supplies came from Meridian contributors. "Local businesses chipped in and everyone was so wonderful in helping," Greer said.
St. Paul's is already getting ready as the host church for next year's mission trip.