PAG began the CHAM (community health and microcredit) program in 2003 in the northern region of Comayagua County and has now extended it to Belén Gualcho in Ocotepeque County in Western Honduras. Our ultimate goal has been to improve the quality of life of vulnerable families living in remote and excluded local communities.
The CHAM and Celaque Community Health Programs focus on reducing maternal and infant mortality by educating pregnant mothers on how to take care of themselves and their babies, and by promoting monthly growth monitoring meetings at which children 0-2 years old are weighed and measured to monitor their development each month (known as the AIN-C strategy). These community health programs have also implemented a community owned pharmacy component, which is run by a network of local volunteers trained by PAG to administer medicines for common illnesses. In 2016, a new addition to our program included providing women from rural communities with a yearly Pap smear screening test for cervical cancer.
Community Owned Pharmacies
These Community Health Programs have also implemented a community owned pharmacy component, which is run by a network of local volunteers trained by PAG to administer medicines for common illnesses. At present, PAG’s has installed 502 community owned pharmacies. In 2018 alone, more than 173,000 individuals from rural communities in Ocotepeque & Comayagua County had access to primary health services and low-cost medicines through these pharmacies.
CHAM Community Health Program also has an educational component. In 2018 alone, 998 mothers received education in nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, family planning, postpartum complications, and treatment for diarrhea in newborns. Moreover, 361 pregnant women received dietary supplements and maternal health education.
The health program’s staff has also provided pap smear screening services to 5,869 women from rural communities between 2016-2018 and they are also empowering women of childbearing age to have this screenning test done on a regular basis. These tests have literally saved hundreds of women’s lives who had malignant tumors and serious infections.