Honduras is the Central American country with the highest Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
mortality rates. A 2019 study, "Cardiovascular risk assessment in the resource limited setting of Western Honduras: An epidemiological perspective" found hypertension prevalence at 49.7% for men and 47.7% for women in Santa Rosa de Copan province. In assessing all factors associated with increased risk of CVD, the study “… revealed an alarming proportion of high-risk patient test scores … pointing to a vast population of undiagnosed and untreated/inappropriately treated population for cardiovascular disease.” The International Organization of Migration (IOM) World Migration Report for 2022 highlights the inability of potential migrants to effectively mitigate risk (economic, social, health, etc.) in their home country as a factor in triggering irregular migration.
The Marie Maxey Foundation is partnering with Colleagues in Care/World Hypertension Action Group (WHAG) and Harper Hill Global to design and implement a hypertension prevention program in San Luis, Santa Bárbara, Honduras. The first phase of this program is public outreach to educate citizens on proper health and nutrition actions needed to prevent hypertension in adults with a special emphasis on pregnant women. A secondary goal is provide equipment and training to local health workers to treat acute outcomes of CVD (i.e., heart attack). The original trip report can be found here.
This pilot effort will be conducted in San Luis, one of 28 municipalities in the department of Santa Barbara, Honduras. San Luis is ranked as one of the poorest municipalities with an overall poverty rate of 60 percent. The municipality is comprised of 17 towns and 185 communities with a total population of 25,292 residents. The largest town is San Luis with a population of 6,929. Over 70 percent of the municipal population is classified as rural and are found in San Isidro (4,040), San Francisco (1,868) San Juan (1,592), La Union (1,197), Las Flores (1,102), and Tejutales (1,037). The primary economic activity is farming with coffee as the largest cash crop in the area.