After participating in two missions in the MICH Honduras clinic, I have barely begun to scratch the surface of understanding what it means to me, as a homeopath, to be able to work in this clinical environment. The days are so rich and full of learning. The clinic is a first line health service for the local population, and therefore we see many health problems we would never see in Canada. Thanks to HTSF (les Homéopathes de terre sans frontières), and its founder Martine Jourde, the population has had access to homeopathy for over ten years.
The placement of the clinic in the mountains around Valle de Angeles, an area of poor, subsistence farmers with hardly any access to health care, brings evidence to the value of homeopathy in all its forms. The fact that homeopathy is inexpensive to produce, means the Honduras clinic is always well stocked, making it possible for everyone who comes for help to the clinic to receive treatment. As homeopaths on a mission in Honduras, we experience the unique opportunity of applying our knowledge in a clinical setting which helps us to gain tremendous experience and confidence in our modality. From one mission to the next, people come back with reports of how much the treatment they received has helped them and therefore we feel confident that we can support this population in many of its health care needs.
Our days at the clinic start early: at 7 am already there will be people seeking care. We try to see as many as people as possible before breakfast, so that they can be off and go to work. Some come by themselves, but more often we see several people from the same household. They can be a husband and wife with children, grandchildren. Some of them have to travel far, several hours on foot, and it is not uncommon that the grandmother of the household comes with the grandchildren who are sick, and maybe even the neighbour’s young children. That way the parents or older siblings who do not need health care for themselves can go to work and earn the small income of the family for that day.
On each average day at the clinic, we probably see about as many children as adults. The children may have a flu, bad coughs, diarrhea, parasites or another acute infection. Or there is a chronic issue that the family is worried about, such as delays in growth or development. We also see children with behavioral difficulties, similar to the hyperactivity that is so often a concern in our Canadian practices.
Although the clinic is small, its space is used very efficiently. We have three consultation rooms and a dispensary where all the remedies are prepared. Usually we are two or three homeopaths and interns working together with each person. Because we do not all speak Spanish, translation is part of each consultation. At the end of the interview and examination of the person, we inquire together as to the best remedies and protocols to suggest. In this process, we can each contribute our knowledge and also gain much knowledge from those with more experience.
With support from the MICH community, we are hoping to accomplish three missions per year to the Honduras clinic. We’re always looking for homeopaths who are interested in participating. Also naturopaths and naturotherapists, especially those who speak Spanish, are welcome as interns. It is a wonderful opportunity to see our modality in action and build confidence through clinical experience.
Our next missions are planned for:
Mar 18-Apr 2, 2017
For these missions, we’re inviting Ontario and Quebec homeopaths to join us for training that applies to HTSF projects as well as clinical experience. For more information about how to join us on our next mission, contact us for more information.
Carla Marcelis, ND, DHom
Carla brings dedication, passion and expertise as mission leader to the MICH Honduras Clinic and to her role as Director and teacher at the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy. Visit her webpage to learn more about her and to read all of her blog posts.