July 17, 2020- COVID-19 Update

“We have to take care of our people.”

So much has happened since March, 2020, when the teams were cancelled, Honduras and the USA closed their borders and the Hospital was pushed into a new mode of operation. Instead of having busy spring and summer months with teams coming regularly, the staff was focused on how to deal with the health crisis in their country.

By GOD’s grace and the generous donations over the years from the donated supplies from the USA sources, Hospital Socorro de lo Alto had plenty of PPE and other provisions to keep the staff and patients who came to the Hospital safe.

Over the past weeks, the Hospital has remained open and Honduran doctors have been coming and doing surgical cases, the ER has been very busy which has allowed the Hospital to remain financially stable. Most clinics, smaller hospitals and even the private hospital in San Pedro Sula have all closed. The public hospital has remained open but has minimal ability to treat those who come in.

The dedication of the Hospital staff has been inspirational. Dr. Banegas has worked tirelessly to stay on top of the latest medical information and protocols and is re-writing Hospital and patient treatment plans to follow the latest measures for medical care.

Within the past week, the Hospital has purchased a testing unit that will determine the presence of the COVID-19 antigen and antibody. These tests will be used for screening patients, as well as the staff, to ensure proper diagnosis and the safety of everyone. This testing unit will also help to open the way for teams to return safely in 2021.

Guard at the gate

At this time, when a car or patient comes to the Hospital grounds gate, the security guard, fully garbed in PPE- gown, double-gloved, N-95 mask, and has a set of questions that are asked to the one coming for care and those coming with them.

If they are a suspected COVID-19 patient, they are directed to the clinic area. If not, they are sent to the ER in the Hospital.

If the patient is in respiratory distress, Dr. Banegas is called and she comes out to the car at the Hospital grounds gate in her PPE and interviews the patient. Due to the hospital’s limited resources, patients that need ICU care are redirected to the large public hospital in San Pedro Sula.

All other COVID-19 patients are cared for in the Clinic where beds have been brought in. No COVID-19 patients are cared for in the Hospital facilities.

The Administration, medical staff, nursing staff, OR staff, laboratory staff, housekeeping, kitchen, maintenance and ground keeping staffs are all working as one through this time to accomplish was no one ever suspected would ever happen.

Here are some thoughts of those who are working the frontlines at the Hospital. These are professionals who are working on reduced salary and possible exposure to COVID-19.

“This is all new to us, but we’re giving it the best that we have.”

“We are so busy and know that what we are doing is dangerous, but it’s our job and we are staying dedicated.”

“We have to take care of our people.”

We thank GOD for each one who is serving and giving.

We are looking toward 2021 and scheduling teams who are very anxious to return to Honduras. We are trusting GOD for His provision and protection for our fellow workers at Hospital Socorro de lo Alto and the people of Honduras.