The health status of a nation is dependent on the health conditions of its citizens. The determinants of health that are prevalent in a given nation indicate the health status of a nation. Hondurans are struggling with various health issues like high incidences of communicable and non-communicable diseases and the inaccessibility and unaffordability of healthcare services. Bermudez-Madriz, Saenz, Muiser, and Acosta (2011) argue that approximately 30% of Hondurans have no access to healthcare, while about 83% of them have no health insurance. Owing to the inaccessibility and the unaffordability of healthcare services, the rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality are very high when compared to the rates of the developed countries. According to World Health Organization (2013), the rate of maternal mortality is approximately 100 deaths in every 100,000 live births, while the rate of infant mortality is about 19 deaths in every 1000 live births. Hence, the health outlook of Honduras reflects that of a developing country. Given the health outlook of Honduras, this essay recommends that the leadership of Honduras should improve infant and maternal health, promote accessibility and affordability of healthcare services, and invest in early childhood development programs.
The first recommendation is that the leadership of Honduras should improve infant and maternal health because a significant number of children and mothers lose their lives owing to preventable diseases. Pregnant mothers in rural areas are unable to utilize healthcare services because the services are lacking or inaccessible. Since mothers deliver in remote areas without seeking any medical intervention, they experience health complications, which affect their health and thus contribute to high rates of maternal mortality (Shiffman, 2007). Likewise, children born in remote areas are highly susceptible to immunizable diseases like polio, measles, tetanus, and tuberculosis because they do not receive essential immunization in time. According to World Health Organization (2013), Honduras has established programs under the National Health Plan, which aim at reducing maternal and infant mortality. In this view, Honduras needs to scale up these programs by establishing maternal and infant programs, which specifically offer prenatal and antenatal care in time to avert the occurrence of immunizable diseases.
The second recommendation is that the leadership should focus on building health infrastructure and coming up with universal health insurance that aid in enhancing accessibility and affordability of healthcare services in rural areas and among the poor. The leadership should establish clinics and healthcare centers in rural areas for people, who live in rural areas, to access the healthcare services that they need quite easily. According to Bermudez-Madriz et al. (2011), about 83% of Hondurans have no insurance cover. Owing to the low coverage of health insurance, the leadership should come up with a universal health insurance scheme to enable the Hondurans to access and afford healthcare services. The universal health insurance scheme would reduce health inequality among the Hondurans because it would enable the poor to have equal access to healthcare services, which they could not have afforded without the health insurance.
The third recommendation is that the leadership should develop infrastructure, create programs, and formulate policies that support early childhood development. Examination of Honduras shows that it has not yet established effective programs that would improve the health conditions of children. According to Shiffman (2007), high mortality rates among children happen in Honduras because early childhood development programs are poor. Thus, the leadership of Hondurans should develop infrastructure and programs that support early childhood development, as it is a healthy investment, which guarantees the present and future health of children. The leadership should build pre-schools and schools in rural areas to enhance the cognitive and physical development of children for the sake of their future health. Moreover, the leadership should formulate programs and policies that cater to the growth and development of children in pre-schools and schools.
Bermudez-Madriz, L., Saenz, M., Muiser, J., & Acosta, M. (2011). Health Care System of Honduras. Salud Publica Mex, 53(2), 209-219.
Shiffman, J. (2007). Generating political priority for maternal mortality reduction in 5 developing countries. American Journal of Public Health, 97(5), 796-806.
World Health Organization (2013). Honduras: Country cooperation strategy at a glance. Web.