Since 2003, the HHPF has offered vein care as part of its service learning trip to provide needed medical care to the underserved people of Honduras. This amazing experience gives physicians wishing to pursue training in sclerotherapy the opportunity to learn and work with a dedicated group physician instructors, nurses, and assistants. Together, with modest accommodations and resources, we change people’s lives by using sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins and often severe ulcers.
Hard Work and Advanced Education
The HHPF runs clinic sites in three Honduran cities: LaCeiba, Tela and Olanchito. Our group joins together to transform churches and a Red Cross building into top quality patient care facilities.
Physicians enjoy one full day of lectures from experts on topics including physiology of venous disease, compression therapy, wound care, foam sclerotherapy, mechanical occlusion catheter ablation, and ultrasound overview. The day also includes important safety information and demonstrations of treatment techniques.
A typical work day starts with a breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. followed by a short group walk to the clinic to see patients starting at 8 a.m. Patients are registered and triaged with the help of people from local organizations who also assist with translation. Physicians determine what type of vein care is needed, and the procedure is done by experienced physicians with a novice sclerotherapist observing and assisting. After the last patient is treated, usually 5 p.m. or later, the clinic is cleaned and prepped for the next day. A group dinner is followed by additional sclerotherapy lectures and discussions.
Friendships and Memories to Last a Lifetime
The people of Honduras always welcome us with open arms. Many strong bonds and friendships were formed throughout the years as HHPF groups brought kindness and healing to a country where more than half of the population lives in poverty. Patients often line up several hours before our clinics open each day. The need is great, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help. One physician summed up his experience stating, “The pathology that I saw in Honduras was unbelievable. To see that I could help the patients with our treatments was outstanding.” Another participant was excited by the progress of patients reporting, “It was great that on my second annual trip to Honduras, I saw some of the patients I treated the previous year—instead of open ulcers on their legs, I first saw the big smile—and the scars from a closed ulcer.”
The application link will be available in October 2017 to apply for the March 2018 trip. Participants are responsible for round-trip transportation to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The additional trip fee collected when your application is accepted includes transportation in Honduras, room and board, medical supplies, and teaching costs for the physicians. CME credits are available for an additional fee. Non-physician volunteers do not pay for teaching costs, but are responsible for the cost of their airfare and accommodations. We try to keep our fees as low as possible with the hope of covering our expenses for the trip.