BETTER HEALTH FOR FAMILIES
Families in the SVH villages are among the poorest in Honduras. In some of the villages, the majority of the houses have stoves that release smoke into the living quarters of the family, increasing the likelihood of respiratory illnesses. Vecinos staff train women and men to teach families to construct improved stoves that ventilate smoke outdoors and that burn less than a third of the wood required for traditional stoves. Half to a third of houses have dirt floors. Vecinos staff organize volunteers to build cement floors.
Each SVH village has a health committee. Vecinos staff empower the members of the health committee to conduct house-to-house surveys of conditions that could be improved to improve family health.
Often these are joined by staff from the health ministry in the “municipality” (functioning like a county in the U.S.) of these villages, either Chinda or Ilama.
The health committee also supports a “health volunteer” in each village who has a supply of medications from the municipality and who is trained to use simple equipment such as a nebulizer to treat asthma.
Working on a health committee creates the habit of cooperation among the women. Vecinos staff encourage women already cooperating to collaborate on other improvements such as a savings and credit group.