203623 Evaluating women's health indicators and access to care in rural Honduras: A quantitative assessment among women

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Joan T. Price, BA , Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Norman Márquez Díaz , Alianzas para el Desarrollo Integral, La Esperanza, Honduras
Elizabeth J. Garland, MD, MS , Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Yvette Martas, MD , Alianzas para el Desarrollo Integral, La Esperanza, Honduras
Ramin G. Asgary, MD, MPH , Dept of Community and Preventive Medicine and the Center of Global Health, Mount Sinai Med Ctr., The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
BACKGROUND: Disparities in women's health indicators exist throughout the Americas. Lower women's health status is predicted in resource-poor settings such as the indigenous highland communities of Honduras. METHODS: An anonymous survey was administered to a convenience sample of women ages 18 and older presenting to health centers in Yamaranguila, Honduras. The survey assessed family planning, breastfeeding, cancer screenings and perceptions of self-health and the health care system, among other indicators. RESULTS: 134 women were surveyed; 30% were under age 25 and 10% were over 45. Most had attended some primary school while 15% had no education. 30% reported being in bad health. 45% never practiced family planning compared to the national rate of 10%. 60% had not planned their most recent pregnancy. While 90% understood the importance of a Pap smear, only 50% had ever had one. 78% exclusively breastfed their youngest child for at least six months, compared to 30% nation-wide. 50% had minimal access to medical personnel, health facilities, medications and/or quality health services. Age was a predicting factor for both the likelihood of having an unplanned pregnancy and having had a Pap smear. Level of education, perception of self-health and marital status did not predict the rate of an unplanned pregnancy or a Pap smear. CONCLUSIONS: Disparities exist between women's health indicators in Yamaranguila and those at the national level. Being a member of a rural indigenous community may have a greater effect on access to health care than traditional factors such as education and marital status.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify factors that affect women's access to health care in rural indigenous communities of Honduras. 2. List three health indicators that differ between the women of Yamaranguila as compared to national statistics.

Keywords: Women's Health, Indigenous Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a dual-degree MD/MPH student enrolled in the global heath track at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. My interest has been primarily in women’s health and last year I spent two months working with local partners in indigenous communities in Hounduras to understand the socio-cultural context of the community and to evaluate women's health indicators and issues of access. I have designed, initiated, performed, and analyzed this study under supervision of my mentors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.