In this Section
203623 Evaluating women's health indicators and access to care in rural Honduras: A quantitative assessment among women
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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.
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.
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.