May 26, 2020

People with disabilities feel discriminated against in Honduras

Discrimination is one of the biggest problems faced by people with disabilities in Honduras, which would affect, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), about 10 percent of the 9.3 million inhabitants in the country Central American

"We have stable data, people with disabilities are around 1.2 million people," Eduardo Gaitán, a member of the "Daniel Association of Families and Friends of People with Disabilities United, told EFE in Tegucigalpa for the inclusion of Honduras ", not governmental.

He added that many Hondurans with disabilities, who need help, do not receive, for example, the benefits of the 10,000 lempiras bond (about $ 403) or the Solidarity Exchange (food) granted by the Government to poor families.

Nor can they access a home, among other benefits, said Gaitán, who also pointed out, as another example of discrimination, the fact that in the recent report on Human Rights in Honduras, presented in Tegucigalpa on November 25, people with disabilities are not mentioned.

Gaitán pointed out that physical, intellectual and psychic disabilities are added to others derived from diseases such as diabetes and heart problems.

The lawyer William Álvarez, 34, who was born blind, like two other older sisters of his, also spoke to EFE about a genetic problem.

Álvarez said that with a lot of effort he paid for his studies and became a lawyer because that is a profession to serve others.


Many people with disabilities, who do not receive help such as physical therapy in public centers, make a living on the streets selling things, cleaning windshields or through a trade.

Others, with walking difficulties, supported by canes, some even with only one of their hands, or without both, ask for money or food from the drivers of vehicles.

But there are also many who are examples, such as Omar Flores, a book seller in the center of Tegucigalpa, who lost his forearms as a teenager due to an electric shock.

Omar studied journalism at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), although he does not practice his profession.

In the surroundings of a hotel zone, Lucio Hernández Bustillo, a man who in 2016 lost his legs, sitting on a wooden tricycle, which he drives with his hands, offers his services as a shoemaker at the edge of a street.

Lucio told EFE that he lost his lower extremities, in addition to other serious injuries to the chest and head, when he was hit by a driver of a vehicle in Tegucigalpa.

He added that a state aid that he was receiving for a while, has been suspended, but that he makes a living by working.

In his opinion, there are people who, with all their faculties, have "disability in the head" and that is why they engage in illegal activities that lead them to jail or death.


In Tegucigalpa, several public therapy rooms operate in which they serve hundreds of patients who suffer from different types of disabilities every day, some of them with more dedicated care for the elderly.

"The Cuban doctor and his boys have miraculous hands, they have helped me to walk, when I first came here, more than a year ago, I could not walk, I got a fractured hip, in a wheelchair," a patient told EFE of the Senior Care Center, which operates in a Nursing Home, next to the centenary San Felipe Hospital.

The initiative to create the Senior Adult Care Center emerged two and a half years ago from former Health Minister Roxana Araujo, who is now its director.

The consultation of disabled patients who arrive at the Senior Care Center is the responsibility of the Cuban doctor Luis Manuel Hernández, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

"Every day we serve between 50 and 60 people in the physiotherapy department, receiving different types of treatment, that is, using different types of physical agents and doing some type of exercise with them," said Hernández.

In the room, which was inaugurated by the first lady, Ana García de Hernández, they are served from Monday to Friday, from 07:00 to 12:00 local time (from 13:00 to 18:00 GMT), cases of seniors with different limitations; for example, damage to the spine, arms, knees, fractures of the hip or other members, also patients with cerebrovascular accidents, among others.

The ward also serves 25 to 30 patients in the Nursing Home in the afternoon, also with different types of disabilities.

Hernández, who arrived in Honduras with the first brigades in his country to help in the emergency that Hondurans experienced in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane Mitch in 1998, works with a team of about six people who care for patients at the Adult Care Center Higher.


The director of Disability and coordinator of the state Honduras Program for All, Moisés Izaguirre, told EFE that the country did not have a record of people with disabilities before, but currently they already have a survey of some 80,000 files from an initiative undertaken three years ago, taken from an experience known to the first lady in Ecuador.

Registered people are receiving assistance from the Government and the census already has a presence in the 18 departments of the country, subtracting only 60 of the 298 municipalities, he added.

Program staff visits the municipalities to meet families where there is a member who has some type of disability.

Izaguirre recalled that there are cases of families in which they hide people with disabilities, which in his opinion "must be changing in Honduran society."

Germán Reyes

. (tagsToTranslate) People (t) disability (t) feel (t) discriminated against (t) Honduras

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