For over 5,000 locals on Roatán, this special clinic is their primary medical care provider.
Written by. Monish Welcome
It is Monday morning at Clínica Esperanza in Sandy Bay. People are talking in hushed voices as they sit in lines of chairs waiting to see a doctor. Children are playing on the playground outside while adults enjoy baleadas prepared by a local woman running her own little micro-business. The waiting room is air conditioned, clean and inviting, these are staples of the care that patients receive at Clínica Esperanza, a not-for-profit clinic for the underserved of the Bay Islands of Honduras.
Behind this vision is a red-haired, middle-aged woman, covered in freckles with glasses dangling from her neck and a serene, yet matter-of-fact demeanor. Her name is Peggy Stranges.
A registered nurse, Stranges began her journey in 2002 at her kitchen table, where she was educating families and patients with diabetes and other prevalent illnesses here in Roatán. Her home instantly became known as the clinic of hope, and patients with ailments of all sorts started seeking her out. Patients soon were overflowing her first-floor, beach-front apartment, so she moved into a few rooms at the former Son Rise Mission Inn in Sandy Bay.
When the patients increased daily a permanent home was necessary. Land and monetary donations were made, as well as materials and labor, and Clínica Esperanza soon opened, thanks to donors, island-wide fundraisers and the sweat and hard work of many.
In August 2011 Clínica Esperanza received its license and in early 2012 opened a new pediatric inpatient unit and birthing center.
Located in Sandy Bay, adjacent to Anthony’s Key Resort, the clinic opens at 8 a.m. five days a week and closes when the last patient is seen. The number of patients ranges from 60 to 100 a day; approximately 60% are children, 30% are adult females and 10% are adult males. Over 15,000 patients have been treated here, from Punta Gorda, Diamond Rock, Coxen Hole, French Harbour—even people from the mainland seek Clínica Esperanza’s service.
For over 5,000 locals on Roatán, Clínica Esperanza is their primary medical care provider. It is also considered as the center for diabetes and hypertension on Roatán.
The clinic provides many services, such as treatment for upper respiratory tract infections, malaria and minor orthopedic and traumatic injuries. It also manages chronic problems requiring lifetime care, such as diabetes and hypertension, which are very common on Roatán. Many of patients affected by these conditions had not received proper care before they arrived at the clinic for the first time.
An important aspect of the clinic is its well-stocked pharmacy of medications — provided free of charge — from international organizations and individual donations. The clinic also provides donated medication to other clinics and the public hospital. The treatment charge per patient is 70 lempiras, equivalent to $3.50, and it is waived if the patient is unable to pay. The fee encourages patients to participate in their own healthcare, and patients often choose to give a larger amount.
Clíninca Esperanza has raised the bar for healthcare in Roatán.
Everyone is welcome at the clinic and will be treated by a kind staff. There is no doubt that Peggy Stranges and all who stand beside her are a blessing to the island and will continue to be for as long as this noble project stands.
For more information visit www.clinicaesperanza.com