Remarks from Ambassador Laura F. Dogu at OP HEART Closing Ceremony

We learned about the case of an elderly woman with a hip fracture, without relatives and without financial resources to buy a plate to repair her hip bone.

The HEART team purchased a plate, through U.S. Southern Command Overseas Humanitarian and Civic Aid funds, and HEART orthopedic surgeons along with a Honduran orthopedic doctor were able to operate on the woman’s hip.

Without the help to obtain the material for her plate and without that surgery, the woman, most likely, would not have been able to walk again and would have had more severe complications, seriously jeopardizing her health.

Minister of Health, Dr. Jose Manuel Matheu;

Vice Minister of Defense, Colonel Elías Antonio Melgar;

Respectable Reyna Osorio; and

Deputy Rafael Sarmiento,

representatives of Hospital Escuela and Hospital San Felipe,

special guests,

The United States supports President Castro’s view that access to health services is paramount.

And we understand that resources are not enough due to the pandemic or medical conditions.

that requires a specific specialty.

During the last four weeks, military doctors from the United States and Honduras, together with the medical staff of the Honduran Ministry of Health, provided medical assistance to more than 2,000 local Honduran patients who had waited a long time for medical treatment.

This joint effort is a unique medical commitment of the U.S. Southern Command and Joint Task Force-Bravo entitled “HEART”.

All of us remember the videos of the JTF-B helicopters rescuing families during the hard days of hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Many do not know that the JTF-B has been working every day for 30 years to help the Honduran people, including with medical brigades like today’s.

We are with Honduras day-by-day, and not only in times of crisis.

The work of the last four weeks is valued at more than one million dollars. The medical assistance included humanitarian donations and volunteer services. For example, that includes three dental care chairs to assist critical needs of communities.

We are pleased to support President Castro in her efforts to invest in the health and wellness of the Honduran people.

We are also with Hondurans to strengthen their institutions, security, and social development, so that everyone can see a healthy future here in Honduras.

Thank you very much.