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CDC in Honduras

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Honduras at a Glance

  • Population: 7,754,700
  • Per capita income: $3,710
  • Life expectancy at birth women/men: 76/71 yrs
  • Infant mortality rate: 24/1000 live births
Source: Population Reference Bureau World Population Data Sheet, 2011

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ) has collaborated with public health institutions in Central America since the 1960s. Through these alliances CDC has addressed priority public health burdens in Honduras and throughout the Central American region. CDC in Honduras addresses HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, emerging infectious diseases, influenza, and field epidemiology training. CDC is also providing assistance to strengthen Honduras’ health systems by increasing the technical skills of epidemiologists in the region.


Map of Honduras

Since 2003, CDC has worked with partners to help strengthen, facilitate, and coordinate HIV prevention strategies to respond to the HIV epidemic in Honduras. One model program currently underway is an HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) surveillance and control program, known by its Spanish-derived acronym, VICITS. VICITS is a comprehensive HIV and STI prevention program linked to analysis of surveillance data in Central America. The strategy combines STI diagnosis and treatment among most at-risk populations, promotes condom use, implements behavioral change, and uses an information system to monitor the impact of the project. Health care personnel are trained in counseling for risk reduction and for promoting condom use, as well as in HIV/STI diagnosis and treatment that don’t require expensive lab tests or advanced medical skills. To strengthen laboratory STI and HIV diagnostic capacity, CDC provides training, equipment, and reagents. In addition, CDC and partners are engaged in the following projects:

Impact in Honduras

  • Conducted preparation and training on standard operating procedures for influenza sentinel surveillance units in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa
  • As of 2011, 257 local health staff were trained in basic-level field epidemiology, 54 in intermediate-level field epidemiology, and 12 in the advanced-level of the Field Epidemiology Training Program
  • Conducting a behavioral surveillance study to determine the prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among most-at-risk populations
  • Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV
    The focus of this project is to improve the TB/HIV surveillance and reporting system in Honduras. In addition, CDC will train personnel in TB/HIV surveillance, diagnostics, data analysis, and the development of a monitoring and evaluation operational plan.
  • Epidemiological Profiles and Triangulation Exercise
    CDC is developing an epidemiological country profile and conducting a triangulation exercise to inform the national strategic plan to fight HIV/AIDS.
  • Behavioral Surveillance Study (BSS+)
    CDC provides technical assistance for implementing the second phase of the BSS+ study in Honduras. Capacity building for analytic interpretation of BSS+ and other monitoring and evaluation instruments for program planning will be provided to help increase the quality, collection, analysis, and use of data
  • Strategic Information
    CDC’s goal is to improve availability of third generation surveillance information through the national information system for HIV care and treatment. CDC also supports a data driven decision-making course on STI/HIV/AIDS.


CDC supports implementing the International Health Regulations in Honduras. It also supports implementing the Pan American Health Organization’s Operational Guidelines for National Intensified Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). CDC provided reagents and supplies to laboratories to further support the influenza surveillance national laboratory and other influenza surveillance sentinel units. In 2011 CDC supported the estimation of the prevalence, associated risk factors, and health care utilization practices against influenza-like illness and SARI in San Pedro Sula. The program also provided the necessary assistance to establish a new laboratory surveillance information system and participated in the design of web-based software.

International Emerging Infections Program (IEIP)

The International Emerging Infections Program in Central America and Panama (IEIP-CAP) began activities in 2007. The central mission of the program is to assure a rapid and effective response to emerging infectious disease threats in the region by strengthening the capacity of the national governments, Ministries of Health (MoH), and academic institutions to identify emerging infections and prevent, control, and treat important infectious diseases. In 2010 IEIP-CAP worked closely with the Honduran MoH and Universidad del Valle on RECETA, a Central American network of epidemiologists and microbiologists dedicated to enhancing the epidemiology laboratory capacity of the region for foodborne diseases. It has trained local staff and sponsored national studies in advanced topics ranging from enhanced Salmonella surveillance to burden of illness.

Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP)

The FETP in Honduras is coordinated by the Epidemiology Department at the (MoH). Similar to other countries with FETP programs, Honduras has implemented three levels of training: the six month basic level trains local health staff in applied epidemiology; the nine month intermediate level trains mid-level district epidemiologists; and the advanced level trains advanced epidemiologists through its participation in the Central America FETP, a two year, in-service program that helps countries build sustainable capacity for detecting and responding to health threats. The basic and intermediate levels receive funding from the Honduran government. Advanced level residents are supported by CDC.

Preparedness and Response

In recent decades Central American has been struck by many natural disasters and civil unrest emergencies. Due to the ongoing occurrence of such disasters CDC collaborated with the Central America Ministers of Health Committee (COMISCA) to develop and administer an emergency preparedness and response assessment that included eight key functional areas. The assessment was conducted in the MoH as part of a regional preparedness effort.

Top 10 Causes of Death in Honduras

Source: WHO World Health Statistics 2006
  1. Perinatal conditions 16%
  2. Diabetes mellitus 6.7%
  3. Congenital malformation 6.6%
  4. Cerebrovascular disease 6.1%
  5. Ischemic disease 5.1%
  1. Lower respiratory diseases 4.5%
  2. Pneumonia 3.8%
  3. Cirrhosis 3.7%
  4. Hypertensive heart disease 3%
  5. HIV/AIDS 2.5%
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  • Page last reviewed: October 18, 2013
  • Page last updated: October 18, 2013
  • Content source: Global Health
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