Hospital Bayan wins government support

PALACIOS, Honduras - Hospital Bayan, a Bahá'í-sponsored community hospital and medical center, has entered into a three-year agreement with the Ministry of Health and the municipality.

Under the agreement, which was signed 4 June 1998, the Ministry of Health will provide physicians, nurses, and laboratory personnel to Bayan; the municipal government will provide a degree of financial assistance, and Bayan itself will provide the hospital facility. A local administrative council will be formed and will have the responsibility for setting policies and administrative procedures.

"Bayan's mission is to develop the capacity of the population to make and execute decisions in favor of their own material and spiritual well-being," said Dr. Houshang Sabripour, Bayan's Executive Director. "We see this agreement as part of that process, a process in which the community, the government, and Bayan have now joined forces."

Established in 1985 by two Bahá'í doctors and their wives on Honduras' isolated northeast coast, Hospital Bayan has been struggling to meet the needs of the Black Carib (Garifuna) and indigenous Miskito people, whose the main occupations are subsistence fishing and subsistence farming - and they have been largely unable to provide local support for the Hospital.

(For background information, see "In Honduras, a rural hospital suffers from success"(October-December 1996 / OC 8.3)