750 People Benefit From Fyffes Off-season Medical Brigades in Honduras
Fyffes and its winter melon business Sol Group provide four medical clinics, five doctors, four nurses and five ambulances in the regions of Choluteca and El Paraiso, where their farms are located, to ensure that employees, their families and the local community can have access to otherwise inadequate and hard to reach healthcare. During the summer off-season however, community members struggle to access these medical services. To solve this problem, Sol has organized Community Medical Brigades to reach 15 communities surrounding its cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew melon farms.
Launched in July 2022, the Community Medical Brigades consisted of teams of at least one doctor, one nurse, and one pharmacist that conducted weekly medical visits to each community to provide primary care, awareness and prevention talks, and donation of medications to community members. The most prevalent medical conditions treated by the brigades included hypertension and diabetes as well as other common conditions. The largest proportion of beneficiaries were adult and elderly women, followed by adult men and children.
In 2021 and 2022, Fyffes conducted a community needs assessment in the areas surrounding its farms in Honduras, and many of the surveyed residents indicated that the medical infrastructure in the region was not adequate. Besides the Community Medical Brigades, other projects initiated as a result of the community needs assessments included supplying fresh fruit to a primary school’s nutrition programme, installing sanitation equipment in a primary school so that children could return to education post COVID-19, a summer corn planting programme to provide off season employment and access to nutrition for Fyffes seasonal workers, as well as Fyffes ongoing gender equality training programme.
Speaking about the conclusion of this year’s medical brigades, Fyffes Sustainability Coordinator, Michael Fletes, said: “Fyffes and Sol Group are committed to support the local communities from where we employ over 5,000 seasonal workers and 400 permanent workers. Access to medical treatment is a human right, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to meeting the communities’ needs during the summer off-season.”