As part of the program, students participate in an intensive orientation curriculum during the spring semester intended to promote an understanding of the cultural, economic, religious, and political background that frames health and health care in Honduras. Following this preparation, students spend one month in Honduras, where rising 2nd and 4th year students and their preceptors provide much-needed health education and cervical cancer screening services to rural Hondurans. During the month of July, students first conduct educational workshops for community members and local health educators about reproductive health issues, nutrition, and sanitation. The medical students, guided by their preceptors, then provide screening tests for sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and cervical cancer. Lab work, pharmaceutical support, and continuing care are provided by the government-supported Planned Parenthood International affiliate, ASHONPLAFA and/or the Ministry of Health. This annual program, initiated and led by medical and public health students but under the supervision of medical faculty, offers students invaluable opportunities to understand health in an international context, improve their Spanish, and appreciate the complexity of medical care across different cultures. Leadership within HHA has transitioned as 2nd year students have advanced to 4th year positions and have returned to Honduras as project leaders. Starting in 2007, the HHA team has also been co-led by a UNC public health student.
The 2010 Honduran Health Alliance participants