mhGAP training saves a life in Honduras

A doctor and nurse used knowledge acquired during an mhGAP Intervention Guide training course on epilepsy to treat a prisoner who had an epileptic seizure.

Both professionals were part of a health team responding to the aftermath of a devastating fire in the prison in Comayagua, in mid-February 2012. To treat the man’s seizure, they first assessed the possibility of administering diazepam intravenously. However, the epileptic seizure did not allow that. Therefore, the two relied on their recent training to administer the drug rectally, which immediately stopped the seizure and allowed the patient to be transferred to the regional hospital.

Honduras is currently implementing the mhGAP. According to World Bank 2010 figures, 60% of the country’s population is at or below the national poverty line. Neuropsychiatric disorders are responsible for 16.7% of the burden of disease in the country. Recalling the incident in the prison, the trained nurse said, “the new skills learned through the mhGAP training course helped me to save a life.”