EHS-COVID (467) Q3 What have we learned to better support health workers?

17 November, 2021

What have we learned? Honduran physicians fallen during the pandemic

Dear all,

At the LXIII National Medical Congress (Congreso Médico Nacional, COMENAC) held from October 26 to 29, 2021 within the framework of the Honduran Doctor's Week, under the theme "COVID-19 Pandemic: what we know and have learned so far", tribute was paid to the doctors who died during the pandemic.

In an opinion article published in the Revista Médica Hondureña as part of the National Medical Congress Supplement (, information is presented on the impact of the pandemic on the medical guild with a significant increase in the number of deaths during the pandemic compared to previous years. Here is an excerpt.

Alger J, Mejía F, Codina HI, Mejía M. Tributo a los médicos hondureños fallecidos durante la pandemia de COVID-19, período marzo 2020 a octubre 2021.Rev Méd Hondur 2021: Vol 89 (Supl 2): 18-21. Available in:

"... since the report of the first cases of COVID-19 in Honduras in March 2020, 166 physicians have died, including three students of the last year of the Medicine Career (doctors in social service); in 2020, 82 died and as of October 23, 2021, 84 have died (Table 1). The median age of physicians who died in 2020 is 61 years (range 30-91) and in 2021 it is 64 years (range 27-94). With respect to sex, for the year 2020, the male to female ratio of the deceased is 4.1:1 and for the year 2021, the ratio is 3.4:1. In the three-year period from 2017 to 2019, 31, 29 and 40 physicians died respectively per year, an annual average of 33 + 6 deaths. The data for deaths in the full year 2020 was 95 colleagues, and the data as of October 23, 2021, with 84 colleagues, represent a greater than 2.5-fold increase in deaths per year for each of the years. This increase is directly related to COVID-19 or indirectly to the conditions of health and social precariousness prevailing in times of pandemic in our country..."

To honor the deceased doctors, the Supplement also published a photo collage available at:

The back cover also features a commemorative image, available at:

The best way to honor all health workers who died during the pandemic is to contribute to improving a weakened and underserved health system.



HIFA profile: Jackeline Alger, MD, PhD, is a parasitologist working at the Departamento de Laboratorio Clínico, Hospital Escuela and at the Unidad de Investigación Científica, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH), Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She is a board member of the Instituto de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Parasitologia Antonio Vidal (IAV), a non-profit organization devoted to training, advising, and conducting research in the field of infectious diseases. She combines clinical laboratory work, teaching, and research activities with mentoring students, faculty and health professionals performing health research, building interdisciplinary bridges, promoting international collaboration, and networking to advance scientific and ethical research and social innovation for health in Honduras. She is a Country Representative for HIFA and CHIFA and is the 2-time holder of HIFA Country Representative of the Year Award 2015 and 2018.

Email: jackelinealger AT