A Man with a Mission—Dr. Enrique Tomé, Honduran Pediatrician, Performs Surgeries in Roatán

As we gear down from our trip to Honduras this past week, we want to introduce you to an incredible man working to provide pediatric surgeries in Roatán, Honduras, an island where much of the population has scarce resources and limited skilled medical attention. It’s a tragedy when children don’t have access to timely surgical care when there is a need. Fortunately, there are people who are working hard to change this. Pediatric surgeon Dr. Enrique Tomé is one of those people. He supports the amazing work done by other Global Healing volunteers by performing surgeries on an average of 20 children during each medical mission.

For Dr. Enrique Tomé, supporting Global Healing is a natural outgrowth of his professional and philanthropic interests. He is a pediatric surgeon with more than 15 years of experience, currently working on the mainland at the Hospital María in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He completed his medical training at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras as a general practitioner, specializing in general pediatrics. Dr. Tomé also completed training in pediatric surgery at Universidad de Chile. 

“One of the most challenging parts of the medical condition these children present is consistent access to care where there is no comprehensive care system to treat these conditions,” said Dr. Tomé.

During the last eight years, Dr. Tomé and his anesthesiologist partner, Dr. Armando Sánchez, have flown at least once a year to the island of Roatán to undertake this medical mission. During their service time, they have operated free of charge on more than 150 children in need. Since surgical care at the Public Hospital on the island is limited, they primarily provide ambulatory (or outpatient) surgeries and operations requiring pathological evaluation. The kids who receive care are identified in advance by Dr. Karla Cerritos, the pediatrician in charge of the the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic (RVPC), who also does the post-surgery follow-up to provide continuity of care. Most of the surgeries are done to correct congenital malformations of the intestinal and urinary tracts. The successful surgeries allow these children to grow and develop normally and live essentially normal lives.

Dr. Tome (5th from right) and colleagues in Roatán

Committed to his mission, Dr. Tomé plans to continue to provide these surgeries. The RVPC relies on donors and volunteers like Dr. Tomé to help make its vision a reality. Volunteers work with the team at the clinic and hospital which provide training, patient care and collaborative surgery with Honduran medical professionals. Dr. Tomé urges anyone who is interested in the group’s mission to get involved.

If you’re interested in supporting this work by volunteering, please visit rvpc.globalhealing.org/volunteer.

About our program: Global Healing established the RVPC in 2003 as a joint project with Public Hospital Roatán to provide much-needed medical care to children on the island. Our pediatric outpatient clinic in Honduras sees thousands of children each year. We have also partnered with UCSF, UC Davis, and Telerivet to launch an SMS messaging initiative encouraging exclusive breastfeeding of infants among new mothers. Our program received support in 2016 from the IZUMI Foundation, and in 2017 the IZUMI Foundation awarded a second grant to support daily operations at the RVPC, the exclusive breastfeeding project and an infection control project at the Public Hospital.