The Ministry of Health of the state of Puebla launched three programs to promote a preventive culture, offering Western and Mexican traditional medicine with the aim of improving the living conditions and health of the state’s indigenous population.
According with a Ministry’s press release, there are 11 comprehensive hospitals operating in strategic regions of the state. All of them have Mexican traditional medicine modules, where specialists in herbalism and ‘hueseros’ (bones specialist) offer their services in addition to providing first level medical care.
When Mexican traditional medicine is unable to treat some illnesses, patients are channeled with Western medicine doctors in the hospital.
It was also reported that each hospital operates with an electronic medical record (EMR) to have patients’ health control, plus information about the type of care they are receiving. EMRs allow the exchange of information among physicians, when providing mixed health services; in this case among Mexican traditional medicine and Western medicine.
In addition, female health personnel are directly attending the indigenous population in their communities. These collaborators are chosen by people from the locality to primarily care for women. Through these actions the State’s Ministry of Health, seeks to respect the customs and culture of ethnic groups in the region.
Most of the selected collaborators are certified midwives, trained by the Ministry. They are commonly the population’s fist contact. In case of someone needing specialty care, patients are transferred to second and third level hospitals.
Mobile units and caravans travel to indigenous and rural communities, where the nearest health center is more than 30 minutes from their location. Each mobile unit provides first contact health care services, dental care and medications; also, they have the equipment to perform tests such as mammograms and smear tests. Health caravans have all the basic facilities, and in some cases offer telemedicine for remote surgeries.
In Puebla, the most common mother tongue is Nahuatl, followed by the Totonac and in some areas Mazatec. For this reason, the Indigenous Communication Plan was launched, which consists in translating into their mother tongue information about different diseases and self-health care. This information is offered through brochures, flip charts, videos, audios and capsules.
With these actions, the Ministry of Health in Puebla encourages a preventive rather than a curative culture, as people go to the doctor for regular check-ups and not just when they are sick.
Through: Radio Fórmula