Scene of healing (Mexico)
Mexico is a multi-cultural country which preserves the most numerous indigenous population in Latin America —around 17 million people—, although in other countries their relative contribution to the total population is greater. Together with formal medicine, the traditional kind is a part of the effective health system of the Mexican population, and remains an essential resource for health in rural areas, but also in wide urban and semi-urban areas, especially those which have grown due to rural migrants.
Most evaluations of the number of traditional health workers in the countries are sparse and incomplete. The data provided by the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) about Mexican States with working rural medical units, indicate the existence of four traditional doctors for each academically trained one. Previous estimates for the whole country indicate the existence of around 13,000 “traditional doctors”, independently of the type of unit in question.
Photo, Joaquín Otero Úbeda