Wednesday, November 30, 2022

IMSS announces plans to bolster midwifery and traditional medicine

[adinserter block="1"]

Midwifery and traditional medicine practices will soon become more widely available options for patients in the country’s national public health system, two high-level officials announced at President López Obrador’s daily press conference Tuesday.

Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) head Zoé Robledo Aburto and Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell made the announcement, saying that in Mexico’s recent history, both practices had been greatly diminished and marginalized over the years as options for patients due to their lack of inclusion in the nation’s public health care strategy.

“Mexico’s legal framework is clearly insufficient to promote midwifery. Instead, in the last several decades, the spaces for midwifery have been diminished and its capacities lessened because it wasn’t a practice sufficiently incorporated into the national health system, which has prioritized, instead, a very technical and at times technocratic vision of childbirth,” said López-Gatell.

Community midwives (parteras) and traditional medicine doctors are often the only sources of medical care in poor and isolated communities in Mexico. Many work in rural indigenous communities where distance, language barriers and lack of services leaves community members, women in particular, vulnerable.

Indigenous midwives in Chiapas
Indigienous midwives at a center for women in Chiapas

Community midwives generally receive no salary and learn their trade from the generational knowledge collected by grandmothers, mothers and mothers-in-law. Although their work saves the lives of countless people every year, their ancestral knowledge and practices are often disrespected and disregarded by mainstream medicine.

According to statistics from the National Survey on Household Relations (ENDIREH) in 2021, three out of 10 pregnant women in Mexico have experienced some kind of abuse from doctors during pregnancy. Women report being yelled at, criticized or berated, ignored or made to remain in uncomfortable positions. At the very extreme, they’ve had contraceptive devices placed in their bodies without their permission.

Robledo said that IMSS would be working with midwives, traditional doctors, health committees, volunteers from rural areas and other citizens to bring more medical treatment to rural areas as well as incorporate communities and their traditional medical practices more fully into the national system.

One initiative includes cataloging medicinal plants and the building of ethnobotanical greenhouses in each state across the country to preserve local flora.

With reports from Proceso, Pie de la Pagina and Vanguardia

The 'three amigos' at last year's leadership summit.

North American Leaders’ Summit to be held in CDMX in January: AMLO

Biden and Trudeau will travel to Mexico City in January for the North American Leaders Summit, AMLO said Friday.
Thursday's ruling means that people accused of homicide, rape, kidnapping, fuel theft, burglary and firearm offenses will continue to be jailed before trial.

Supreme Court upholds mandatory pre-trial detention except in financial crimes

The Supreme Court has ruled that current mandates for pre-trial detention are valid except in cases of alleged financial crimes.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is a close ally of López Obrador, who has lauded her work as mayor.

AMLO declares he has ‘millions’ of friends, but no time to attend their life events

President López Obrador revealed Thursday that he's too busy to attend weddings, implying he might miss Claudia Sheinbaum's nuptials.