Relieving Covid with herbs in indigenous areas

Reality hits the Xochistlahuaca people, Guerrero, where there is no capacity to hospitalize coronavirus patients

  • 15/02/2021
  • 18:26 hrs
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Relieving Covid with herbs in indigenous areas
In Xochistlahuaca, there is no capacity to hospitalize coronavirus patients. (Photo: Guillermo García)

In the Amuzga land of Guerrero, ginger, holy leaf, paracetamol, ibuprofen, and with luck, dexamethasone, are the agents in charge of fighting the strain that has killed 167 thousand Mexicans, where the nearest specialized medical service is an hour away, teas and herbal infusions, become the last line of battle against the coronavirus, journalist Andrea Meraz, from Grupo Fórmula published.

Juan was cured like this, with herbs. He talks about it after having survived the disease and having refused hospitalization after it saturated 61.

"The hospital of Xochistlahuaca have no medications of any kind other than paracetamol. When you go they tell you to take paracetamol and aspirin, it is all the basic hospital prescription. Thanks to the traditional medicine of our native people, Amuzga medicine, which is made from grass, the leaves and roots raised me up again. Did you go to the doctor? What did they prescribe? Nothing, none, " he said.

In Xochistlahuaca, there is no capacity to hospitalize coronavirus patients. A sick patient has two options to go to Ometepec, one hour from the community, or Acapulco, four hours away.

The reality leads people to go to private medicine. The doctors in this area are the first contact; There are seven, and only two have oxygen availability. Getting it in the area is impossible; nobody sells or rents tanks.

"Here what is available, is antibiotic, because antiretrovirals are very expensive drugs that people cannot get, with antihistamines sometimes for fever, for headaches, it is what is available, what is da, "explained Dr. Vladimir.

In the Basic Community Hospital, the X-ray machine -which would be used to measure lung damage- does not work. Still, it would be useless if it were in operation because, among the medical personnel, no technician can run it, on the specialties, in Xochistlahuaca, only one surgeon who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. To treat COVID, specifically, there are no blood tests, such as the D-Dimer, which is also used to know how severe a patient suffering from coronavirus is.

"A lot is required to verify if the patient is getting worse the ferrite and d-dimer, but here, unfortunately, it is not counted, they are very expensive reagents," said a doctor belonging to the only hospital in the area.

Before receiving his positive result for Covid, Santiago was prescribed acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, and dexamethasone. The last two medications had to be obtained outside the hospital.

"Acetylsalicylic acid was given to me, but I had to buy the rest. I was drinking ginger tea, and I boiled it with lemon and also added holy grass leaf," he said. In the Amuzga community, where the internet signal is difficult to obtain, the children run barefoot in the square. Here you do not breathe fear of Covid, but the desire to play, talk, live; the mask and the healthy distance stayed at home. For months, doctors have dealt with double fatigue: the lack of personnel, medicines, and credibility. People do not believe in the pandemic.

"In the cultural context, we already had and lived with Zika and Chikungunya. At first, people did not believe, but when some began feeling sick, it was more difficult to explain that the virus can spread through coughing, "explained doctor Abraham García.

In official figures, the municipality, whose economic engine is the huipil and Jamaica, has only 4 deaths and 95 positive cases, the result takes a week to arrive. People attribute the deaths to other factors, such as age, previous illnesses. The funeral march does not stop ringing.


Traduccion: Valentina K. Yanes