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BRIEF: Intercultural Health Policies in Latin America

BRIEF: Intercultural Health Policies in Latin America

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Published by ELLA Programme
Historically, indigenous peoples’ access to health services in Latin America has been limited due to a variety of social, economic and cultural factors. The misunderstanding of indigenous peoples’ world view and their definition of health makes it more difficult to design and implement public policies that reflect their real needs. This Brief presents the progress at the regional and country level, discusses advances in the design and implementation of intercultural health policies in areas with indigenous communities. These policies have sought to counteract the constant tension between cultural diversity and western traditional medicine. The Brief describes some regional trends in terms of how states, social movements and civil society organisations are making efforts to incorporate intercultural health policies, and highlights two particularly interesting cases of how the policies are working in practice, one from Ecuador and one from Mexico. It concludes by outlining some of the challenges that have been encountered and lessons learned, all of which may prove useful for countries in other regions with significant indigenous populations.
Historically, indigenous peoples’ access to health services in Latin America has been limited due to a variety of social, economic and cultural factors. The misunderstanding of indigenous peoples’ world view and their definition of health makes it more difficult to design and implement public policies that reflect their real needs. This Brief presents the progress at the regional and country level, discusses advances in the design and implementation of intercultural health policies in areas with indigenous communities. These policies have sought to counteract the constant tension between cultural diversity and western traditional medicine. The Brief describes some regional trends in terms of how states, social movements and civil society organisations are making efforts to incorporate intercultural health policies, and highlights two particularly interesting cases of how the policies are working in practice, one from Ecuador and one from Mexico. It concludes by outlining some of the challenges that have been encountered and lessons learned, all of which may prove useful for countries in other regions with significant indigenous populations.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: ELLA Programme on Apr 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/24/2013

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