01 Dec 2020

Call for Better Care, Episode Fifteen

Here in episode fifteen, we discuss the pandemic,  Indigenous communities, and inequality in countries like Mexico. This follows on episode fourteen when we discussed discuss how traditional medicine is a solid approach to providing better quality and access to health care for Indigenous and rural communities, especially during the ongoing pandemic in Mexico and across the Global South.


The pandemic has deepened existing inequalities and divisions between social groups. In many places, Indigenous populations are among the most marginalized and precarious. COVID-19 in Mexico highlights the inequalities between different population groups, which manifests itself in the reality that Indigenous communities lack effective access to disease prevention and disease care. Difficult access to culturally relevant means of communication also makes Indigenous populations vulnerable to diseases, and particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, as historically, indigenous peoples have shown little resistance to respiratory diseases.

The side effects of living in poverty can cause one to be at a disadvantage in maintaining good health, and this is a serious problem during the pandemic.

One death every hour from Covid-19 in Hidalgo

The state of Hidalgo, Mexico registered 24 deaths in one day, on Monday, December 28th, due to Covid-19, meaning one person died every hour, according to the daily technical report issued by the Secretariat of Health of Hidalgo (SSH). It was detailed in this report that the accumulated number of deaths in the state increased to 3,259 individuals.

PSYDEH currently works with Indigenous populations in Hidalgo, specifically to the inhabitants of the Otomí-Tepehua Region, hence we focus in this piece on Hidalgo. However, PSYDEH strongly believes that Indigenous communities throughout the republic deserve the support that is needed to survive the pandemic. The Indigenous people and communities of Mexico are in a situation of serious vulnerability in the face of the pandemic. Infections are moving from urban centers to more isolated cities and towns that are gateways to rural indigenous regions. Mexican authorities still have time to design a joint response based on a differential and culturally relevant approach, with the participation of communities and civil society organizations. Because of this, the following recommendations are issued:

  • Accelerate the process of setting up medical care units in rural areas to prevent saturation
  • Increase the number of tests applied in rural and Indigenous areas to detect possible invisible outbreaks early and to ensure that the results do not take more than a week
  • To the National Institute of Indigenous people; advise and support traditional authorities in the implementation of infection prevention measures in their communities

As the pandemic continues, and we prepare for future public health outbreaks, there needs to be a focus on addressing health inequalities that are so prevalent in Mexico. The republic’s Indigenous communities need support.


PSYDEH is a non-profit civil association, which was formed by the initiative of a group of young women from the municipality of Santiago Tulantepec in the State of Hidalgo. PSYDEH is committed to working with and for the most vulnerable communities in the region through the promotion of a Sustainable Human Development.