Last June Homeopathy for Everyone published a story about a small charity, A Promise of Health, and its work, providing homeopathic healthcare to Mexico’s rural villages. Founded by Barbara and Bill Grannell, its work is focused in the thousands of small indigenous villages sprinkled across rural Mexico.
For years, Mexico’s politicians have talked of bringing meaningful healthcare to these out-of-way places. But the bare reality is that these indigenous people, who possess no political power, have no help. In the 1930’s and 1940’s the Mexican federal government constructed Casas de Salud, Houses of Health, all across the country. Their plan was to fill with them with doctors. But, the reality is, it never happened. Most buildings stand empty, still waiting for the promise.
Delivering on this promise has been A Promise of Health. Started nearly a dozen years ago, its founder Barbara Grannell came up with the idea of bringing homeopathic healthcare to Mexico’s rural villages. It was a project that was destined to touch many lives for the better and today continues to offer that promise, that good health can be a commodity in which we all can share.
In the June issue, A Promise of Health wrote about its doctor in Ayoquezco de Aldama, Oaxaca, Dr. Soledad Ramírez Medina. She is an incredible young doctor with a vision to replicate her work in Oaxaca’s poor villages that still wait for the promise of a doctor. Of Mixteca descent, she was first trained as an allopathic physician and practiced medicine in the capital city of Oaxaca Juarez. After experiencing the amazing healing properties of homeopathy, her career changed. Studying at the graduate school of homeopathic medicine at Oaxaca’s university, she became an avid doctor of homeopathy. And while in Oaxaca’s capital city, she longed to live among “her people” to bring them better health.
Her opportunity came in April 2010 with A Promise of Health. The organization, working with Mexican Hometown Clubs, had chosen Ayoquezco de Aldama and four surrounding villages as their next program. The municipal governments were eager for them to come, and Dr. Soledad became their doctor. An old Central Salud building was refurbished to provide both living quarters and a day clinic.
She arrived on April 15, 2010 with her family (2 infant children and her husband Arturo). They moved in that day, bringing some furniture from Oaxaca Juarez, and by Monday, April 19 she started her work. Her schedule involved her traveling to the little Casa de Salud’s in 4 pueblos (Santa Cruz Nexila, San Juan Logolava, Agua Blanca and El Rincón). Two days each week she worked in yoquezco. Wanting everyone to understand her program and A Promise of Health, she organized community meetings in all the pueblos. They were held at night when everyone could attend. And attend they did, as word circulated about this wonderful, caring Mixteca doctor who treated with natural medicine! Community buildings were packed with people of all ages who wanted to hear her message and also to ask her about their health issues.
On her day of arrival in each of the villages, lines formed early as people sought their turn. Old people came hobbling on canes and crutches, helped by a family member or neighbor. Infants were brought to see the doctor by mothers and grandmothers. People of all ages, with many kinds of complaints, both physical and mental, came to see the doctor and she treated them all.
Equipped with a miniature pharmacy of homeopathic medicines, she did it all. She consulted with each patient, prescribed a remedy and prepared the medicine for them. Those who could were asked to make a small donation. Those who could not were treated for free. Everyone was treated the same.
From that first day in April until now, Dr. Soledad has had more than 10,000 patient visits! She continues her community programs and teaches when she can in local village schools. In 2011 she spoke about her work to a national congress of homeopathic physicians in Mazatlán. Last year she helped organize a national congress in Oaxaca Juarez where again she was a speaker, telling homeopathic doctors about rural Mexico’s need for doctors and her vision to expand the work of A Promise of Health across Oaxaca.
Working with the National Polytechnic School of Homeopathic Medicine in Mexico City, she led a group of young doctors to her hometown in Oaxca’s Mixteca region for a 3 day clinic. While there, she tried to convince the local government leaders to support a similar project as has Ayoquezco de Aldama. And, she has spent countless hours in an attempt to locate another Promise of Health doctor in remote and rural regions.
In December 2012, Dr. Soledad made a breakthrough. Talking with the municipal president from Putla, a remote community in southwest Oaxaca, she convinced the president to locate a doctor there. The municipality is comprised of many small villages populated by indigenous Mixteca and Triqui people. The poverty level is extremely high and for most people there is no medical care.
The new program was to start in early January. Earlier in August, Dr. Soledad had notified A Promise of Health that she was pregnant with her 3rd child. She had it all planned. First, she assured everyone that her pregnancy would not affect her work, and it did not. Second, she told us that she would have a Cesarean birth in January and she only anticipated a 3 week rest after the birth of her child before she returned to work.
But, as life has taught us all, what we plan does not always come true. Just as she worked to staff and equip a new program in Putla, Oaxaca, her doctor said he was concerned and set an earlier schedule for the Cesarean. It was to be on January 3.
That day Dr. Soledad entered the hospital to give birth to her 3rd child. The child was successfully delivered. It was a boy and the family named him Miguel Angel. But the joy of giving birth was followed by the worst nightmare of circumstances that anyone can imagine, especially a doctor!
After returning home to Ayoquezco with her son, she began to experience acute abdominal pains and 3 days later she returned to the hospital. The surgeons there discovered a perforated intestine caused during her Cesarean.
They made repairs and did cleanup surgery as best they could. Following a short recovery, she returned home but her abdominal pains continued.
Again she returned to the hospital and following another surgery, doctors discovered that she had been infected from the rupture of her intestine. She was desperately sick, infected with Septicemia. Her life was in danger. It was now January 14. Her kidneys were not functioning and her body was wracked with fever. The doctors began to administer massive doses of antibiotics and in the days that followed her body began slowly to respond. By Friday, January 18, it appeared the immediate crisis had passed. Though her condition remained critical, she was, for the first time since the birth of her son, out of immediate danger.
Dr. Soledad spent the next five days in intensive care. On January 22, she was released from the hospital but she is still very sick. The doctors told her that her condition was still serious. They asked her not to return to Ayoquezco but to remain in Oaxaca Juarez, close to the hospital where they could monitor her and continue her medications. Fortunately a brother lived close by and that is where she has resided until now.
Dr. Soledad’s family needs your help!
Following Dr. Soledad’s surgeries and lengthy hospital stays, her family faces the burden of large medical expenses. They need help to pay these bills! Please make a donation today. The money you send will be used to help pay her medical expenses.
You can instantly make your donation by typing this link into your web browser:
Or you can mail your donation to : A Promise of Health, P.O. Box 247, Hiawatha, IA 52233, USA.
Please note your donation is to help pay the doctor’s medical bills.
Sadly, the doctor has not been with her children except for 2 brief times. Her plans to return work are for now on hold. Her doctors tell her should wait awhile more. She says she is very anxious to return to her family and her work and each day makes plans. She worries for her patients and her work.
On January 15, In Putla, A Promise of Health and municipal authorities inaugurated its new program and another doctor began her work among the pueblos. But Dr. Soledad was not there to celebrate.
We are certain that Dr. Soledad, a true pioneer for homeopathic medicine in rural Mexico, will return to her patients and her work. Her indomitable spirit won’t let her do otherwise. She is still A Promise of Health’s doctor and as the organization’s program develops in Oaxaca she will continue to be a major player. For now her focus is a return to health. It is journey, she says, she will never forget and will affect her life forever.
A Promise of Health first launched a homeopathic medical program in July 2001 in the small village of Huhí in Mexico’s Yucatán. In the years to come, it added more homeopathic doctors and was serving 25 Maya communities in rural Yucatán. From 2001 until 2008, the organization’s doctors saw more than 65,000 patients! During that time the doctors treated an incredible number of patients each day for all types of acute and chronic physical and mental illness.
What A Promise of Health first started in Mexico’s Yucatán, it is now doing in Oaxaca. In meeting with Mexican hometown clubs in California, A Promise of Health decided to begin its program in Oaxaca, with its large population of indigenous poor. The same needs that first inspired Barbara Grannell to bring medical care to the remote rural villages of Huhí, Yucatán, exist today in Oaxaca’s medically underserved rural villages.
A Promise of Health has proved, beyond a doubt, that homeopathic medicine was the harbinger of the future. For a small cost per patient, it could bring effective medical care to indigenous people who understood and trusted natural medicine – the foundation of homeopathy.