A Promise of Health is a US based charity (501 C (3) that provides health care solutions for rural Mexico, using homeopathic doctors and homeopathic medicine.
In 2001, the organization started up in rural YucatÃ¡n, where indigenous Maya still live in extreme poverty. There they developed an innovative and unique health care model that if replicated across rural Mexico, can revolutionize the delivery of medical services to the poor.
From 2001 through 2009, A Promise of Health placed Mexican homeopathic doctors in rural YucatÃ¡n, serving more than 25 municipalities. During that time, the doctors, who together saw on average of 140 patients each day, treated an incredible number of patients – more than 65,000!
A Promise of Health promotes and believes that basic everyday health care is a fundamental human right, and advances this through sustaining partnerships with Mexico’s local municipal governments, US based Mexican immigrant hometown clubs, community nonprofit organizations, allopathic surgical doctors, homeopathic doctors, homeopathic medical schools and medicine manufacturers, foundations, schools, churches, individuals, Mexican and US businesses and others in the private sector.
Now, A Promise of Health is focusing on rural Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is one of the poorest of all states in Mexico. More than 75 per cent of its people live in “extreme poverty”. As defined by the United Nations, “extreme poverty” means that what one earns today, is needed just to live the next day. Everyone in a family works to survive, including the children. In Oaxaca many of their homes have dirt floors and there is no plumbing. Wells are contaminated and most of the water is unsafe to use.
Over half of the population is under 20 years old. More than 90% of the children live in villages with less than 2,500 inhabitants where medical services are minimal or do not exist.
Oaxaca has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate in all of Mexico.
In Oaxaca, the main causes of death in children under 14 years are infections, intestinal diseases, malnutrition and respiratory disease – yet all are preventable! In children under 5 years old, malnutrition and protein deficits are the biggest killers. Those who survive often have irreversible physical and intellectual damage that follows them all of their lives.
If ever there was a place to bring homeopathic healthcare to underserved indigenous communities, it is Oaxaca. The goal of A Promise of Health in 2010, working with our partners in the US and Mexico, is to establish its program in two rural centers in Oaxaca.
Using its well tested and proven homeopathic model developed in YucatÃ¡n, Mexico, A Promise of Health is deploying dedicated Mexican doctors to live in rural Oaxaca communities. With a portable pharmacy of homeopathic medicine, the doctors are not only able to diagnose and prescribe, but also to give villagers needed medicine at the time of their visit. All this is at no cost to the patient.
This holistic approach emphasizes preventative medicine, community self help education and a home garden program. A Promise of Health doctors teach children in village schools good practices of hygiene, personal health and nutrition. In secondary schools they promote the growing of home gardens to improve nutrition.
On April 19, 2010, A Promise of Health opened the first part of its Oaxaca program in the villages of Ayoquezco de Aldama, Santa Cruz Nexilia, San Juan Logolava, El Rincon and Agua Blanca. These marginalized communities are in a cluster, located about 60 miles southeast of Oaxaca City. The total population to be served, including the farmers who live outside the communities, is nearly 35,000.
The area supports largely dry land agriculture. It is criss-crossed by hills and scarred by arroyos. Many people only raise crops to feed their families with little left over to sell or barter. Because of the lack of jobs, many men have left the villages seeking work in Mexico City or the US.
In this region, the major economic and social enterprise activity to date is the recent startup in Ayoquezco of a woman’s cooperative plant (MENA) supported by 120 family growers, to process nopal cactus for sale in Mexico and hopefully one day in the US. Additionally, the plant produces mole sauce and chocolate. Raw chocolate comes from the neighboring state of Chiapas. The cooperative brings people hope for jobs and markets for the nopal cactus that is a major crop. The reality however, is that the plant, started in 2001, has yet to make a profit and needs an infusion of capital to buy additional equipment and develop markets.
MENA is a major partner with A Promise of Health to bring everyday homeopathic healthcare to all 120 grower families and employees of the factory, a major step forward for MENA and A Promise of Health.
The Municipal President of Ayoquezco welcomes the project and has renovated and donated an old building to serve as the local clinic and residence for A Promise of Health’s doctor. The other communities are donating clinic space and providing transportation for the doctor between communities.
A Promise of Health hopes to open their rural program in a second Oaxaca location by October 31, 2010.
Many people ask why A Promise of Health uses homeopathy. The organization specifically chose to use homeopathic medicine to deliver primary health care in its rural Mexico clinics. Homeopathy It has proven safe, effective and low cost, at less than $1 a remedy. This is far less than the cost of allopathic medicine and because it is a “safe and natural” without secondary effects, it is accepted by the indigenous people who live in these communities.
Mexico is particularly blessed with excellent Homeopathic medical schools and licensed laboratories producing high quality homeopathic medicine. Using these local resources, A Promise of Health doctors treat many categories of chronic and acute physical and mental illnesses with a high degree of success.
In Mexico, many illnesses are caused by parasites and bacterial infections. Because of lack of refrigeration and poor hygiene, diarrhea and colitis are common. During the rainy seasons we treat many respiratory illnesses including asthma. Older patients suffer from chronic arthritis and rheumatism aggravated by climate, diet and hard physical work. Mental depression and anxiety are common maladies among marginalized and under-served people. All of the above physical and mental illnesses respond favorably to homeopathic treatment.
Type 2 Diabetes is fast becoming an epidemic across the globe. Mexico is no different. Preventative health education about Diabetes, such as how to lower and control blood sugar levels through diet and exercise, along with regular testing and monitoring of glucose levels, is part of A Promise of Health’s programs once we receive donated test strips and monitoring devices from the Mexican companies who manufacture them.
A Promise of Health advocates strong world collaboration for homeopathic social projects which have in common a good neighbor policy that believes in the creed, “Love your neighbor and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
A Promise of Health acts on these principles: Create low cost solutions that work, empower and sustain. Actively do the work with love. Change the world.
With these practices and principles in place, we envision the expansive rural countryside of Mexico as a place of healthy, hopeful communities, increasingly capable of building futures and giving back.
It is amazing to see first hand how healthy people gather strength, soon becoming empowered with new creativity, hope and dreams, less encumbered by nagging despair, depression and anxiety. As the overall health of a community improves, determination becomes stronger, social enterprise rises up, futures become brighter and hope takes a more prominent place at the table of life.
This is the kind of empowerment, when deeply felt, that takes root, spreads and grows until it can be sustained, changing forever the face of health care throughout the poorest parts of rural Mexico. It is social enterprise at it’s best, a bold dream in action.
This inspiring video shows the work of A Promise of Health :
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Go to our website www.promiseofhealth.org
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