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News Article

Mexico’s Health Climate Today - “El Médico en tu Casa”

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 12:33

Dr. Armando Ahued, Secretary of Health of Mexico City, started his presentation on the House Call Doctor program. The background of the program was based on the rising maternal and infant mortality rate in Mexico City and efforts of the local government to stop this issue. He explained that originally, the program was to be called “Looking out for pregnant women”, however the city mayor changed the name and decided to enlarge its coverage for every the household habitant. “The program started in September 2014 and it is innovative and necessary. The program looks for mature adults, people with disabilities, and every person that might need any kind of health aid,” Ahued explained.

Ahued said that the program started in the Iztapalapa borough, then moved on to the Gustavo A. Madero until it finally it covered the complete city. The House Call Doctor program has 3,000 people working in its brigades, including 600 physicians and 600 nurses, as well as mobile laboratories for blood tests.

“We discovered that 33.2% of the pregnant women we found through the program had no prenatal follow up and 38.5% of them were high risk pregnancies, so we created a nutritional basket to aid a good fetus development. We have managed to raise prenatal consultations from four to seven,” the Secretary explained.

The program visits 10 households daily, and Dr. Ahued says that the program has identified more than 140,000 elders in need, 290 persons in state of abandonment and 60 terminal patients.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Mexico City has 2.4 million households and the Secretariat of Health has reached 75% of them. The main illness afflicting Mexico City citizens are diabetes, cancer, medical depression, and senile dementia. Dr. Ahued explained that the program is closely working with Center of Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) and the Harvard Public Health School to evaluate the program’s success.

“There are other entities that want to reply the House Call Doctor program, as it is aiding the sick with the necessary treatments while educating them in health matters,” Dr. Ahued mentioned.

The Secretary concluded his speech by informing the audience that there is still much to do, but Mexico City is looking forward for a complete and universal healthcare system.