THE VILLAGE HEALTH WORKER --LACKEY OR LIBERATOR?

by David Werner
1977

Throughout Latin America, the programmed use of health auxiliaries has, in recent years, become an important part of the new international push of 'community oriented' health care. But in Latin America village health workers are far from new. Various religious groups and non-government agencies have been training promotores de salud or health promoters for decades. And to a large (but diminishing) extent, villagers still rely, as they always have, on their local curanderos, herb doctors, bone setters, traditional midwives and spiritual healers. More recently, the m├ędico practicante or empirical doctor has assumed in the villages the same role of self-made practitioner and prescriber of drugs that the neighborhood pharmacist has assumed in larger towns and cities.

 

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