COVID-19: How will rural communities handle the public health crisis?

Rural communities were forgotten during previous administrations, therefore, they still lack basic services

COVID-19: How will rural communities handle the public health crisis?
In Mexico, rural communities often lack basic services, hospitals, and roads - Photo: Marcial Guillén/EFE
English 26/04/2020 09:34 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:47

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COVID-19 seemed to be a disease that was only affecting large cities, people who travel all over the world for pleasure or business but that is not the case since COVID-19 has now arrived at the most remote locations in Mexico, places where people lack basic services and where there is 1 doctor for every 1,000 inhabitants. In this secluded communities, people thought that their remote location would protect them from the novel coronavirus.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reported that some communities in the state of Guerrero, some of the most marginalized municipalities in the country, face critical conditions: unfinished hospitals, hospitals lacking equipment, and no healthcare workers

With all these shortages, COVID-19 has arrived in these communities in full force and with few chances to contain it. In an effort to confront the spread of the virus, the army took over an unfinished hospital in Chilapa, Guerrero, with the aim of using it as a COVID-19 center. This evidences the shortages and issues faced by people who inhabit Guerrero, and many other communities located far away from cities. 

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We must keep these communities in mind, where the arrival of coronavirus, or any other disease, could be catastrophic. In case these communities are affected by the virus, the problem will begin with their lack of information on COVID-19, which will result in a delay in the search for medical attention up to the point where it is too late to go to a hospital. The situation would be exacerbated by roads in terrible conditions and long drives to the nearest doctor, who will likely lack medicines and other supplies to treat the patient, their family, and their communities. Finally, hospitals located in larger cities will be overcrowded. 

All these conditions would benefit COVID-19, and contagions would be much more aggressive and quicker than in urban areas. Moreover, this is a situation that could have been prevented many years ago, if previous federal governments would have prioritized rural communities over cities, especially in regards to health

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