Opinion: Folk Cures and Alternative Treatment Are Putting Hispanic Patients At Risk


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By Dr. Joseph C. Alvarnas
Hispanic Healthy Living
As Hispanics continue their ascent as the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S., tension points between the healthcare and the Hispanic communities are growing as well, fueled by the lack of outreach from the former to the latter.
One of the results of this disconnect is that many Hispanics still rely on folk remedies that are passed on within the community and families, or they get their medical information from other alternative, non-medical sources.
There are many instances of these alternative sources within local Hispanic communities; one such organization based in the Los Angeles area attributes roughly 60% of its sales in the U.S. to Latinos – and it is betting its future growth on them.
This merely scratches the surface of what’s happening throughout the community when it comes to healthcare. Incredibly, according to a Pew Hispanic Center Report, at least 8 out of 10 Hispanics get information about their health from sources other than traditional medical establishments – such as television and radio programs and advertisements for alternative medicines and treatment.
The truth is, these non-medical sources are doing a better job at understanding, reaching out and communicating to the Hispanic community. In fact, almost 80% of Hispanics will take further action when they hear these messages. What exactly are they responding to?
Language is a big part of it. More than half of the time, communication is in Spanish (or a mix of Spanish and English). But that’s only part of the picture. These alternative sources are also telling a better story, one that is culturally in tune with the community.
Unfortunately, their claims are mostly unfounded and often lead to harmful, even deadly results – especially when
To read more: http://latinalista.com/2013/12/guest-voza-folk-remedies
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