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Mexican migrants to the United States have been treating covid-19 infections using home remedies due to lack of access to health services, according to a recent analysis from Mexico’s Interior Secretariat (SeGob).

Published by SeGob’s Immigration Policy Unit in mid-September, the report said that the pandemic has caused greater complications such as job loss and restrictive government policies.

It said that some Mexican immigrants have dealt with covid-19 using traditional Mexican remedies, such as eucalyptus and cinnamon, whose effectiveness against infection have not been proven.

The authors of the report used the example of a migrant who attempted to treat the disease using teas, salt water throat gargles and pain medications before he was admitted to the hospital.

Historically, many migrants to the United States have opted for using self-medication or community medical services due to their status in the country, the report explained.

Furthermore, most of the jobs held by migrants are in the agriculture and food industries, which have limited health protection measures.

The difficulty in accessing medical services is greater for illegal immigrants, who make up around 4.9 million of the 11.6 million Mexicans in the United States, as they tend to avoid going to hospitals for fear of deportation, the report said.

“Faced with these limitations, as has been observed, migrants continue to choose to use home remedies or self-medication, and even travel to the border or to their place of origin,” it said.

…Sept. 25, 2020

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