Samuel Loewenberg reports from two of Mexico's poorest states, Chiapas and Oaxaca, on the social and political forces that impact the health crises affecting the poor and indigenous communities here. Chiapas and Oaxaca have the worst records in the country for maternal mortality, deaths by cervical cancer, and diarrheal illness among children. The rate of infant death for Chiapas is three times that of the national average, and nearly twice as many new mothers die in Oaxaca as in wealthier parts of the country. Tuberculosis has also emerged as a major problem, made even worse by misplaced treatment priorities and the siphoning off of funds by the government for other projects, according to health groups.
This project assesses the political, economic, and social aspects behind these health crises, and looks at innovative, community based efforts to improve the situation.