Public Health Challenges of Yucatán

Cuauhtémoc Sánchez, Secretariat of Health for Yucatán, México

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Abstract: Health services in Mexico encounter many obstacles in fulfilling millennium development health goals and providing universal coverage. Yucatán is among the ten fastest growing regions in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but it is also a lagging region, even in the Mexican context. It is a land of great contrasts. The concentrations of population, economic activity and health care are located in Mérida. The distribution of remaining inhabitants is in smaller municipalities with high levels of marginalization.  The remoteness of many rural communities hampers delivery of medical services. Long-term strategic planning is scarce and collaboration is further impeded by cultural and institutional factors. Health services are fractionated, poorly coordinated and with insufficient material and human resources.  Yucatán leads the country in childhood obesity and is second in adult obesity, also characterized with the highest rates of diabetes and hypertension. Renal insufficiency is common not only from diabetes but also other renal causes.  Neglected tropical diseases are resurging. Mortality rates are like those of industrialized countries with morbidity like in economically developing ones. Inequity and inefficiency persist in health care, health promotion and the prevention of illness. Nevertheless, great gains have been made in decentralization of health services, quality of care, and increased health coverage through the Seguro Popular and more effective vaccination programs.

About the Presenter: 

E. Cuauhtémoc Sánchez R. received his medical training at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).  A certified sport and commercial diver, he is a diver medical officer for the NOAA. He completed a three-year fellowship on hyperbaric medicine at the Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (University of Maryland). He holds a Master of Science degree in Medical Science and Public Health, and is a professor at the UNAM College of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Sánchez is Director of Prevention and Promotion of Health for the State of Yucatan.

Presented on: 
April 21, 2011
Symposium 2011
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