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  • Migrant child walking before crossing the U.S. border from the Otay gate, Tijuana, Mexico, 2014.

    Migrant child walking before crossing the U.S. border from the Otay gate, Tijuana, Mexico, 2014. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 25 September 2020
Opinion

Around 4.9 Mexican migrants have difficulty in accessing medical services in the United States.

Mexican migrants to the United States have been treating COVID-19 using home remedies due to a lack of access to health services, according to a report from Mexico's Interior Ministry.

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

Some Mexican immigrants have dealt with COVID-19 using traditional 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, saltwater throat gargles, and pain medications before 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. And most of the jobs in the agriculture and food industries had 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, migrants continue to choose to use home remedies or self-medication, and even travel to the border or their place of origin," it said.

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