La Jornada – Wellness fairs bring goods and services to the most marginalized areas

To help the poorest families cope with famine and inflation, 10 support caravans travel through Mexico City’s most marginalized neighborhoods, neighborhoods and cities from Tuesday to Sunday, where 19 basic basket items are offered directly from the Central de Abasto at a lower cost between 200 and 300 pesos, in addition to the various services provided free of charge by the government of the capital to the population.

In the neighborhood of Santa Bárbara, in Eje 6 Poniente, in the office of the mayor of Azcapotzalco, Francisco Vázquez took advantage of his presence to shop for his pantry: rice, beans, noodle soup, tomatoes, tomatoes and potatoes for 126 pesos , while she received advice to process her divorce.

“It’s wonderful, I found out through the megaphone that they were giving legal advice. I have been separated for a long time, but I have never done any paperwork and I thought what time it was, and already being here I saw that they also carry groceries ”.

According to the Secretariat for Inclusion and Social Security (Sibiso), 480 tons of food were sold in one month for the benefit of 600,000 people and 269,000 service consultations were provided by the capital’s government at so-called welfare fairs.

Of the different housing units that populate Santa Bárbara, tents are just starting to be deployed – in which, in addition to the sale of food, there are health services such as mammograms, elderly care, marital status and legal advice, among others. People arrive immediately in order to stock up well.

Although rice, beans, oil and toilet paper are offered, the most popular are fruits and vegetables, which are in short supply after noon. Here a pineapple costs 21 pesos per piece, a kilogram of guava 23, lemon 16 pesos, romaine lettuce 11 and tomato 18 pesos.

“There is a lot of acceptance from people because they come to buy – when there is less influx there are 120 people – but they also solve a lot of pending problems, only 300 a day are processed in birth certificates and many are not enough” , said Óscar Ochoa, executive director of Citizen Participation.

This is the case of Matilde Arteaga, who went to ask for information on the retirement process of the elderly. “I signed up since January, but the card hasn’t arrived yet, they told me they were talking to me. I brought some money and since I saw that everything is cheap, I decided to take some things with me, ”she said showing her bag with tomatoes, guavas, cucumbers and peaches, all for 84 pesos.

The Legal Advice and Legal Services module is also one of those frequented by more people. Public defender José Luis García explained that the most requested advice is to process divorces or alimony, but the services extend to several conflicts in family or civil matters.

The capital’s government has announced that as of June, wellness fairs will increase to 30 caravans per day.

Mobile units offer up to 20 consultations per day; treat various chronic diseases

Rocio González Alvarado

Every day, at 8 in the morning, a health services truck, occupied by a doctor, a nurse and an entertainer, makes its way through the steep streets of Tlalpexco, a neighborhood located in the upper part of Cuautepec, in the mayor Gustavo A. Madero.

Arriving at the corner of Cedro and Encino, in a corner of the Chiquihuite hill, which began to be inhabited more than four decades ago, they are already waiting for the first patients. Teresa Castillo invariably goes every month for the hypertension that she suffers from. “I have been using this service for 14 years, since they started in the 6 de Junio ​​district and now I bring my grandchildren here too”.

According to Dr. Enrique León, Director of Medical Assistance of the Ministry of Health, with 10 mobile units equipped with medical office, exploration area, radiographic and dental equipment, they serve 36,000 inhabitants of 18 communities with greater marginalization in seven mayors: Gustavo A Madero, Iztapalapa, Cuajimalpa, Álvaro Obregón, Magdalena Contreras, Tlalpan and Tláhuac.

The program now known as Enhancing Medical Care emerged in 2007, with four vehicles and aimed at bringing medical services closer to hard-to-access areas, with no health centers or clinics serving residents without social security.

They provide general medical care, such as screening for cervical, breast or prostate cancer, as well as chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and obesity, which, once identified, are treated with medication and follow-up monthly by appointment.

In Tlalpexco – where even before the Cablebus it took an hour to get there from Indios Verdes – there are two health centers, but both are saturated. This is why some of its inhabitants, such as Víctor Martín González, use the mobile unit. “I am a bricklayer, I work for myself and have never had insurance, but the truth here is that there is a good deal at no cost. Even if we don’t come to our appointment, they talk to us on the phone. I have diabetes and here they give me medicines, sometimes they are scarce, but if they are not there in a week they will arrive the next “.

Adriana Hernández, who works as a domestic worker, commented that all her children, since they were little, have been welcomed in the mobile unit. “If they get an infection or even a toothache, they take care of it here.”

Dr Enrique León explained that 20 visits are made per day in each unit. Last year, 26,588 and 6,295 dental services were provided.