The rebirth of ancestral medicine
Currently on the Island is an old field hospital, built in the 1970s, which was originally destined by the Americans for the war in Vietnam. Under the Chilean government of General Pinochet, it was bought to serve the Islanders. But with growing immigration, the modest staff of professionals and the limited amount of technical equipment haven’t been able to keep pace with the basic needs of the almost 5,000 inhabitants, much less the thousands of tourists who every year arrive to visit the Island.
By the end of this year, it is expected that a new, modern building will be inaugurated to fulfill the requirements of the population. One of the innovations that will be considered within the official implementation is the “Special Program for Native People’s Health”, which consists in offering modern Western medicine complemented by the ancestral Rapanui medicine. The objective is give the hospital in Hanga Roa a multi-cultural identity, generating programs to recover ancient health practices which were based on plants and therapy within programs for environmental protection.
Visitors interested in this natural medicine can request an appointment in the Medical Orientation and Statistics Section (SOME) at the Hanga Roa Hospital, where they will make a diagnosis and apply a treatment with a follow-up evaluation at no cost.
In the sand of Rapa Nui there are animals so small that they can hardly be seen with the bare eye. You need a microscope to see them. These animals live in the small spaces between sand grains.
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