Ecuador hospital offers indigenous Andean treatments


A hospital in Riobamba, Ecuador, offers patients traditional indigenous Andean medicine alongside Western treatments.

When a patient arrives they are asked what beliefs they have - and then if appropriate they are referred to a "yachak" (or shaman) instead of a conventional doctor.

The traditional treatments offered include "limpias" or spiritual cleansing treatments, which are meant to clean the patient's aura.

According to the team behind the hospital, their ability to offer a combination of cures is very important especially in indigenous areas, where people are often sceptical of accepting Western medicine.

They say people are more willing to take other medication if it goes alongside what the shamans say.

Irene Caselli went along to the clinic to meet patient Jenny Layedra and yachak Mariano Atupana.

Produced by Irene Caselli and Pablo Gordillo.

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