Last week we had  Dr. Mori J. Morikawa,  the Director of Case Medical Center/ Case Western University's Global Health Track, visit Mercado Global’s Guatemala office to discuss a partnership between his residents and our health training programs. We were thrilled to host him and we are looking forward to having his first group of residents in September! What follows are his reflections on his visit. 

Dr. Mori learns how to make a tamalitoWitnessing community organizing first hand in the highlands of Guatemala was an opportunity I will always appreciate. Chuckles and giggles of cooperative members of Mercado Global during the training sessions that I observed still resonate in my mind.

I am extremely excited to work with MG to develop comprehensive health education modules for the communities. Primary health care is a fundamental human right attained through the spirit of self-autonomy and self-reliance. This spirit is exactly what I saw in MG and their cooperative members. 

Health is not merely the lack of diseases; it is well being. The approach to health doesn’t end with providing medicines or healthcare technologies. It is much broader encompassing safe water, nutrition, shelter, primary education, sanitation, disaster preparedness. In order to reach this summit of health through a primary health care approach, we should encourage active participation of community members so that voices of all stakeholders are reflected. This is exactly what MG envisions for their further development as an organization and I have no doubt that they will achieve it.  

The Global Health Track of the Department of Family Medicine at Case Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University is lucky to have this opportunity to work together with MG personnel and community leaders to plan, develop, and implement necessary training and educational modules. We look forward to promoting health and providing people with the knowledge and tools to approach health related issues.

Mori J Morikawa, MD, MPH

Director, Global Health Track

Ann S. & Anthony Asher Chair in Family Medicine & Community Health

University Hospitals Case Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University