Community Participation in attention to health; a little known right and non-exerted obligation
Community participation is one of the main axes of health services where the community takes responsibility for its own health. The World Health Organization considers as a cornerstone of the health promotion and disease preventive actions. The population should be involved in activities aimed at improving their health needs, previously identified by them because if their point of view is not taken into account, efforts generated by the health sector to improve their health conditions would result unsuccessful. Participation is an empowerment tool that allows the community a more active role in decision taking to enforce their rights. Achieving more effective prevention of diseases is one of the objectives of participation. No matter the adjective used (social, community..) participation implies to involve and empower citizens because it is essential to identify and approach main health determinants; it is required that a legal support that endorses participation exists; therefore, the General Health Law emphasizes the right of the population to participate in disease prevention. Some groups of community participation in México are Health Committee and Mutual Aid Group (Spanish: Grupo de Ayuda Mutua). Despite it is in all discourses, participation has not been concentrated in social action yet.