For almost four decades, physician Aldo Lo Curto has divided the year between his medical practice in northern Italy and making trips to heal, teach and live among the world’s indigenous people.
The most vulnerable among indigenous people worldwide often lack the healthcare required to improve their lives. Italian physician Aldo Lo Curto has made it his life’s mission to change that, working alongside traditional doctors and healers during his six-month sojourns to some of the world’s most remote places.
My constant concern is to understand the traditions of the people I visit and to understand how they deal with illness. In the West there is too much emphasis on technology in medicine and not enough on human contact.
Lo Curto began his annual pilgrimages in the early 1980s, treating indigenous people and teaching them how to avoid becoming sick again. A decade later, he was recognized with a Rolex Award for his work with a Brazilian botanist and a cartoonist to produce a health-education manual in comic-strip style. Indo: Manual de Saúde, written for the Amazonian people, blends Western and traditional medicine. Lo Curto estimates it has reached thousands. It proved so successful, he was encouraged to publish many other manuals, including one for Brazilian slum dwellers, and versions in English and French to distribute in Africa and in Spanish for South America.
More recently, Lo Curto has visited Madagascar, where he offered his skills to help disadvantaged rickshaw-pullers; brought donated medical supplies to the Brazilian Amazon, and travelled to isolated fishing communities and villages; and spent time with nomadic families in Mongolia. Lo Curto intends to turn his print editions into e-books so more people can benefit.
Copies printed of his original manual for the indigenous people of the Amazon
People reached through the distribution of his manual in Brazil
Countries where Dr Lo Curto has provided medical treatment