|XI Binational Health Week celebration|
El Paso, TX, November 21, 2011 (PAHO/WHO) – The week of October 1st-16th, 2011 has been designated as Binational Health Week (BHW), an annual series to promote binational health, health education, and disease prevention. This is the XI Binational Health Week and this year’s celebration theme is “Camina Alegre por tu Salud” or in English: “Walk Happily for Better Health.” BHW is one of the largest joint mobilization efforts of community organizations, and international, federal, state, and local agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable population of Mexican and Latin American people living in the United States and in Canada. In 2001, the Mexican government instituted Binational Health Week; it started as a collaborative effort between Mexico and the state of California. Today, this effort has grown to include partnerships between nine countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
During the last ten years BHW has built a transnational community with shared responsibility for the health of the Latino population living in the U.S. and Canada. The structured and process of BHW has provided global leadership while fostering local ownership and capacity, mobilized existing networks, engage policy makers, and integrated Latino culture and festivities to increase access to healthcare.
BHW main partners include the Secretariats of Health and Foreign Affairs of Mexico, and the Foreign Affairs Ministries of Guatemala, Bolivia, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, as well as the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, the Mexican Social Security Institute, the National Secretariat for Migrants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Departments of Public Health, the California Endowment, California HealthCare Foundation, the Council of Mexican Federations in North America, and the Health Initiative of the Americas, a program of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
In El Paso, Texas the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO) U.S.-Mexico Border Office in partnership with the Secretariats of Health and Foreign Affairs of Mexico through their Consular Representation in El Paso, and other community organizations hosted a series of events for the El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, and Las Cruces residents. On September 27, 2011 El Paso Mayor John Cook and the Council of the City proclaimed that from October 1st to 16th, 2011 shall be known as Binational Health Week.
Some of the BHW’s events included health fairs in both sides of the border which provided hundreds of people with access to health information and preventive health tests such as eye-exams, dental, tuberculosis, glucose, HIV, and high/low pressure. In addition, free vaccinations for children and adults were also provided. Primary mental health care and child obesity prevention were also priority issues that were address on the U.S.-Mexico border during Binational Health Week.
PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS IN EL PASO:
• Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO)
• Secretariats of Health and Foreign Affairs of Mexico
• City of El Paso
• El Paso Department of Public Health
• Entravision Communications/Univision KINT-TV Channel 26
• Consulate General of Mexico
For more information please contact:
Lorely Ambriz, M.S.I.S, Knowledge Management & Communication Advisor
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / A Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) United States-Mexico Border Office
5400 Suncrest Dr. Ste. C-4 El Paso, TX 79912
Office (915) 845-5950 Ext. 42523 / Cel (915) 449-3040 / Fax (915) 845-4361