Improving Immunization Strategies in the
U.S.-Mexico Border Region
Las Cruces, NM, April 20, 2010 - The U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission (BHC) has joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to promote immunization in the United States-Mexico border region in conjunction with the U.S.-focused National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) and with Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), which is the campaign directed by PAHO/WHO that promotes immunizations throughout the Americas.
The New Mexico Department of Health, Office of Border Health (NMOBH) will host the NIIW/VWA border inaugural events for 2010. NMOBH is partnering with the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, the Doña Ana County Immunization Coalition, the Secretariat of Health of Chihuahua, and other local partners for NIIW/VWA. It will be attended by PAHO Deputy Director Dr. Jon Andrus as well as state and local leaders and health officials, such as Marjorie Petty, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region VI, Dr. Melinda Wharton, Deputy Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and New Mexico First Lady Barbara Richardson. Attendees from Mexico include Vesta Richardson López, General Director of the National Center for Child and Adolescent Health.
National Infant Immunization Week / Vaccination Week in the Americas
Inaugural Ceremony and Conference
Monday April 26, 2010
8:45am - 4:30pm
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road
Las Cruces, New Mexico
The inaugural event will be developed in two parts (Please see agenda for more details):
1) The NIIW/VWA launching event that will include addresses by local, state, national, and international agencies and organizations
2) A conference that will highlight novel approaches to increasing infant and child immunizations among at-risk populations along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The overall objective of this border wide event is to highlight the importance of protecting infants and children from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.
The professional conference will consist of a series of plenary presentations delivered by selected researchers and specialists in infant and childhood immunizations.
As part of the day's events, the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Immunization Coalition will honor health-care providers from around the state for their exceptional work in providing immunizations to children.
Organizers are confident the inaugural ceremony and professional conference will generate a comprehensive analysis of the principal issues affecting infant and childhood immunizations along the border, as well as contributing to the development of new strategies in the areas of policy, research, and best-practice interventions.
Links of interest:
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)
Launched in 1994, NIIW is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to focus on the importance of immunizing infants against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases by age two. It is held in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)'s Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA). The United States - Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC), in partnership with PAHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Mexico Secretary of Health are working together to coordinate various health activities in communities at the US-Mexico border. The purpose of this joint endeavor is to promote the need for routine immunizations for infants and children - in support of the right of all children to a healthy, safe childhood free from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA)
VWA was first launched in 2003 as an initiative of the ministers of health of the Andean Region, in response to a measles outbreak in Colombia and Venezuela. Today it has the support and participation of every PAHO member country in the Americas, and has widened its goal by including children under five years of age, elderly populations, health workers, municipalities with low vaccination coverage to its original goal of reaching the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities-indigenous groups, people living in border areas, and geographically isolated communities-which are often left behind in national immunization campaigns.
Since its inception, over 288 million people of a variety of ages have been vaccinated against measles, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, influenza, diphtheria, and tetanus. Many countries use VWA for preventative interventions such as the administration vitamin A, folic acid, anti-parasite medication, and health education, among other activities.
The mission of the United States - México Border Health Commission (BHC) is to provide international leadership to optimize health and quality of life along the United States-México border. Its primary goals are to institutionalize a domestic focus on border health that can transcend political changes and to create an effective venue for binational discussion to address the public health issues and problems affecting the United States-México border populations.
The Pan American Health Organization, founded in 1902, works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It serves as the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO). PAHO/WHO United States-Mexico Border Office was established in 1942, it continues to facilitate and promote border collaboration with public and private binational institutions and entities involved in improving the health of the population at the Border.
For more information please contact:
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/Cel (915) 449-3040/Fax (915) 845-4361
Regional Public Information Officer
New Mexico Department of Health
Office (575) 528-5197 / Cel (575) 649-0754 / Fax (575) 528-6024
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization