Nowadays, in the United States-Mexico border chronic diseases in particular diabetes and hypertension are a serious public health problem due to the increase of obesity, unhealthy eating, and lack of physical activity. For this reason The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) U.S.-Mexico Border office organized three forums in border cities. Each city responded to the different characteristics of the border and so they were strategically chosen. The first forum was held in the city of El Paso, Texas on October 2009, the second one was in National City, California, and the last one in the city of McAllen, Texas on June and August of this year respectively. The main objective was to develop a joint work, establish partnerships, and raise awareness to different sectors of the society to find a solution to this serious problem.
The three forums were held successfully, it was a combination of efforts, we had the participation of members from different sectors of society as well as governmental and non governmental organizations on both sides of the border. During the forums we had the important presence of personalities and experts representing the public sector, the private sector, the academic, as well as the civil society. The presentations focused on issues such as:
•welfare and student health
•chronic disease in the United States-Mexico border
•promotion of healthy lifestyles
•employee health and wellness in the workplace
For problem solving and strategy development were held roundtable discussions with the following topics:
•healthy public policies
•environmental changes to promote physical activity
Each of these forums ended with different results but with an achievement in common; generate bi-national committees that will act as bridges between organizations and the community, which add to our work team on prevention and awareness through actions to prevent chronic diseases and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Visit the links below to view agendas, presentations, and reports of the three forums