Binational Collaboration in Health

The United States-Mexico border faces important challenges in terms of health. A binational approach that facilitates communication exchange channels and collaboration between authorities and professionals of both countries is needed in order to address these problems.

The Early Warning Infectious Disease Program (EWIDS) at the U.S.-Mexico Border was launched in 2006. Its goal is to reinforce four critical areas of the health sector:

  • Epidemiological surveillance
  • Laboratories’ diagnostics capacity
  • Education and training for health professionals
  • Use of information and communication technologies

As part of this program, the Mexican counterpart of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC) is in charge of coordinating the efforts made by federal institutions and the six Mexican states were EWIDS works, and the FUMEC task is to channel the funds coming the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for operating the program.

FUMEC has contributed to the strengthening of the epidemiological surveillance through the equipment of six Public Health State Laboratories in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, which play a key role in the detection and notification of infectious diseases.

In addition, several trainings on biosecurity, molecular diagnosis and analytical techniques to detect agents that can be used as biological weapons have been organized, as well as workshops on methodologies for the diagnosis of emergent o re-emergent pathogens. These activities have the purpose to enhance early warning measures and support the development of related information systems.

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