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XXII Binational Health Week kicks off at the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco

Binational health week

With the objective of bringing health services closer to the Mexican and Hispanic migrant population living in the United States, during the month of October, the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs, through the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME) and the Mexican Consular Network, will carry out the XXII Binational Health Week.

Thus, on Monday, October 3, the activities of the XXII Binational Health Week began at the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco. 

With the message "Binational Hope, Health without Borders," the 22nd edition of Binational Health Week has invited the entire Latino community to join this multinational effort aimed at raising awareness about the importance of disease prevention and resources to treat illnesses.

It involves the mobilization of community organizations, federal and state agencies and volunteers in the 50 states of the United States that organize different activities to offer the migrant population medical care, counseling, disease prevention and health promotion services.

During the kick-off ceremony, the Consul General of Mexico, Remedios Gómez Arnau, thanked the Consul General of Colombia, Andrés Gáfaro, and the Consul General of Guatemala, Luis Fernando Carranza, as well as the health authorities in San Mateo and San Francisco, who promote the work for the physical and mental wellbeing of the community from their different areas. 

Gómez Arnau also invited all attendees to participate in the physical activation walk to the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium.

Last year, with the participation of 5,232 volunteers and the support of 1,248 organizations, 25,515 services were provided, benefiting 446,161 people, most of whom do not have access to health services in the United States.

During this day, the program includes the detection of ailments through the measurement of glucose levels, blood pressure, body mass index, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests, eye exams and dental check-ups, among others.

Likewise, healthy eating and physical activity are promoted; guidance and information is provided on the incorporation into the social security system, the application of vaccines and, if necessary, referrals to health institutions in the locality where the nationals are located.

These activities involve the General Directorate of International Relations of the Ministry of Health, the Mexican Consular Network in the United States, the Ventanillas de Salud, tax agencies, civil society organizations, municipal and local governments, universities, public hospitals and community centers in the United States.

Since its inception 22 years ago, the Government of Mexico through the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs have coordinated the celebration of Binational Health Week, which has served as a catalyst for joint and sustained action by community organizations and U.S. government agencies, benefiting Mexican nationals and other Latin American countries.

In view of the benefits of these activities, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Peru have joined in order to expand assistance to their communities.

On the U.S. side, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Public Health and Human Services and their state and local counterparts, as well as foundations, clinics, health centers, civic organizations and health agencies are participating.

Binational Health Week fosters community solidarity through the mobilization of existing resources and the organization of people who, on a voluntary basis, work towards the common goal of reaching the most vulnerable and needy, especially the uninsured.

The forum will be attended by authorities from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Drexel University, University of Nebraska and San Diego State University.

The inauguration was attended by Louise F. Rogers, Chief Health Officer of the San Mateo County Health Department. Rogers, Chief Health Officer of the San Mateo County Health Department; Elizabeth Chavez, Director of Programs at Mission Mental Health Clinic; representing the City of San Francisco Department of Public Health, Victoria Avila-Medrano, Chair of the Bay Area Binational Health Week Planning Committee; and Cyndia Martinez, representative of the organization Visión y Compromiso, which manages the Consulate's Ventanilla de Salud.

The consulate invited the community to join the more than 55 face-to-face and virtual activities that will take place throughout October to empower the community on physical and mental health and wellness issues. 

Those interested in learning more can follow the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco through different social networks, or visit the following web site https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sanfrancisco/.

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