The Challenge of Chronic Diseases on the U.S.-Mexico Border

On March 17, 2010, the CSIS Americas Program, in partnership with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, hosted a half-day conference entitled “The Challenge of Chronic Diseases on the U.S.-Mexico Border.”

The half-day conference included presentations by experts and representatives of public agencies, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and private-sector entities, all of whom have been carrying out investigations, undertaking advocacy, and implementing cooperative programs focused on preventing and controlling chronic diseases in the border area. The program featured a keynote address by Dr. Agustin Lara of Mexico’s Ministry of Health, followed by two roundtable discussions. The overarching goals of the session were to raise awareness of the problem of skyrocketing rates of chronic disease in the U.S.-Mexico border region; facilitate the provision of policy recommendations to both national and regional governments to enhance investment in prevention efforts; share best practices and strategies for encouraging healthy lifestyles throughout the region; discuss innovative and effective models of health care and prevention for countering chronic disease; address barriers to cross-border cooperation and opportunities for collaboration; evaluate health concerns within the context of other regional factors; and encourage participants to advocate for a broad spectrum of policy changes to counter chronic disease along the border.

Katherine E. Bliss
Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center