181030 Cross-border cooperation in public health research: A binational experience between Mexico and the USA

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jaume Canela Soler, Dr , Panamerican Health Organization, Washington, DC
Maria Frontini, DVM, MPH, MS, PhD , Epidemiology, Panamerican Health Organization, El Paso, TX
Maria Teresa Cerqueira, PhD , U.S.-Mexico Border Office, PAHO/WHO, El Paso, TX
Rosalba Ruiz, MD, MPH , Chronic Disease, PAHO US_Mexico Border Field Office, El Paso, TX
Rita V. Diaz-Kenney, MPH, RD, LD , Division of Diabetes, Centers for Disease Control, Brooksville, FL
Background: The USA-Mx Border diabetes prevention and control project is an ongoing cross-border cooperation that started in 1999 to measure the burden of diabetes and risk factors of chronic diseases in the cross-border region between US and Mexico.

Objective: Promoting the cooperation between neighboring border region through the collaboration of federal, state and local health institutions of both countries.

Methods: A model of equal representation, participation, consensus and shared leadership in the region was used to implement a cross-sectional study by establishing cross border working agreements and partnership. More than 130 cross-border institutions already established were coordinated and a fiduciary agency selected by committees assisted with the administration. A stratified random sample of 4020 individuals 18 years and older was obtained by a multistage cluster sample design. A survey on health related characteristics was carried out.

Results: Disease and risk factors prevalence were similar across the border. Findings triggered community interventions. Differences in legislative, financial and software environment challenged the operational procedures. The study principle of equal cooperation, participation and benefits as well as the mobilization of resources across the border was challenged by the lack of appropriate across the border legislation.

Conclusions: The US-Mx border has been considered for the first time as one epidemiological unit in public health research and in the America's Region. The understanding of each other socio-political structure and procedures is required to efficiently search for relevant partners to practice cross- border public health.

Learning Objectives:
List five hindering factors for cross border initiatives in public health. Describe possibilities to strengthen and promote successful cross-border initiatives in public health. Discuss “good practice models” promoting the quality of cross border public health projects

Keywords: International Public Health, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in this study since it started and I participated in all the stages until the finalization
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.