199226 Mesoamerican Public Health Institute (MPHI)

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:00 AM

Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Block, PhD, Executive D , Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR), National Institute of Public Health, Mexico (INSP), Cuernavaca, Mexico
Jorge Motta-Borrell, MD, MPH, Directo , Director, Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas, Panama, Panama
Silvia Magali Cuadra-Hernández, PhD, Researcher , Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR), National Institute of Public Health, Mexico (INSP), Cuernavaca, Mexico
Luz Maria Gonzalez-Robledo, DDS, Researcher , Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR), National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Cuernavaca, Mexico
Introduction: In 2008, Mexico, Colombia and Central America agreed to establish a Mesoamerican Public Health System (MPHS), including a Mesoamerican Public Health Institute (MPHI) conceived as a virtual network of academic institutions and national health institutes in the region. Development of MPHI was based on a study of 171 public-health-related organizations supported by the International Association of Public Health Institutes. MPHI will support capacity strengthening with an emphasis on regional disease control programs targeting vector-borne diseases, under-nutrition, maternal and child health and HIV-AIDS.

MPHI will produce regional information and intelligence; develop human resource capacity to formulate evidence-based policies for regional public health development; provide management and leadership training in global health and other strategic topics to middle-level staff, and reinforce regional operating capacity.

Objective: This paper will present the MPHI base-line study, and outline the structure of the initiative as well as the advances in the strategic development lines. Discussion will focus on MPHI as an example of regional-level capacity strengthening through South-South collaboration.

Methods: The survey and in-depth interviews with key academic and public health development agencies in the Mesoamerican region will be presented, identifying capacity gaps and opportunities for support.

Results: A strategic planning exercise will focus on priorities in the development of the Mesoamerican Programs for: Technical Support and Development, Human Resource Development and Regional Training for Disease Control Programs.


The Mesoamerican Public health Institute will attend a common regional need: the strengthening of national health systems in terms of governance, management, organization of services, research and the formation of executives who are capable of both responding to their countries' distinct requirements and establishing a solid coordination within a regional system. Furthermore, MPHI will produce regional information that can be applied as input for designing public policies at the regional and subregional levels.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a map of organizations integrating the public health field in the southern border of Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belice, Honduras and the Dominican Republic (Mesoamerica-DR). 2. Identify strengths and weaknesses of the most relevant organizations in the region. 3. Analyze the case studies derived from the project diagnosis as an exchange of experiences from other countries and regions. 4. Design an institutional support plan for Mesoamerican-DR organizations. 5. Analyze, create and articulate communication channels between decision makers and organization representatives in Mesoamerica-DR.

Keywords: International Public Health, Public Health Administration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator-author of the Mesoamerican Public Health Institute initiative at the National Public Health Institute of Mexico. Additionally, my education and work (including over 90 publications) for the past 25 years have focused on sociology, public health, health system policies, research and regional reforms, as well as strategic development.”
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.