The 15th Annual Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Global Health took place on October 5th at the California Endowment located in Oakland, California. More than 400 people representing close to 280 public, private and academic entities from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Chile participated in this, the inaugural event of the XV Binational Health Week.
The forum was inaugurated by the Secretary of Health in Mexico, Dr. Mercedes Juan and the Secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency, Diana Dooley. Both dignitaries expressed that the health of migrants is a priority for both countries, not only due to their contribution and effect in their respective countries, but also because of the opportunities and challenges that these migrants and their families face in regards to health. Dr. Kim Wilcox, Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside; Melissa Stafford Jones, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Francisco de la Torre, Executive Director of The Institute of Mexicans Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and in representation of the rest of the Latin American countries who participated in BHW, Roberto Archila, Consul General of Guatemala in San Francisco, also participated in this part of the event. In addition, Assembly-member Tony Thurmond Representing the 15th California Assembly District and the California Latino Legislative Caucus presented two proclamations that emphasize the importance of BHW.
The academic portion of the forum began with Dr. Marc Schenker, professor at the University of California, Davis, who presented a global vision of migration, with an emphasis on the North American continent. Special attention was put on the health challenges that migrants face, with an emphasis on inequality. Afterwards, Matías Jaramillo, General Director of Planning on Population and Development, National Population Council of Mexico (CONAPO) presented the 2015 report on “Migration and Health: Profi le of Latin Americans in the United States”. This document was produced with the collaboration of CONAPO, the Health Initiatives of the Americas, a program of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, the UCLA School of Public Health and the UC Davis School of Medicine. Finally, Dr. Cuitláhuac Ruiz Matus, General Director of Epidemiology of the Mexican Secretariat of Health described the challenges and successes that Mexico has faced in light of the recent epidemics related to mobile populations. During the lunch, offered by the Mexican Secretary of Health, eight binational research teams funded by the Research in Migration and Health Program (PIMSA, for its acronym in Spanish) presented posters of their research fi ndings in different areas related to migration and health.
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