The Health Initiative of the Americas, a program of the School of Public Health of the University of California, Berkeley, in conjunction with the School of Medicine of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, organized the third “Summer Institute on Migration and Health” in Puebla, Mexico, from June 30 – July 4, 2008.
The five-day course provided participants with multidisciplinary instruction using theoretical, methodological and practical tools, and offered participants a better understanding of the complex relationships between migration and health.
The presentations and workshops were taught by 26 well known professors—13 from Mexico, 10 from U.S.A, 2 from Spain and 1 from Guatemala —who are considered experts on the topics. A total of 107 participants attended the course: 52 from 10 U.S. states, 51 from 8 Mexican states, and one each from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Ecuador. The plenary sessions were also transmitted via videoconference to eight locations in Mexico.
The topics covered during the Institute were:
- General perspective of the Mexico-United States migration
- Migration in Central America and its social, economic and health impact
- Focus groups and qualitative research methods with migrant populations
- Actions at the Mexico-Guatemala border
- Migrants living with HIV/AIDS
- The Ulysses Syndrom: mental health, chronic and multiple stress
- Migration and human rights
- Response of the Mexican government to migrants’ health needs
- Poder Popular: Improving community health
- Transnational Insurance
- Migration status in the state of Puebla
- The U.S. and Mexico health systems: challenges and opportunities
- Laws in the U.S. and their impact on migrant’s health
- Use of data on the formulation of public health policy
- Agricultural workers health issues
- Health care in a multicultural context: traditional medicine
The Summer Institute also included a one-day field trip to the municipality of Santa Rita Tlahuapan, community with prominent migration to the U.S. There, the participants had the opportunity to interact with the community, and see first-hand the benefits and problems related to migration. Cultural and social activities were also part of the week’s activities, such as: guided visit to the BUAP’s Museum followed by a welcoming reception, visit to the City of Puebla Town Hall where professors from the Summer Institute were acknowledged as “Distinguished Visitors.
Besides the information received at the Summer Institute, participants took advantage of the opportunity of creating new networks to develop binational research and interventions on migration and health.