CALEXICO – The 15th annual Bi-national Health Week (BHW) kicked off Thursday morning, October 1, at the Mexican Consulate facility in the city of Calexico where county officials, medical clinics, hospitals and resource centers provided residents with medical information on health services.
Binational Health Week (BHW) is the largest mobilization efforts in the Americas to improve the health and well-being of the underserved Latino population living in the United States.
Consul General of Mexico in Calexico Carlos Flores Vizcarra said the binational health week in the region will be coordinated through the Mexican Consulates information booths called Ventanillas de Salud, or Windows of Health, which provide information on treatment and prevention of chronical and physical diseases.The booths will also refer people to health institutions regardless of their immigration status in the United States.
“We must look at the future and understand that without health there is no way to get ahead,” said Vizcarra.
Agencies present during the ceremony were: Pioneer Regional Medical Center, de Salud de Mexicali, Fundacion Mujeres Que Viven, ,First United Methodist Church of El Centro, Imperial Valley Food Bank Cal Fresh Program, El Jardin Interior Especializado en Autismo, Imperial County Behavioral Health Services, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center, Cancer Resource Center of the Desert, Womanhaven Elk, Neighborhood House of Calexico, Molina Healthcare of California, Calexico Chamber of Commerce and Calexico Pharmacy.
“I don’t have medical insurance, I hope that today I can get information on how to obtain medical care,” said Maria Perez, Calexico.
During BHW, federal, state and local government agencies, community-based organizations and thousands of volunteers come together in the month of October to conduct a series of health promotion and education activities including workshops, insurance referrals, vaccinations, and medical screenings.
“We have many people that travel from and to Mexico. We want to provide medical care on both sides of the border,” said Prisci Quijada, Department of Public Health Services.
Those present had the opportunity to check their sugar levels and blood pressure at the Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo booth in addition to obtaining information about their medical facility.
BHW fosters community solidarity by bringing together existing resources and thousands of volunteers working together for a common goal. The events are coordinated by the collaboration among community and government agencies from the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries with the purpose of reaching out to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people, especially those without medical coverage.
Throughout the month of October health fairs will take place in different cities of Imperial County.