Public Health Issues in Mexicali and the Imperial Valley

Public health is an issue on the border that has a profound effect on residents in both the United States and Mexico. Diseases and other illnesses become much more prominent with the large numbers of people crossing the international border. In 1999 alone there were more than 35 million northbound pedestrian crossings into Calexico from Mexicali and probably an equal number crossing south. This, combined with the region’s generally depressed economic conditions and large number of uninsured individuals, create problems with regard to the health of the general population. Recently, the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies (CCBRES) hosted a discussion workshop at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) on public health issues in our region. The following is a summary of the speakers’ presentations and accompaning discussion. //