The State of Baja California is the Mexican state with the highest incidence of TB with 49 cases per 100,000 in 2010. The elevated incidence of TB in Baja California contributes to increased TB risks for neighboring California.
The California-Mexico border region is particularly vulnerable to the growing incidence of MDR-TB. In the State of Baja California, there were 25 known cases of MDR-TB in 2010. In San Diego, California, there were 44 cases of MDR-TB over the past decade, two thirds having been born in or having close ties to Mexico.
Given the growing prevalence of MDR-TB in the California-Mexico border region, a key funding priority for our Foundation is the Puentes de Esepranza program, a unique cross-border tuberculosis treatment program that has been undertaking the following vital support services since 2006:
- Facilitating laboratory testing of specimens from Baja California by the County of San Diego and other reference labs
- Enabling a stable supply of medications for MDR-TB to be available for patients in Baja California
- Providing the required professional staffing to closely monitor therapy for MDR-TB cases in Baja California by promotora health workers
- Creating an expert binational consultation network
Thanks to the Puentes program, over 86% of its enrolled MDR-TB patients received curative care over the past 6 years---an outcome rivaling the best MDR-TB programs in the world. If not for the Puentes program, the State of Baja California would simply not have been able to treat and cure many of its MDR-TB patients. For this reason, we need to ensure the continuity of the Puentes program.
To ensure the continuity of care, the International Community Foundation has assumed fiscal sponsorship of the Puentes de Esperanza program with initial support from individual donors. However, additional funding is needed to continue the program. $200,000 in funding will be required in 2013 to support current MDR-TB case loads in Baja California.
Do your part to reduce the incidence of MDR-TB in the California-Mexico border region by helping to support the sustainability of the Puentes de Esperanza program. Contribute to the Puentes de Esperanza Fund today!
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