For more than two decades, the Health Secretariat has promoted National Public Health Week and universal vaccination programs to help eradicate illnesses in Mexico.
Even though the 2015 federal budget is being cut by more than 10 billion peso ($675 US), Health Secretary Mercedes Juan López said that the cut will not affect its main programs.
National Public Health Week usually runs for one week each spring. However already this year, the federal government has invested 1.3 billion peso into administering 45,000 vaccinations throughout Mexico. The federal agency has more than 49,000 groups and 16,000 mobile medical units placed around the country so that the 220,000 health care workers can administer the millions of required vaccinations.
After the first week, which was organized jointly by the Health Secretariat, Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and Institute for Social Security and Services for Government Employees (ISSSTE), Juan López said that they will offer the health incentives throughout Mexico for three weeks each year.
Juan López said that currently, Mexico runs a successful universal immunization program with an average of 95 percent coverage. This high level of immunization has eliminated diseases such as measles and diphtheria. The two cases of measles that appeared in Mexico last year were brought in by visitors from California.
Dr. Ignacio Federico Villaseñor Ruiz, director general of the National Center for Child and Adolescent Health (Censia), explained that the central component of the National Health Week 2015 is the oral polio vaccine.
“To ensure polio remains eliminated in Mexico, over 9.5 million doses will be given out against this disease. Actions will also be taken to reinforce the ongoing distribution of Suero Oral, an electrolyte solution to help replace fluids and minerals following illness, plus education and information to help prevent diarrheal illnesses or respiratory infections.
“We will also reinforce the use of vitamin and iron supplements, and the vaccination of pregnant women against diphtheria, so as to protect more than 900,000 women. In addition, we will vaccinate 500,000 people against measles,” said Villaseñor Ruiz.
Even though Mexico has a 95 percent immunization rate, a 2015 health survey conducted by Gabinete de Comunicación Estrategicas GCE (a Mexican marketing and public opinion research company), 57 percent of Mexicans think the quality of health services is “bad” or “very bad,” while only 26 percent said it’s “good” or better.