On Friday, October 1 the American Red Cross participated in the 10th annual inaugural ceremony of Bi-national Health Week at the main San Francisco Public Library. The ceremony kicked off the 10th Bi-National Health Week, a month dedicated to providing free vital health services to underserved Latino migrants living in the United States and Canada. The services offered during Bi-National Health Week are made possible through the tremendous efforts of varied community, governmental and non-governmental organizations who collaborate across agencies, organizations and borders to utilize existing resources.
The ceremony was attended by approximately 50 individuals representing the multitude of organizations involved in the initiative. Among the attendees and speakers were representatives from the seven Latin American countries who support the initiative (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), representatives of the Health Initiative of the Americas, a program of the University of California, Berkeley, and representatives of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, most notably, CEO Harold Brooks. The ceremony recognized and celebrated the remarkable achievements of the initiative, which according to the Health Initiative of the Americas successfully reached 765,901 people in 2009 (http://hia.berkeley.edu/documents/bhw_overview.pdf) and set forth high expectations for the current and upcoming years.
The chapter’s Latino community preparedness program has been instrumental in supporting the initiative and will continue to support the 2010 campaign through the provision of disaster preparedness education at several community health fairs held in honor of Bi-National Health Week across the Bay Area.
This year the Bi-National Health Week officially took place from October 2 to 15th, although various activities such as health fairs will continue throughout the month of October. The three focuses of the 2010 Bi-National Health campaign will be obesity and diabetes, oral health, and prevention of addictions and gang involvement among adolescents.