mexico diabetes 800

EVMS is proud to be a founding partner for the recently inaugurated Coalition for Diabetes Prevention in Guerrero, Mexico.

Diabetes is the leading cause of death and disability combined in Mexico and Alexandra Leader, MD, Director of Global Health, was eager to work with health officials in Guerrero to address the problem.

“I was invited to collaborate on a health program needs assessment with the Mexican Red Cross in Acapulco in August 2017,” says Dr. Leader. “This assessment led to the identification of the need for diabetes-related healthcare provider training and community-based education programs in Guerrero.”

Ellen Libby, (MPH ’18), EVMS Pediatric Research Assistant, joined the team to help develop a strategy to build a multisector coalition to provide a statewide framework for program implementation, policy change and outcomes monitoring to reduce the prevalence of diabetes.

Dr. Leader believes efforts like these are key to confronting global health dilemmas. “Collaborative partnerships that build local capacity to address health priorities is the sustainable and ethical way to improve the health of the world’s most vulnerable communities,” Dr. Leader explains. “It is our responsibility and privilege as medical and public health professionals to support and advance this mission.”

To ensure sustainability of the coalition, Dr. Leader says the team will next create a task force to maintain continuity and support for coalition strategy, form working committees to pursue objectives specific to identified community needs and create a pipeline for funding opportunities to support research and program initiatives.       

Other organizations participating in the coalition include the state Ministry of Health, national and regional Mexican Red Cross leadership, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the regional President of the National System for Integral Family Development.