Los Dos Laredos

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GOALS/PURPOSE/MISSION

To improve awareness, patient care, and enhanced TB services that facilitate in reducing the morbidity and mortality caused by TB in the sister-cities of Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

Through a cooperative agreement with Mexico's Secretaria de Salud, this project works with health care providers to provide services to TB cases and their contacts who cross the border between Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. The primary site of the project is located at the Centro de Salud in Nuevo Laredo.

This Binational Project has a Program Coordinator that acts as a liaison between the Health Departments and other participating agencies in the sister-city communities of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. The Program Coordinator is responsible for the maintenance of the Binational Patient Registry and the Laboratory Database that records all specimen cultures processed by the Texas Department of State Health Services TB Laboratory. The Program Coordinator also supervises the binational outreach nurses and the activities they conduct. The outreach activities range from clinical patient care, assisting the TB Clinicians, conducting both clinic and field Directly Observed Therapy (DOT), making home visits, locating noncompliant patients that have lapsed in their treatments, reporting patient non-compliance to TB Clinicians, monitoring for and recording signs of drug toxicity, contact investigation, and most importantly maintaining an open line of communication between the TB Clinician and the patient.

The Binational Project has a Medical Review Committee that meets on a monthly basis to review the TB cases that require additional intensive care or laboratory analysis and/or exhibit drug resistance patterns, and to discuss treatment modalities and the use of second line drugs.

The Binational Project was instrumental in providing limited assistance and funding for the installation of infection control equipment at both the TB Clinic of the Nuevo Laredo Public Health Department and the Hospital General in Nuevo Laredo. This allows both the clinic and the hospital to provide for TB services and treatment without putting the employees or patients in adjacent areas at risk for infection.

Every year the Project conducts a binational conference to provide TB training to the sister cities and neighboring areas. Physicians, nurses, outreach workers, other health care professionals and health care administrators are invited to attend. Over the years this component of the Project has seen increased participation and added interest in other health related topics that affect the U.S-Mexico border.

For additional information, contact:

Hector F. Gonzalez, MD, MPH
Director
City of Laredo Health Department
2600 Cedar
Laredo, TX 78040

Phone: (956) 795-4900
Fax: (956) 726-2632 
e-mail
Gloria R. Peña, RN
Binational TB Project Coordinator
City of Laredo Health Department
2600 Cedar
Laredo, TX  78040

Phone: (956) 795-4934
Fax: (956) 795-2419 
e-mail
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Last updated February 17, 2011