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TB Fund for the Californias

Once thought to have been eradicated in the United States, tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that is on the rise in the United States-Mexico border region. Last year, the incidence of TB in San Diego and Imperial Counties were 6.9 and 13.7 per 100,000 respectfully. The incidence of TB in San Diego is above the state average (6.3) and national average (3.9). Imperial County’s incidence of TB is the highest in California. See related link:

How Serious is the Incidence of TB in the California-Baja California Border Region?
While the incidence of Tuberculosis in San Diego County has decreased in recent years, the border region's incidence remains higher than both the national and state averages. The incidence of TB in San Diego and Imperial Counties is partially attributed to our community's close proximity to Mexico.

Over the past decade, almost half (45%) of foreign born TB cases in San Diego County were born in Mexico. In 2010, 29% of all TB cases in San Diego were attributed to Mexican immigrants.

The influence of Mexico on the TB case load in San Diego County is not just attributed to an individual's country of origin. In fact, in 2010 23% of San Diego County's TB cases were attributed to area residents that were U.S. born Hispanics that were not identified in TB surveillance data as being of born in Mexico. In total 51% of all TB cases in San Diego County were attributed to residents of Hispanic origin. Here, proximity to the Mexican border matters considering that close to 60 million persons cross into San Diego from Tijuana, Baja California each year for a variety of social, cultural and economic reasons.

While the incidence of pulmonary TB in Mexico is much lower than other developing countries (13.7 per 100,000), the State of Baja California has an incidence of 42.4 per 100,000 which is the highest in Mexico and is considered high by the standards of most public health agencies. Also of concern, is the fact that last year Baja California was reported to have 28 cases of MDR-TB, ranking second in Mexico after the State of Veracruz and representing 9.4% of all such cases in Mexico.

What is the International Community Foundation Doing?
Over the past year, the International Community Foundation has been working to pro-actively forge cross-border partnerships to address the border region's TB issues. In 2010, thanks to the support of the California Wellness Foundation, the Foundation published "Tuberculosis in the San Diego-Tijuana Border Region: Time for Bi-National Community Based Solutions" (TB Study) which highlighted needs gaps and opportunities for cross-border collaboration to reduce the indices of TB in the shared border region. This study was undertaken in partnership with San Diego State University's School of Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine, Global Health Division, UABC Escuela de Medicina, County of San Diego Department of Health & Human Services, Secretaria de Salud de Baja California. More recently, the Foundation has provided critical gap funding for TB labs in Baja California and funded the analysis of specific needs for the State's TB laboratory infrastructure.

How You Can Help?
Contribute to the TB Fund for the Californias to support on-going programmatic work by our Foundation to promote on-going research, fund specific cross-border solutions and promote public advocacy aimed at reducing the incidence of this otherwise preventable infectious disease in our border region

Read more about the International Community Foundation's work in the area of TB prevention and control in the California-Baja California border region: TB Study.

See related media reports on the Foundation's TB related work: ..... -enefits-us-border-towns/ ...... -county-join-forces-again/