United States — Mexico Binational Technical Working Group

Collage banner with US and Mexico flags, scientist, handshake, and mosquito; plus text/tagline underneath that reads ‘Communication and Collaboration to Strengthen Public Health’

What We Do

The Binational Technical Working Group (BTWG) addresses public health concerns resulting from the inter-connectedness of populations that cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Established in 2012, the multidisciplinary, interagency group presents and discusses binational public health issues. This technical group is made up of federal, state, and regional epidemiologists. BTWG exchanges epidemiological information from their respective jurisdictions monthly and maintains and promotes collaboration on border and binational topics of public health significance.

BTWG Focus Areas:

  • Infectious disease surveillance
  • Laboratory and epidemiology trainings
  • Outbreak investigations
  • Population mobility studies

Who We Are

The BTWG is led by the CDC Mexico country office in close collaboration with the Mexico Ministry of Health. Working group members provide expertise in epidemiology, health promotion, disease prevention, and program planning and evaluation.

BTWG Members

US Members

  • Arizona Department of Health Services
  • California Department of Public Health
  • CDC Mexico Country Office
  • New Mexico Department of Health Services
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mexico Members

  • Directorate General of Health Promotion
  • National Center for Disease Control and Preventative Programs – CENAPRECE
  • National Health Institute of Public Health – INSP
  • Secretary of Health of Mexico through the Directorate General of Epidemiology – DGE
  • State Epidemiology Office of Baja California
  • State Epidemiology Office of Chihuahua
  • State Epidemiology Office of Coahuila
  • State Epidemiology Office of Monterrey
  • State Epidemiology Office of Sonora
  • State Epidemiology Office of Tamaulipas

How We Work Together

The BTWG meets each month to share and learn from subject matter experts about public health topics, research initiatives, epidemiologic trends, and tools that can be implemented binationally.

Recent BTWG meeting topics have included:

  • Mexico’s epidemiology binational notification system and Arizona Medical Electronic Disease Surveillance Intelligence System
  • Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program (GRASP)
  • Crisis in shelters and perspective of health services in the border region
  • Influenza activity in Mexico
  • Responders’ resilience

Program in Action

View from the Lerdo-Stanton International Bridge at the Juarez-El Paso Port of Entry

View from the Lerdo-Stanton International Bridge at the Juarez-El Paso Port of Entry where the International Organization of Migration provides CDC-funded COVID-19 testing to Migrant Protection Protocols returnees. (Photo credit: Guillermo Flores)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, BTWG has been integral in keeping members up to date on key topics that inform response activities and sharing best practices in the border region to slow the spread of COVID-19. CDC, Mexico’s Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, the International Organization for Migration, and other international partners have presented the most recent recommendations on COVID-19 testing, mitigation strategies, treatments, vaccination practices, and contact tracing.

Recent COVID-19 topics have also included:

  • Mexico’s COVID-19 dashboard
  • Border states’ COVID-19 dashboard
  • Children affected by COVID-19 associated orphanhood
  • Mexican spatial pattern of the COVID-19 mortality rate
  • Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate system
  • Seroprevalence studies in Mexico and the United States