Letter of Intent
Declaration between the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America and the Secretariat of Health of the United Mexican States
The Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America and the Secretariat of Health of the United Mexican States;
Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Fields of Public Health and Science on March 14, 2008;
Having jointly declared terms of cooperation for preparedness for, and response to, a public health emergency in November 2007, together with health authorities of Canada;
Having as background the North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza in 2011;
Considering the shared health risks which arise from sharing a border reaching nearly 2000 miles (3200 kilometers), from the extensive travel of U.S. and Mexican citizens, and from the active trade of products between the two countries;
Identifying the need for binational cooperation on epidemiologic events of interest to both countries, not limited to those potential public health emergencies which fall within the terms of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005);
Maintaining the full commitment of the two countries regarding the IHR (2005), and seeking to complement them as proposed in IHR (2005) Articles 21, 44, and 57, which call for cooperation on public health measures between countries with common borders;
Having jointly developed Technical Guidelines for United States-Mexico Coordination on Public Health Events of Mutual Interest (hereinafter referred to as the Guidelines) for how the United States of America and the United Mexican States intend to coordinate activities in response to epidemiologic events involving the two countries;
The United States of America and the United Mexican States intend to establish a Binational Working Group to oversee the development of specific protocols, as called for in the Guidelines, which will be completed within 12 months following this signing.
The Binational Working Group should review and periodically update the Guidelines, as needed, to most effectively protect the health of the public of the two countries.
Signed in Geneva, Switzerland, in duplicate, this 22 day of May 2012, in the English and Spanish languages.
Kathleen G. Sebelius
For the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America
Salomón Chertorivski Woldenberg
For the Secretariat of Health of the United Mexican States