SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The Americas TB Coalition warns the Mexican government is making it harder to treat migrants and others with tuberculosis, diabetes, breast cancer and even leprosy.
It says Mexico is in the process of removing 35 health regulations that will make it difficult for people to seek medical care and support when ill while preventing medical professionals from providing care.
“We have a big, big problem of TB and are very and we’re concerned because tuberculosis kills people,” said Alberto Colorado, executive director of the Americas TB Coalition.
The regulations, for example, mandate that the government provide certain services to people who are sick. Colorado says this deregulation will make it easier for government health agencies to deny or diminish care for many.
Colorado says this will make it especially harder for many migrants who have been diagnosed with tuberculosis and other illnesses to get treatment upon their return to Mexico.
“Health services are not reaching migrants. For example, Indigenous communities, people in the streets and people who use drugs.”
Colorado said the lack of care will endanger not only the migrants and those with tuberculosis, but everyone who lives along the border.
“Unfortunately along the border, Baja California has one of the highest spreads of tuberculosis,” said Colorado. “With people moving back and forth the border, and if you have many who don’t get treatment, this could be a problem along the border, TB knows no border.”
Border Report contacted the U.S. Health and Human Services, which works with the Mexican Government on health issues along the border, for comment about our story, but officials have yet to reply to our questions.