Services Available During Binational Health Week

For the first time, events available for South County
Gilroy – For the first time Santa Clara County is participating in Binational Health Week, a series of health education seminars and medical screenings for immigrant workers. From Canada to Mexico, thousands are expected to take advantage of free health prevention services – with several events in South County.

“We looked at health statistics and we determined what were the needs of the Hispanic population,” said Lillian Castillo, a nutritionist for the Public Health Department.

There are 23 million Mexican-American immigrants nationwide – half whom lack health insurance. They have the lowest cancer-screening rates, and of those between the ages of 18 and 64, half have not seen a doctor in the past two years.

“Because there is a huge number that do not have health insurance … providing health education is really important,” she said.

Binational Health Week began in 2001 through efforts by the U.S. and Mexican Health commissions to promote healthcare awareness for immigrants.

“Health has no borders,” Castillo explained.

In Gilroy, there will be a a teen STD prevention and birth control workshop and bike safety education seminars today.

Toddlers and teens will be properly fitted to receive free bike helmets. Individuals are asked to register for the bike safety seminar beforehand. Interpreters will be available at each event.

“Income is not an issue, language is not an issue,” Castillo said.

Local agencies including First 5, Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Mexican American Community Services Agency, and Kaiser Permanente helped sponsor the events.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done this and we’re really excited,” Castillo said.

Details: 847-4610.

Local Events

3:30 to 5pm today – Bike Helmet Giveaway and Safety seminar at MACSA Youth Center, 7400 Railroad Ave.

2:30 to 4:30pm today – Birth Control Options and STD Prevention for Teens, Gilroy Family Resource Center, 8833 Monterey Road.

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