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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Merida, Yucatan, Mexico)
For Immediate Release                                  February 15, 1999


U.S.-Mexico Cooperation on Tuberculosis Control

President Clinton and President Zedillo of Mexico today announced a new agreement that will advance U.S.-Mexican cooperation in controlling and monitoring the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, a resurgent health threat in both Mexico and the United States. Increased commerce and tourism between the United States and Mexico, as well as labor migration across the 2,000 mile border we share, have raised public concern regarding infectious diseases in both countries. Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in Mexico, where an estimated 11,000 new cases appear annually. This disease primarily targets the poor, thriving in areas of malnutrition and inadequate sanitation.

Under the new agreement, the two parties will work collaboratively to ensure a reduction in the morbidity, mortality, and transmission of tuberculosis in both countries. The agreement calls on the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Mexican Ministry of Health to identify new areas for joint actions to address the spread of tuberculosis in North America. Actions undertaken as a result of the agreement may include increasing awareness of tuberculosis as a curable disease, strengthening epidemiological surveillance of tuberculosis, and expanding laboratory diagnostic capability.

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