Reproductive Health Surveillance in the US-Mexico Border Region: Beyond the Border (and Into the Future)
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Reproductive Health Surveillance in the US-Mexico Border Region: Beyond the Border (and Into the Future)

  • Published Date:

    October 2008

  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 2008; 5(4).
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-259.65 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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  • Description:
    INTRODICTION: High birth and immigration rates in the US-Mexico border region have led to large population increases in recent decades. Two national, 10 state, and more than 100 local government entities deliver reproductive health services to the region's 14 million residents. Limited standardized information about health risks in this population hampers capacity to address local needs and assess effectiveness of public health programs. METHODS: We worked with binational partners to develop a system for reproductive health surveillance in the sister communities of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Cameron County, Texas, as a model for a broader regional approach. We used a stratified, systematic cluster-sampling design to sample women giving birth in hospitals in each community during an 81-day period (August 21-November 9) in 2005. We conducted in-hospital computer-assisted personal interviews that addressed prenatal, behavioral, and lifestyle factors. We evaluated survey response rates, data quality, and other attributes of effective surveillance systems. We estimated population coverage using vital records data. RESULTS: Among the 999 women sampled, 947 (95%) completed interviews, and the item nonresponse rate was low. The study sample included 92.7% of live births in Matamoros and 98.3% in Cameron County. Differences between percentage distributions of birth certificate characteristics in the study and target populations did not exceed 2.0. Study population coverage among hospitals ranged from 92.9% to 100.0%, averaging 97.3% in Matamoros and 97.4% in Cameron County. CONCLUSION: Results indicate that hospital-based sampling and postpartum interviewing constitute an effective approach to reproductive health surveillance. Such a system can yield valuable information for public health programs serving the growing US-Mexico border population.
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