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ICF BLOG

Our Health Program…

by | Jun 24, 2019

The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) declared at the Alma-Ata conference in 1978 that health is: 

A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, is a fundamental human right and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health is a most important world-wide social goal whose realization requires the action of many other social and economic sectors in addition to the health sector. 

This statement serves as a guiding principle for the International Community Foundation’s health and human services program; and through our grantmaking and special initiatives we strive to protect and improve the health of all people, with a focus on underserved communities in Mexico. 

Additionally, we recognize that conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. These conditions are known as social determinants of health (SDOH). We know that poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods and that more education is a predictor of better health.  We also know that differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education.  By applying what we know about SDOH, we not only improve individual and population health but also advance health equity, addressing disparities in the quality of health and healthcare across different populations. 

This is why we proudly work with a variety of grantee nonprofit organizations and multi-sector partner institutions (governmental, non-governmental, academic, and private sector) that not only expand access to quality healthcare services, but that also do their part in addressing the social determinants that so deeply impact health. 

For example, in Baja California Sur (BCS), ICF convened a diverse group of local nonprofits, companies, government agencies, community members and researchers to investigate and pursue concrete solutions to the issue of food insecurity.  Surveys of families in La Paz and Los Cabos’ most vulnerable neighborhoods found that approximately half of respondents lack sufficient resources on a weekly basis to access healthy and fresh food options.  These alarming results served as a call to action, and the Food Security Alliance was born to enable collaborative efforts to address this critical social determinant of health in the region.  Read more here or give now to support this important work. 

Certain populations are especially at risk, including orphans, migrants, and homeless elderly, and require social services targeted to meet their basic needs to ensure their health and well-being. We proudly partner with nonprofits in Mexico that are providing housing, food, education, medical services, and a great deal of nurturing and care to these groups; including the Casa Albergue Temporal para Niños in Ensenada, Casa Hogar Alegría in Toluca, Casa Arcoiris in Tijuana, and the Casa Hogar de Cabo San Lucas, amongst others. 

ICF is extremely grateful for our donor community who continually give to support the many Mexican nonprofit organizations that fill healthcare gaps in Mexico, providing health services and education to the most vulnerable populations, including youth, women, migrants, children with special needs, and those living in poverty.  Join us by giving to our wonderful partners today.

To learn more about our health and human services program, you can contact Senior Program Officer Alana Ortez at alana@icfdn.org

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