Mexico makes the commitment to IPE

Let's make the WHO maxim: "Learning together to work together".

With these words, Dr. Laura Morán Peña, Head of the Division of Postgraduate Studies and research – ENEO, one of the organizers of the second Interdisciplinary Congress of Health in Mexico completed the closing ceremony of the event.

On June 4th-6th 2019, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) through its National School of Nursing and Obstetrics (ENEO), held the second Interdisciplinary Congress of Health, which aimed to generate a space for discussion and scientific debate, from an interdisciplinary perspective on Primary Health Care (PHC) and elaborate on public policies that impact population health.

The event included 4 master tables, 7 discussion tables, 12 panels and 53 free papers that allowed us to learn from different interventions and research aimed at solving problems in health.

According to Dr. Morán, the Second Congress in Mexico offered space for reflection and interdisciplinary scientific debate among health professionals. It also provided an opportunity to identify areas of collaboration among academic, government and partners interested in improving collaborative practices in health, beyond professional tribalism.

Recognizing IPE

In welcoming the meeting, PAHO representative, Dr. María Cecilia Acuña Díaz, Adviser in Health Systems and Services, reiterated that interdisciplinarity and interprofessionalism are fundamental in the approach to health, which is why it is important for health professionals, and other professionals such as anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, social workers and philosophers to learn from each other.

Rosa Amarilis Zárate Grajales, director of the ENEO, explained that during the event many commitments were made, particularly by the directors of schools and faculties of dentistry, psychology, medicine and nursing, in conjunction with the Secretary of Health and PAHO / WHO, It is clear that the responsibility of the next congress is to place an emphasis on education and interprofessional work.

The ENEO, a current collaborating center of PAHO / WHO was once again designated. In one of its terms of reference, activities related to Interprofessional Education (IPE) were included, mentioned Amarilis, as an opportunity to advance the IPE in Mexico.

On the last day of the event, PAHO/WHO regional consultant for human resources for Health, Dr. José Rodrigues Freire Filho, presented on successful IPE experiences in the area PHC. Dr. Freire mentioned the technical cooperation process carried out by PAHO to its Member States to incorporate IPE into its human resources for health policies. "There are currently 19 countries with IPE plans and unfortunately we still don't have Mexico on this list. Therefore, our goal is to collaborate with Mexico to build an IPE plan. "

Those present expressed interest in to creating a working group, which will be coordinated by PAHO Mexico in conjunction with the Regional Network for Interprofessional Education in the Americas (REIP) to formulate  the plan.

An IPE plan in Mexico

Dr. Freire discussed the historical conceptual confusion of the terms interprofessionalism, interdisciplinarity, multiprofessionalism, and believes that Mexico has the conditions to develop IPE initiatives, as a strategy that can support the improvement of health care in the country.

The next Congress

The next interdisciplinary Congress will be organized by the Faculty of Psychology of UNAM, on June 2-4th, 2020 with the theme - interdisciplinary and interprofessional approaches to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles. According to the director Dr. Germán Palafox the inclusion of the term "interprofessional" occurred after hearing the importance of interprofessionalism for health care during the second congress. For the country it may be advanced to start using the term interprofessionalism, in addition to practicing it in their training initiatives and work in health.

In the next month, the formulation of the Mexico EIP plan will begin.