Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Jody Decker

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Intestinal infectious diseases are considered the northern Mexican border’s most obvious challenge facing children. The Mexico-US Border region is a 200-kilometer border zone that extends 100 kilometers on either side of an imaginary borderline and stretches 3,141 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2000, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization’s representative for the Americas, published a study of the top causes of mortality between 1995 and 1997 to estimate the absolute burden of mortality in the primary Mexican and American border community, collectively known as the Sister Cities. Using the PAHO (2000) study, this research identified a significant difference in diarrheal disease mortality rates between the primary Mexican border cities and their American counterparts, suggesting a potential inequity in the health situation of the populations. The presence of a high number of cases of water-related diseases, especially infectious intestinal diseases or diarrheal disease has implications on a series of levels. Although it was first believed that contamination of the Hueco Bolson aquifer, the city’s only water source, was responsible for high levels of mortality and morbidity, results from interviews and fieldwork in the City of Juarez pointed to socio-cultural behaviours, as the main determinant of diarrheal disease in this area. This study examined the complex relationships between influences responsible for diarrheal disease in children in the City of Juarez. This study also sought to clarify misconceptions and generalizations made about the Mexico-US border region and highlight the problems associated with the health system and disease surveillance program in Mexico.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season