Border Health Program - Doctors of the World


Doctors of the World USA's Border Health Program aims to improve the health outcomes of migrants and asylum seekers in transit at the U.S. border.

Doctors of the World USA has launched its U.S.-Mexico Border Health Program (BHP)

In partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, and local organizations operating border shelters, the Border Health Program is a direct services program aims to improve health outcomes of migrants and asylum seekers in transit at the Texas border town El Paso.

Our program offers transitional medical care, uses data to advocate for better public health policies and reduce burdens on local healthcare systems. It will further provide medical students with learning opportunities that will serve as the foundation for future research and curriculum development focused on migrant health. By leveraging their respective areas of expertise, we and our partners will work hard to ensure that migrants and asylum-seekers receive the care they deserve.



  • Confiscation of medication by CBP: Doctors volunteering at the border report regularly seeing migrants with chronic conditions who had prescription medications confiscated by CBP without being replaced.
  • Deadly desert crossings: Since 2000, US policies have pushed more migrants to undertake dangerous desert crossings; CBP recorded 557 southwest border deaths during fiscal year 2021 (up from 254 in 2020 and 300 in 2019).
  • Border wall injuries have increased since 2019: Research published by the American Medical Association in April 2022 shows that since the 30-foot border wall was constructed, there has been a significant increase of more than 5x in trauma center admissions and deaths as well as an increase in injury severity.
  • Sexual violence en route and increase in women migrating: According to a UC Berkeley School of Law’s Human Rights Center report, an estimated 24-80% of women suffer sexual violence en route to the US, along with 5% of men and 50% of gay and transgender individuals.
  • In fiscal year 2020, the U.S. government allocated roughly 4.07 billion to border patrol operations programs that are largely ineffective and inhumane.
  • Globally, up to 40% of asylum seekers experience tremendous trauma including major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


**Based on Doctors of the World’s exploratory missions to the US-Mexico border, and supported by findings from external reports. Click here to learn more**

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