By working with developing nations to address preventable disease, the U.S. has played a key role in saving millions of lives globally. U.S. investments in global health have been instrumental in tackling the biggest killer diseases and reducing preventable maternal and child deaths; however, there is still more work to be done.
The Fund for Global Health advocates for accelerating progress by increasing funding for programs with the greatest potential to reduce death and disease. The impacts of these investments are far reaching and have a high return – they improve quality of life for the world’s poorest, increase stability abroad, and bolster our health security at home.
We are asking Congress to increase funding in fiscal year 2018 for addressing:
- Tuberculosis through USAID, the U.S.Agency for International Development
This program address some of the most pressing global health problems and yield the greatest measurable improvements with cost-effective strategies.
Tuberculosis (TB) is now the ninth leading cause of death and the leading infectious killer worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die from the disease every year. TB primarily affects vulnerable populations, such as those living with HIV/AIDS and those with poor access to health care. Treatment is relatively simple and affordable; however, the emergence of drug resistant strains of the disease poses an increasing threat. Our mission is to get these treatments into the hands of those who desperately need them.
Drug resistant forms have appeared in nearly every country in the world – including the U.S. Drug resistant TB is extremely expensive and difficult to treat, and there are no guarantees that treatment will always succeed. Over half a million people each year are diagnosed with resistant tuberculosis. Over 250,000 people died from drug resistant tuberculosis in 2015.
Although significant progress has been made throughout the last decades, TB remains by far the most under-funded of U.S. infectious disease programs relative to its disease burden. Thankfully, most deaths from TB could be prevented with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Indeed, the vast majority of TB cases are curable with a series of four drugs. Patients can take these four pills a day for six months to prevent premature death, and the total drug cost is only about $20. Figuring in all other expenditures, an additional $150 million for basic TB treatment would save over 180,000 lives. We think that’s worth it.
Inadequate funding will compromise the progress made by TB programs and increase the likelihood of drug resistant TB spreading around the world and within our own borders. To protect against this threat, the U.S. must take the lead and continue investing in the tools needed to control TB – new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines, as well as global programs that ensure access to testing and treatment. Our mission is to get these treatments into the hands of those who desperately need them.
Our dedicated team of advocates and partnered organizations are fighting to step up funding for TB programs. We are lobbying Congress to dramatically increase aid for these programs and use that aid as effectively as possible
What are the main objectives of our advocacy and lobbying campaign?
- Target the lobbying and advocacy efforts towards the State and Foreign Operations subcommittees of Appropriations in charge of appropriating foreign aids.
- Encouraging participation from local constituents in reaching out to their members of congress and staff for effective citizen advocacy and lobbying, which will also result in development of a long-term presence of local lobbying groups in these communities.
Director of Advocacy, Fund for Global Health