GLOBAL HEALTH ADVOCACY
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
- Maternal and Child Health (USAID)
- GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
These programs address some of the most pressing global health problems and yield the greatest measurable improvements with cost-effective strategies.
Tuberculosis (TB) is now 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.
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. 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.
MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH (MCH):
About 1 million children die every year on their first day of life. Every day, 16,000 children and 830 mothers around the world die of mostly preventable causes. The majority of these deaths could be prevented with affordable, simple solutions.
By increasing our investment in maternal and child health, we will ensure that more mothers receive the skilled care before, during, and after childbirth that is critical to keep them and their newborns healthy. The good news is that, with renewed commitment and increased funding, we’ve already made tremendous progress in recent decades.
- According to USAID, the lives of 4.6 million children and 200,000 women have been saved since 2008 and the cost per death averted was about $1145.
- Investing in Maternal & Child Health initiatives has proven to be one of the most cost-effective strategies in global health.
- Funding will tackle the biggest killers of children under five: pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.
- The USAID MCH program focuses on many interrelated issues, including WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), child health, and immunizations. Therefore, each dollar that goes towards MCH goes a long way.
PLEDGE TO GAVI:
According to World Health Organization, 1.5 million children die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. The biggest killers are pneumonia and severe dehydration, each taking almost a third of these lives. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) works to have the full package of WHO-recommended vaccines delivered in 73 countries.
GAVI is funded 80% by donor governments and 20% by private donors such as the Gates Foundation. Recipient country’s governments put in a portion of the costs for immunization campaigns in their countries, based on their ability to pay, and work towards a goal of graduating from GAVI assistance.
The U.S. contribution has been ramping up, and the current USAID pledge to GAVI is $1 billion between the years of 2015-2018. We want to ensure that this pledge is kept, and implore appropriators to uphold this promise made to millions of kids worldwide. At about $25 per child, this is one of the most cost-effective programs working to end preventable child deaths.
Since its inception in 2000, GAVI has reached 500 million additional children and prevented 7 million deaths.
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