Global health plays a critical role in the national security of the U.S. population and in the security of populations worldwide. As our world and economies become more integrated, we must think about health globally, because diseases know no borders.
The President understands the significant role the U.S. Government plays in improving global health. Accordingly, he has called for increased investments in global health programs and an overall reorientation of all U.S. Government health assistance. New emphasis is being placed on ownership of programs by the countries we are working in, strategic integration and coordination across the activities and agencies, programming that focuses on women, strengthening of host countries’ health systems, and a focus on monitoring and evaluation.
HHS has significant scientific, technical, and regulatory expertise in global health matters. Its experience helps ensure that activities are informed by research, disease surveillance, public health service delivery, medical product and food safety, and best practices to strengthen health systems. HHS is collaborating with its partners and the White House on several issues in global health, including advancing global pandemic preparedness and response, combating bioterrorism, and implementing the President’s Global Health Initiative.
The Global Health Initiative invests $63 billion over 6 years in a comprehensive approach to our health assistance programs, recognizing that healthy societies are stable societies. Many effective, long-standing programs, such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative, are part of the Global Health Initiative. HHS, through ASPR, CDC, NIH, FDA, HRSA, and other agencies and offices, is pursuing the following actions to improve global health.
- Combating Infectious Diseases through Rapid Identification and Control Efforts
HHS is working with countries to promote information sharing about known diseases and public health events of international concern. As we saw with the H1N1 public health emergency, rapid identification and control of emerging infectious diseases help promote health abroad, prevent the international spread of disease, and protect the health of the U.S. population.
- Combating Non-Infectious Diseases through Strategic Partnerships
Chronic, noncommunicable diseases, including diabetes and obesity, tobacco use, and mental and substance use disorders are among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. HHS is collaborating with other countries to implement tested strategies to fight these and other noncommunicable diseases.
- Developing a Global Health Strategy
HHS, under the leadership of its Office of Global Health Affairs, is implementing a coordinated global health strategy. This strategy maximizes HHS’s substantial global health assets and brings cohesion to its work, in support of the President’s efforts to improve global health.