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Promote Global Well-being and Health Diplomacy

Today, the health of Americans and the health of people around the world are more closely linked than ever before. A disease outbreak in a distant country can threaten the health of Americans at home, just as a discovery made in a foreign country can lead to better treatment for diseases affecting Americans. Recognizing the vital connection between the health and well-being of Americans and that of the world, HHS continues its active engagement in global health efforts. HHS provides international leadership on global health protection, security, and diplomacy, and maintains partnerships with the international community such as U.S. Government entities, the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministries of Health, and non-governmental organizations.

HHS’s engagement in global human services is as vital to protecting and promoting the health and well-being of Americans as are global health interactions. Around the world the conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age – often called social determinants of health – affect a wide range of life outcomes.  Recognizing that human services and health are inextricably linked, HHS supports cross-sector engagements to facilitate access to the support and services that men, women, and children at home and throughout the world need to live more productive, independent, and fulfilling lives. 

Through its international efforts, HHS works to achieve the three goals of the HHS Global Strategy.

Protect and Promote the Health and Well-Being of Americans through Global Action

HHS is strengthening efforts to extend surveillance, regulatory, and program activities beyond U.S. borders to enable more effective protection of Americans’ health. HHS is enhancing global regulatory systems as well as manufacturing and supply chains to ensure the safety of food, feeds, and medical products entering the United States. U.S. regulatory agencies are often seen as the “gold-standard” and HHS provides technical assistance to help strengthen regulatory capacity on a global basis.  HHS also is collaborating with scientists worldwide to find new tools and effective approaches that will help diagnose, prevent, and control disease, and identify best practices to address circumstances ranging from disability to family displacement.

Provide Leadership and Technical Expertise in Science, Policy, Programs, and Practice to Improve Global Health and Well-being

HHS is leveraging U.S. expertise, leadership and experience in science research, public health, regulatory science, program management, human services, and health policy to guide effective global collaborative action.  HHS is actively engaged in global partnerships to reduce the health and societal impacts of HIV and AIDS globally, protect vulnerable populations, achieve global targets such as the Millennium Development Goals, and address the rise in non-communicable diseases worldwide.  For example, HHS has been working closely with the WHO to create a Global Action Plan and establish voluntary global targets to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and address related risk factors.

Advance U.S. Interests in International Diplomacy, Development, Data Protection, and Security through Global Action

To advance U.S. interests in international diplomacy, development, data protection, and security, HHS provides input into U.S. global policies, initiatives, and strategies, significantly improving their scientific rigor, effectiveness, and impact. HHS is working closely with global partners to respond to common threats around the world, enhance national capacities to detect and respond to these threats, and learn from each other’s experiences.  For example, through the Global Health Security Initiative, HHS plays a key leadership role in advancing international cooperation on public health emergency preparedness and response. HHS also works with other U.S. government entities on health- and health care-related trade policy issues, such as tobacco control, intellectual property protection, and accessibility of data internationally.