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U.S. Funding Helps Save Lives Worldwide, Lift People Out Of Poverty, Prevent Epidemics

Fox News: U.S. funding can save millions of lives through public health programs in 2018
Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, and former CDC director

“…[I]n 2018 we will be challenged to make additional progress in protecting public health on multiple fronts — particularly preventing heart attacks, strokes, drug overdoses, and epidemics. Here is an overview of what was achieved this year and what needs to be done in the year ahead. … Many countries improved their ability to track and respond to disease clusters before they become epidemics. However, additional funding for the CDC to partner with other countries to help them develop their ability to stop epidemics will end next year. If Congress doesn’t provide funding, the U.S. will be forced to abandon these critical efforts, giving our microbial enemies an opening to attack. If in 2018 CDC is forced to retreat from the front lines, the chance that an epidemic like Ebola could happen again will increase. Programs to prevent epidemics keep Americans safe. They must be continued. Like the war against terrorism, the war against terrible organisms protects our nation from a deadly threat. … We hope that, five years from now, we’ll look back at 2017 as the year these critical public health issues began to improve — similar to improvements we’ve seen in recent decades in progress against HIV/AIDS, polio, and smoking (12/26).

The Hill: A modest amount of American money can help the world’s poorest countries
Eric Ottesen of the Task Force for Global Health and RTI International, and Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

“…Created in response to congressional concerns about global health and development, [USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Program] may now represent one of the most cost-effective means ever devised to lift people out of poverty, while simultaneously building good will towards the United States. … In 2006, the U.S. Congress appropriated a modest $15 million to create the USAID NTD Program — after one year an estimated 36.8 million treatments were delivered. … Ten years later more than two billion treatments had been delivered to an estimated 935 million people in USAID-supported NTD programs in 33 developing countries. … Equally impressive is how USAID funding was effectively leveraged. It’s estimated that through the USAID NTD Program, industry provided $15.7 billion in donated drugs to the USAID-supported countries. This number equates to $26 dollars in donated medicines from industry for every $1 spent by USAID. … Today, the USAID NTD Program represents the very best in American ingenuity and thrift. It shows how a modest amount of American taxpayer money can be leveraged into a game-changing assault on poverty in the world’s poorest countries, as well as here at home” (1/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.