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U.S. Leadership On Global HIV, TB, Malaria Efforts Benefits National Interests

National Interest: A Marshall Plan for Global Health
Mark P. Lagon, chief policy officer at the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and distinguished senior scholar at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

“…America’s role at the forefront of controlling [HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis] may appear as an act of global goodwill, but it also provides equally positive benefits for our nation. Disease knows no boundaries, and in a world of accelerating travel and migration, international health security has become a top priority to our own interests, prosperity, and safety. … While the United States has been at the vanguard against global infectious diseases through PEPFAR, [the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)], the USAID TB program and financing organizations like the Global Fund, U.S. funding has plateaued in recent years. … While we have made admirable progress in reducing three massive killers over some fifteen years, investments are still much needed until epidemiological control is established. … Managing epidemics requires the United States to sustain efficacious bilateral programs such as PEPFAR, PMI, and USAID’s TB program. Backing collective instruments such as the Global Fund … is smart foreign policy. … Without U.S. leadership on global health, we squander past investments that have demonstrated through hard numbers their big impact, economic value, and opportunities to reap the single, most successful area of ‘soft power’ influence in the last two decades. The stakes are anything but low” (12/18).

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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.