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VOA News Examines U.S. Global Health Initiative

VOA News examines President Barack Obama’s $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI), noting the initiative’s emphasis on cost-effective strategies to improve child- and maternal-health as well as programs to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. The article includes recent comments by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the role the GHI will play in strengthening health systems and the administration’s ongoing commitment to global HIV/AIDS programs.

VOA News features intereviews with Terry Miller of Heritage Foundation and Peter Hotez of the George Washington University Medical Center discussing the GHI. Though Miller credited the administration’s plan to broaden the scope of the GHI beyond that of only infectious diseases, he explained that he “would like to have seen a little more emphasis on improving outcomes for a society as a whole in an equitable way across all genders,” not just directed at improving the health outcomes of women and girls.

Hotez said that he thinks the GHI should have included “research and development for new drugs and new vaccines. … GHI is extremely important providing life saving technologies that are already available, but who is going to be developing the next generation of those drugs and products?”

Additionally, Hotez “says that along with HIV/AIDS, and maternal child health problems, there is a need for more funding in dealing with some of the other very important global health threats like neglected tropical diseases affecting billions of people worldwide,” VOA News writes.

The article also quotes Sharone Ekambaram, a spokeswoman with Medecins San Frontieres, who addresses the need for the U.S. to maintain its commitment to global HIV/AIDS programs (Sinha, 9/2).

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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.