Over the past decade, the United States government has made a number of pledges towards improving global health. How those pledges are funded and operationalized is often a matter of opinion and perspective. And no doubt that the current economic situation is posing challenges to maintaining the current pledges, tamping down enthusiasm for expanding upon them, and yet exacerbating already critical health issues in many developing countries. A new publication from the Board on Global Health and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences adds a weighty voice to the discussions. From the prepublication blurb -
Health is a highly valued, visible, and concrete investment that has the power to both save lives and enhance the credibility of the United States in the eyes of the world. While the United States has made a major commitment to global health, there remains a wide gap between existing knowledge and tools that could improve health if applied universally, and the utilization of these known tools across the globe.
The U.S. Commitment to Global Health concludes that the U.S. government and U.S.-based foundations, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and commercial entities have an opportunity to improve global health. The book includes recommendations that these U.S. institutions
increase the utilization of existing interventions to achieve significant health gains;
generate and share knowledge to address prevalent health problems in disadvantaged countries;
invest in people, institutions, and capacity building with global partners;
increase the quantity and quality of U.S. financial commitments to global health;
- and engage in respectful partnerships to improve global health.
Among the action steps contained in the prepublication version of the Executive Summary is one calling on President Obama to create a White House Interagency Committee on Global Health to lead, plan, prioritize, and coordinate the budgeting for major U.S. government global health programs and activities.
The outline of the report for quick viewing and ordering information.