News / Africa

Report: US Essential for Global Health

A newly-diagnosed HIV positive woman, who arrived at the hospital with symptoms of tuberculosis (TB), receives treatment at the Mildmay Uganda clinic, which receives funding from the US government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD
A newly-diagnosed HIV positive woman, who arrived at the hospital with symptoms of tuberculosis (TB), receives treatment at the Mildmay Uganda clinic, which receives funding from the US government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to De Capua report on US global health spending

Joe DeCapua
A new report says while big budget battles in Washington may be over for now, adequate funding to fight HIV, TB, malaria and other diseases may still be at risk. The Global Health Technologies Coalition has released its annual report, which focuses on U.S. leadership in research and development.
 
Coalition Director Kaitlin Christenson praises the improved atmosphere between Democrats and Republicans. She called the ceasefire in budget debates on Capitol Hill “good news.”
 
“We’re pleased to see that for the first time in several years Congress is able to move forward with a budget that went through the relatively normal process. And we’re pleased to see that in many areas numbers for global health specifically were held strong,” she said.
 
The federal budget had gone though – what’s called – sequestration.  It required mandatory across-the-board cuts for all agencies if Congress failed to make its own spending cuts. In recent years, the legislative body could not reach agreement, so all agencies took a big hit in spending.
 
Christenson said while the climate has improved, there are no guarantees of agreement for the next fiscal year beginning in October.
 
“Going into negotiations for FY-15 we do have some concerns and are hoping that Congress will – as it takes the president’s budget request – bring numbers back up for agencies like the NIH [National Institutes of Health], like global health programs at the State Department and at USAID.”
 
She said the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Agency for International Development play a critical role in researching and developing health-related products, simply known as R&D.
 
With USAID and the State Department, in particular, we saw that funding levels were for the most part decreased across all conditions and disease areas based on the levels that were approved by Congress for the FY-14 budget agreement.
 
It’s a similar situation for the National Institutes of Health.
 
Christenson said, “With the NIH, the president’s request for FY-15 was still lower than the request that came in in 2014. It’s a slight increase over what we saw passed by Congress, but the budget request coming from the administration has actually decreased. There’s critical research happening at the NIH that helps us understand how these diseases take place – and helps propel the development of new products that are desperately needed.”
 
Before sequestration began in March of last year, many research projects were underway. Many millions of dollars had already been spent on them. When the cuts took hold, the projects simply shut down.
 
“The challenge with research is that when we stop a clinical trial, we can’t just pick it back up. There’s a significant amount of investment made in staff – in building community support – and building capacity of local researchers. So, once a trial shuts down it’s very difficult and expensive to start it back up,” she said.
 
The Global Health Technologies Coalition report is called Innovation for a changing world: The role of U.S. leadership in global health R&D. Christenson says the coalition takes a long-term view on global health investment.
 
“We’ve done some analysis that shows, for example, that the investment that was made in developing a recently introduced meningitis vaccine in Africa will pay off over the long-term. We estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars will be saved that would have been otherwise spent in treating individuals who succumb to meningitis,” she said.
 
She described such investment as critical.
 
“We’ve seen the tremendous impact that comes from research to create life-saving health tools. But we know that the tools we have today are not sufficient and that there is no guarantee they will meet the health needs of tomorrow.”
 
Last year, a bill was introduced to Congress called the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act.  Christenson said it would codify support for USAID in research and development and cooperation between U.S. agencies involved in the work.
 
The coalition also called for bigger budgets for the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid