Global Health Overview

FY2015 Funding Recommendation:  
$9.993 billion

 

Funding History

       Enacted   

       President's FY2015 Request   

       InterAction's FY2015 Recommendation


Justification

 Key Facts

  • U.S. global health programs have treated approximately 6.7 million people living with HIV and prevented HIV transmission to millions more.

  • USAID immunization programs save more than 3 million lives each year.

  • Newborn mortality rates declined 33% from 1990 to 2011 in USAID’s 24 maternal and child health priority countries, while deaths of children under 5 in those countries were reduced from 7.7 million to 4.8 million in the same period.

Investment in global health programming worldwide saves lives, improves medical care around the world and is a core piece of the United States’ mission to end poverty and meet the basic needs of the poorest of the poor. Past global health funding has reduced child mortality, slowed the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, addressed health emergencies, prevented malnutrition and supported initiatives such as the President’s Malaria Initiative and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Relatively modest investments by the United States have also improved the economic growth and stability of developing nations. And since national borders do not stop the spread of disease, addressing global health issues also helps protect Americans.

These programs address diseases such as polio, malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases, while also preventing malnutrition, decreasing maternal mortality, improving infant health, developing new health technologies and vaccines, and assisting women with the timing and spacing of pregnancies. They also train capable health workers throughout developing nations in order to strengthen health systems abroad. Building the capacity of country health systems ensures healthier and safer populations, creates more prosperous economies and reduces dependency on foreign aid.

Global health programs also develop and implement new technologies and tools, which help countries get ahead of health challenges and improve their ability to respond to the health needs of their citizens.  Sustaining U.S. investments in these programs is critical to ensuring that health challenges do not become more expensive and difficult to resolve in the future. For FY2015, InterAction recommends $9.993 billion for USAID and State Department global health programs in order to address the multiple aspects of their programming. Please see the separate Choose to Invest global health pages which provide more detail sector by sector.

Success Story:

Encouraging expectant mothers to hospitals

In Ethiopia, pregnant women eagerly await the traditional ceremony accompanying their delivery as much as they wait for their baby. During delivery, the mother’s friends and family prepare a coffee ceremony, burn incense, and prepare “genfo,” an Ethiopian porridge. It is traditionally believed that if the mother doesn’t taste genfo as soon as she delivers the baby, Satan could enter into her.

Most Ethiopian women give birth at home with the assistance of a traditional midwife. Even when women learn that they should deliver at a health facility, many do not out of fear of missing the traditional ceremony. Recognizing this situation, and the dangers it involves, the mother mentors at Korem Health Center in Tigray, Ethiopia, started performing the traditional Ethiopian birth ceremony at their health center. 

As a result, more women are delivering at the health center. According to the mother mentors, since they started the ceremony, 59 mothers have given birth at the health center, 12 of whom are HIV-positive.

Since September 2011, the ENHAT-CS program has provided support to 236 mother mentors, who provide individual counseling and facilitate peer learning within mother support groups at 59 program supported health centers and have reached nearly 10,000 HIV-positive mothers.

“We are now the talk of the town because we prepare the ceremony for women that deliver at the health center. Now pregnant mothers come to the health facility for delivery because it is like their homes,” says Jember Alemayehu, one of the mothers mentors.

The mother mentors at Korem Health Center have inspired the mother mentors at Kukuftu Health Center, 50 kilometers from Korem, to also start providing the traditional Ethiopian birth ceremony for women delivering at their health center.

ENHAT-CS is funded by PEPFAR through USAID and implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

Photo Credit: Genaye Eshetu, Sr. Communications Specialist for ENHAT-CS

 

 

 

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