Did you know 32 million lives, or over ten times the population of Miami-Dade County, have been saved by the Global Fund, an international effort to fight tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS, infectious diseases responsible for the deaths of millions each year worldwide?
The U.S. government, along with other national governments, provides crucial investments in the Global Fund, which in turn supports treatment and prevention for people living in Guatemala, Haiti, Peru and over 100 other countries. Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee has matched the House’s increased funding allocation for the Global Fund for the fiscal year 2020. If enacted, it would be the first U.S. funding increase to the Global Fund in six years and the third-largest increase in U.S. funding since 2002, the founding of the Global Fund.
Partners In Health Engage Miami (a student-led global health organization proudly rooted at the University of Miami) thanks Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-Florida) for supporting the sixth replenishment of the Global Fund by co-sponsoring House Resolution 517. Still, there is a need for the U.S. government to invest in health system strengthening policies that go beyond efforts addressing the burden of infectious diseases alone. Given her ample experience in health policy both within the U.S. and globally, Representative Shalala is particularly well placed to update the government’s global health funding priorities to address shifting disease burdens, as acknowledged at the United Nations’ first High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage last month. I urge Representative Shalala to introduce to Congress new legislation to support global health system strengthening.
Marian Pedreira is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience. She is the president of Partners in Health Engage Miami.