Strong Leadership, Sustained Funding Necessary For Global Health Successes
“The ongoing budget negotiations in Washington will require many hard choices to be made in the coming weeks,” and “[w]ith respect to global health programs, these decisions may mean, literally, the difference between life and death,” Peter Chernin — chair and CEO of the Chernin Group, chair of Malaria No More, and a board member of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — writes in an AlertNet opinion piece. “At this unique moment in time — where we have an opportunity to truly turn the tide on diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria — having a strong advocate, such as the one we have in Secretary of State John Kerry, has never been more critical,” he continues. “Like Secretary Kerry, I, too, have met people on the front lines of fighting these diseases,” Chernin writes, adding, “My experiences, and the knowledge I have gained from them, inform my excitement about Secretary Kerry and his record of supporting lifesaving health efforts worldwide.”
“In the past decade, strong political champions and increases in funding have helped to avert 1.1 million malaria deaths, reduce the number of new tuberculosis cases, and ensure AIDS treatment for more than eight million people worldwide,” Chernin notes and highlights examples of successes in fighting the diseases. “This kind of progress is due in large part to the support of individuals like Secretary Kerry and the efforts of organizations like the Global Fund,” as well as “[t]he U.S. government’s endorsement of and support for the Global Fund,” which “allow[s] the organization to work hand-in-hand with bilateral initiatives, such as the President’s Malaria Initiative and PEPFAR,” he states. “It is clear that [Kerry] understands that global health is not a one-time investment,” Chernin continues, concluding, “By maintaining funding today, we have the opportunity to stop these diseases in their tracks and continue building upon the successes of the past decade, rather than risk squandering the investments we’ve made thus far” (3/14).