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U.S. Investment In Global Health Saves Lives

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reflects on changes in U.S. global health diplomacy since taking office in this Global Health and Diplomacy opinion piece. “America had been leading the global health fight for decades,” but “we recognized that to sustain the impact of our work, we needed to change the way we did business,” she writes. “For example, while our agencies were providing tremendous leadership in isolation, they could still do more to collaborate effectively,” she writes, adding, “[W]e weren’t doing enough to coordinate our efforts with other donors or our partner countries,” and “we weren’t building sustainable systems to eventually allow our partner countries to manage more of their own health needs.” She says, “We were unintentionally putting a ceiling on the number of lives we could save.”

“When I became Secretary of State … I could also see areas where we could be stronger partners, and where we could do more to get the most out of every hour of effort and dollar of funding,” Clinton states. “We started by defining a set of seven principles for our work under the Global Health Initiative,” “[w]e retooled many of our programs to reflect these principles,” and “we made global health one of our diplomatic priorities,” she writes. “Through our global health diplomacy, we’ve helped bring new partners to the table and keep old partners at the table,” she continues, and discusses some results of these efforts. “In short, America’s investments in global health are saving lives,” but “it is a shared responsibility,” she writes, concluding, “Every nation — partner countries and donors alike — needs to invest in health. It’s one of the surest steps to build the safer, fairer world that we all want” (9/27).