The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a “Joint Summary of Performance and Financial Information for FY 2012” summarizing the performance and accomplishments of the two agencies in fulfilling their diplomatic and development objectives, including efforts to address global health issues.
During remarks at the release of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2011 Global Tuberculosis Control Report, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Global Health Ariel Pablos-Mendez summarized USAID efforts to combat TB, HIV/TB co-infection, and drug resistant TB through initiatives such as the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced S. 1734 – Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now Act of 2011. The bill provides incentives for the development of “antibiotic drug[s] for treating, detecting, preventing, or identifying a qualifying pathogen,” including, among other infectious agents, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
Learn more about the House companion bill (H.R. 2182).
UPDATE: The President signed the bill into law (Public Law #112-74) on December 23, 2011 after the Conference Agreement passed the House (296-121) on December 16, 2011 and the Senate (67-32) on December 17, 2011. Additionally, the Senate voted against (43-56) a resolution (H.Con.Res. 94) that would have applied a 1.83% across-the-board rescission to all FY 2012 appropriations except the Department of Defense (DoD), Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs.
Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY, 5th; Chairman House Committee on Appropriations) released a statement announcing that a joint House-Senate Conference Committee had reached agreement on final FY 2012 Appropriations legislation (H.R. 2055), which includes funding for global health programs through the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Defense (DoD). While total funding for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) is not yet available, the appropriations detailed in this agreement totaled $8.3 billion.
Directs that no FY 2012 global health funds may be used for needle exchange programs;
Includes additional Congressional oversight before the Administration makes a multi-year funding pledge;
Requires the Administration to report back to Congress with an analysis of the potential costs/savings of transitioning the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) into USAID; and
Requires the Administration to report back to Congress with an analysis of transitioning the leadership of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to USAID as outlined in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).
Global health appropriations as provided in the Conference Report (House Report 112-331) and Joint Statement of Managers are summarized as follows:
In a statement on World Tuberculosis Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listed the ways the U.S. is involved in addressing TB while also stating â€œthere is still much more to be doneâ€ and â€œthe State Department should continue and expand its commitment to reducing the global burden of TB.â€
The proposed bill would establish the “Health Technology Program” within USAID to “develop, advance, and introduce affordable, available, and appropriate technologies specifically designed: a) to improve the health and nutrition of developing country populations; b) to reduce maternal and child mortality; and c) to improve the diagnosis, prevention and reduction of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other major diseases.” The bill requires that program funding be provided by USAID on a competitive basis and that the USAID Administrator provide an annual report to Congress on the progress and outlook of the program. Finally, the bill authorizes the appropriation of $5 million for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
USAID released â€œReport to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010.â€ The report provides an update on USAIDâ€™s â€œstrategy for using research funds to stimulate the development and introduction of key productsâ€ and highlights research in the following areas: maternal and newborn health; child, environmental, and urban health; nutrition; reproductive health and family planning; HIV/AIDS; malaria; tuberculosis; and health systems strengthening.
During a speech at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama summarized the U.S. global health strategy as “building on successes in the fight against HIV/AIDS and working to end deaths from malaria and TB and to end polio.” The President stated that “these efforts will only be sustained if we improve the capacity of public health systems to deliver care, especially for mothers and children.” Finally, the President stated that new U.S. investments in food security would focus on sharing “new methods and technologies so that countries and communities can become more self-sufficient.”
In a statement at the annual joint Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs stated that “the United States looks to UNFPA as a key partner in our efforts to increase worldwide access to reproductive health and family planning” and that the U.S. “will work to integrate women-focused interventions among our health programs and link maternal health, voluntary family planning, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and other health services.”