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President Obama discusses global health issues during speech before Ghanaian Parliament

In a speech before the Ghanaian Parliament, President Obama listed health as one of “four areas that are critical to the future of Africa and the entire developing world.” President Obama also stated that “because of incentives — often provided by donor nations — many African doctors and nurses go overseas, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. And this creates gaps in primary care and basic prevention.” Finally, President Obama summarized his global health initiative stating that his administration “will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue the goal of ending deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, and we will work to eradicate polio. We will fight — we will fight neglected tropical disease. And we won’t confront illnesses in isolation — we will invest in public health systems that promote wellness and focus on the health of mothers and children.”

U.S. and Russia sign Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Public Health and Medical Sciences

The memorandum, signed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development, includes the involvement of the “U.S. Agency for International Development, scientific research institutions, including those of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and other organizations of the two countries,” and focuses on the following areas: infectious diseases, chronic and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health protection, and improving global health.

H.R. 2639 – Global Poverty Act of 2009

The proposed bill directs the President to develop and implement a strategy to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Among other things, the bill requires that the strategy include measurable goals, benchmarks, and timelines, and that it build upon, leverage, and better coordinate existing efforts to address issues relevant to global poverty such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, water, and hunger. Finally, the bill requires the President to report back to Congress regularly on the progress of the strategy.

Secretary of HHS Sebelius addresses World Health Assembly

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, addressed the Plenary Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. In her comments, Secretary Sebelius dicussed the international response to the recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus. Secretary Sebelius also discussed President Obama’s new Global Health Initiative stating that “our world demands a new, integrated approach to public health – one that seeks to understand and target the many factors that that can threaten the lives and livelihoods of all our citizens.”

President Obama announces new $63 billion Global Health Initiative

President Obama announced a new Global Health Initiative and his request of Congress to approve $8.6 billion in FY 2010 and $63 billion over six years to support this effort. The President stated that the initiative will continue to support and build upon efforts to address AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis initiated by the previous administration, but it will also “do more to improve health systems around the world, focus our efforts on child and maternal health, and ensure that best practices drive the funding for these programs.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement on World Tuberculosis Day

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 “there is still much more to be done” and “the State Department should continue and expand its commitment to reducing the global burden of TB.”

Plan to Combat Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Released

The report by the Federal Tuberculosis Task Force provides “specific action steps and new activities that will require additional funding and a renewed commitment by government and nongovernmental organizations involved in domestic and international TB control efforts to be implemented effectively.”