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Pulitzer Center Update August 26, 2010

Global Health: A Dynamic Approach


Health problems that transcend national borders have a direct impact on the security and prosperity of the United States. The Obama administration is emphasizing global health as "a deeply held priority" in its diplomatic agenda. In a speech made on August 16th at Johns Hopkins University, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton identified the administration's Global Health Initiative as "a signature of American leadership in the world today."<br>

"What exactly does <a href="/dying-life">maternal health</a>, or <a href="/projects/europe/moldova-fighting-deadly-disease">immunizations</a>, or the <a href="/HIV-AIDS-in-the-Caribbean">fight against HIV and AIDS</a> have to do with foreign policy?" Clinton queried the 300 students on the floor. "Well, my answer is everything." The significance of the administration's global health investment, according to Clinton, goes beyond national borders from strengthening <a href="/fragile-states">fragile states</a> to promoting public diplomacy.<br>
Clinton announced that the fundamental purpose of the Global Health Initiative is to address public health problems "by tying individual health programs together in an integrated, coordinated, sustainable system of care." To implement this initiative, the U.S. government is committed to increasing support and funding for current public health programs including HIV/AIDS relief, malaria prevention, and tuberculosis treatment.<br>
In particular, Clinton identified the focus on maternal health as one of the administration's key ways to promote public health. "We're working with governments, civil society groups, and individuals to make sure that the <a href="/women-children-crisis">needs of women and girls</a> are recognized as critical…that they are taken into account in the budgets and the planning of finance ministries, prime ministers, and presidents," said Clinton. A USAID factsheet describes the initiative as "woman- and girl-centered."<br>
This approach to global health as "critical to the future of security, peace and prosperity" represents a dynamic integration of health policy with other vital international challenges.<br>
<strong>See related Pulitzer Center Reports:</strong><br>
<a href="/dying-life">Dying for Life</a>: A response to the crisis in maternal health, viewing motherhood as a continuum that encompasses reproductive health, family planning, pregnancy, childbirth and infant and maternal mortality.<br>
<a href="/HIV-AIDS-in-the-Caribbean">HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean</a>: The Caribbean conjures up visions of sun, sand and tourism to most but with HIV rates second only to those of sub-Saharan Africa, these islands face a complex set of circumstances in their fight against the AIDS epidemic.<br>
<a href="/fragile-states">Fragile States</a>: The balance of power between strong states was for decades the dominant issue in discussions of international security. But today it is fragile states that are seen by many as posing potentially greater threats.<br>
<a href="/women-children-crisis">Women and Children in Crisis</a>: Countries with underdeveloped economies and countries at war face countless difficulties, but stories of the particular misery faced by women and children are often overlooked.<br>
<a href="/projects/europe/moldova-fighting-deadly-disease">Moldova: Fighting a Deadly Disease</a>: Moldova has been hit particularly hard by the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), a new, deadly strain of an age old disease.