Global Health Initiative
The Global Health Initiative (GHI) is an integrated approach to unify the United States government’s activities in fighting communicable diseases and supporting international health advances. It represents a coordinated and results-driven set of goals and principles, so that the U.S. government – together with other countries and partners – can overcome the challenges of disease that that threaten lives at home and throughout the world.
The GHI draws upon the expertise and programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Peace Corps, and the Department of Defense.
Governed by GHI Principles, U.S. government agencies aim to work as one in the countries where the U.S. supports GHI investments.
GHI advances HHS and Administration objectives to protect the American people, advance America’s core values, and save more lives. Success will be measured in three key areas of focus:
Investing in Women, Saving Mothers
The GHI has brought the needs and potential of women and girls to the fore, working to redress gender-related inequalities, to promote the empowerment of women and girls, and to improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The U.S. government supports further progress to meet women’s comprehensive health needs, including a strong focus on reducing maternal mortality. Preventable maternal deaths still take the lives of too many women in the developing world.
Creating an AIDS-free generation
By providing prevention, care, and treatment to millions worldwide, PEPFAR brought hope to communities that had been decimated by AIDS. New scientific advances in prevention and treatment will enable PEPFAR to make an even greater impact as it works to treat more than 6 million people, prevent more than 12 million infections, and provide support to more than 5 million children affected by AIDS by 2014.
Challenging Ourselves and Challenging the World
The majority of countries have made significant progress on the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). To truly attain them, all nations must come together to support commitments to global health. By 2015, the United States will help achieve the MDGs with focused investments to leverage increased results from partner countries and other funders, both public and private. Recipient nations and communities will become stronger partners by taking greater steps in building and managing their own health systems.
Who Works on GHI
HHS is a key player in GHI. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sits on the GHI Operating Committee, along with Department of State’s Office of Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) and USAID. Many of HHS’ agencies are involved in GHI, including:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Institutes of Health
- Food and Drug Administration
- Health Resources and Services Administration
The 7 GHI principles, which HHS also sees as its key priorities are:
- Focusing on women, girls, and gender equity to address gender imbalances related to health, promote the empowerment of women and girls, and improve health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
- Increasing country ownership to work tirelessly to create sustainable health systems that are eventually owned, managed, and operated by the host government and its people.
- Strengthening health systems that frequently are the rate-limiting constraint to further progress.
- Promoting global health partnership relationships that can be an integral part of reaching objectives.
- Promoting integration of health sector activities with activities in other sectors such as water and sanitation and food security.
- Fostering research and innovation that translate investments into real and measurable population-level health outcomes.
- Improving metrics, monitoring, and evaluation throughout the program process.
The Global Health Initiative Today
In early June 2012, leaders from the U.S. government announced that the GHI is entering a second phase where the focus is shifting from coordination in Washington, DC to supporting countries in the field. This means operational leadership from the three core entities - USAID, CDC, OGAC – will remain. And the priority will continue to be ensuring the GHI principles are implemented in the field in order to achieve our ambitious goals. However there is recognition that successes will be led by GHI country teams and planning leads in the field, working to implement agreed GHI strategies under the leadership of the U.S. Ambassador and in collaboration with local government and non-governmental partners.
At the State Department, the GHI office (S/GHI) will close and an Office of Global Health Diplomacy (S/GHD) will be stood up. Unlike S/GHI's focus on interagency coordination, the S/GHD office's mandate will be to champion the priorities and policies of GHI as a key component of U.S. presence and bilateral relations in each country. Success going forward will be measured by our ability to leverage our collective interagency leadership to influence global stakeholders, align donor investments with country resources and maintain and build technical support that expands capacity for global health priorities.
HHS continues to work together with our fellow agencies and in-country partners to realize the GHI goals.