Committee on Global Health and the Future of the United States

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Global Health, Public Health
Board: Board on Global Health

Activity Description

The study process is completed for this activity. Click on the above publication link to view the final report. 

In January 2017 the United States will inaugurate a new Presidential administration. There will be many expectations and issues competing for attention. America's interest in global health, as a high priority for ongoing U.S. investment, will need to be re-positioned to convey the humanitarian, economic, and security reasons for why it should remain a focus area for the next administration and the country overall. And beyond the rationale, the most effective and sustainable approaches to global health investing need to be articulated in an authoritative, independent, apolitical, evidence-based way so as to help the new administration frame its own global health agenda. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) are conducting an expert consensus study to make the case for global health in light of current and emerging world threats. The committee will begin its task by reviewing where the two prior reports, the 2009 U.S. Commitment to Global Health, and its predecessor, the 1997 America's Vital Interest in Global Health, resulted in more effective investments in global health initiatives and where recommendations were not taken up. It will then assess the current global health landscape and how it has evolved over the last eight years.

Over the last decades, the U.S. has made many global health investments that are now in a vulnerable transitional situation. The goal of sustainable, country-level ownership of programs, such as those supported by PEPFAR, requires a solid anchor in resilient health systems. Those characteristics of successful transitions need to be understood and carefully managed by the next administration to ensure that the gains bought with billions of US dollars are sustained and poised for further growth. In some areas, such as polio eradication and country-specific HIV transmission elimination, a loss of focus would be a tremendous opportunity loss for the U.S. and humanity. This now is an opportune time for the Academies to bring clarity and expert perspective to what should be prioritized across U.S. investment in global health over the coming decade. 

As of March 2016, the Health and Medicine Division continues the consensus studies and convening activities previously undertaken by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).


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