Health is a highly-valued, visible, and concrete investment that has the power to both save lives and enhance the credibility of the United States in the eyes of the world. While the United States has made a major commitment to global health, there remains a wide gap between existing knowledge and tools that could improve health if applied universally, and the utilization of these known tools across the globe.
In 2008, the Institute of Medicine convened the expert Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health to investigate the U.S. commitment to global health and to articulate a vision for future U.S. investments. In its 2009 report, The U.S. Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the Public and Private Sectors, the committee concludes that the U.S. government and U.S.-based foundations, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and commercial entities have an opportunity to improve global health. The committee recommends that these U.S. institutions
- increase the utilization of existing interventions to achieve significant health gains;
- generate and share knowledge to address prevalent health problems in disadvantaged countries;
- invest in people, institutions, and capacity building with global partners;
- increase the quantity and quality of U.S. financial commitments to global health;
- and engage in respectful partnerships to improve global health.
In doing so, the U.S. can play a major role in saving lives and improving the quality of life for millions around the world.