Posts Tagged ‘PEPFAR’

PEPFAR as a Model of Smart & Effective Investments in Global Health

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Ambassador Eric Goosby, MD, is the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and the honorary presenter for this year’s David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture, held every year at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In his speech, “PEPFAR: Moving From Science to Program to Save Lives,” Amb. Goosby’s focused on progress that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and how this progress is helping to improve our future.

Among its many accomplishments, PEPFAR supports treatment for 3.9 million people around the world, has supported 1 million male circumcisions (which helps protect against the virus), and has been instrumental in showing the world “the heart of the American people” through “health diplomacy.”

PEPFAR is also “prioritizing smart investments [by engaging in] what works.” By eliminating redundancy, finding alternative and cost-effective solutions, and improving partner coordination, PEPFAR has strived for efficiency throughout its work. For example, PEPFAR has successfully driven down the per-person cost of HIV/AIDS treatment by a little more than two-thirds, or from $1,100 to $335 per year.

Amb. Goosby noted how research-driven agencies like the NIH have played significant roles in the interagency’s success and called PEPFAR the intersection “where science and implementation combine for critical impact.”

As Secretary Clinton said in her speech on “Creating an AIDS-Free Generation” in November, also at the NIH, the knowledge and technologies we have today have given us the “route we need to take” in the fight against AIDS. Amb. Goosby ended his speech on a similar optimistic note by quoting Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Celebrating USAID’s 50 Years of Exemplifying “The Best of American Values”

Monday, November 7th, 2011

“Celebrate today, start tomorrow.”

Those were the words Vice President Joe Biden used in his address last week at USAID’s 50th anniversary commemorative event. Calling USAID and its employees “the face of America” and a collective “force of nature,” Biden urged USAID to continue its life-saving efforts around the world “so that we can work ourselves out of a job.”

Since its creation by President John F. Kennedy’s executive order 50 years ago, the agency has worked relentlessly to improve and save millions of lives across the globe. This past half century has seen great progress in international development and poverty-fighting programs, which has in large part been driven by USAID initiatives. A few notable examples include:

  1. USAID played a significant role in the eradication of smallpox, a historic feat that has served as a reminder of how coordinated and persistent efforts to combat infectious diseases are necessary to successfully address global health challenges.
  2. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT), developed through USAID programs, has been instrumental in treating tens of millions of children affected by life-threatening cases of diarrhea.
  3. USAID collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has provided antiretroviral therapy to 3.2 million people and, in FY10 alone, prevented mother-to-child HIV transmission to 114,000 newborns.
  4. More than 30 countries that once received aid have “graduated” from its assistance, and some have even become donors of aid to other struggling countries. For those countries, USAID support has been a steppingstone to self-sufficiency; a prime example is South Korea, a country that has become the US’ seventh largest trading partner in the short span of two generations and now is a net donor of aid to developing countries.

“We have proven that nations can escape the grip of poverty,” Biden said in his speech. “We no longer ask what the U.S. can do for you; rather, when I meet with these leaders, I ask, what can we do with you?”

As the premier humanitarian assistance and international development U.S. agency, USAID has led the way in demonstrating how investments in international development and its global health efforts are changing the world for the better.

Watch the recap video of the event here.

Fauci Op-Ed Looks Back, Ahead on Battle Against AIDS

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post over the weekend, telling of his own experience in trying to research AIDS.

The first signs of the disease came in 1981, but it took another three years for researchers to identify its root cause. After the initial link between AIDS and HIV was discovered in 1984, a diagnostic test became available in 1985. And then the seeming high point: In 1987, AZT was found to slow the progression of AIDS; but doctors soon discovered the drug’s effects were limited.

“The disease relentlessly progressed,” Fauci wrote. “The realization that we were in for the long haul began to set in.”

But in the 24 years since AZT, remarkable strides have been made; Fauci writes that he is considerably more optimistic these days because of prevention efforts and more effective pharmaceuticals. President George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) also proved successful, as have programs from various interest groups and philanthropies, Fauci writes.

Good news, all. But Fauci writes the battle is far from over. The disease remains an epidemic in developing countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa. And there’s this stunning statistic: For every person receiving treatment, two to three more people are infected.

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that lifesaving HIV/AIDS programs at home and abroad must be strengthened despite global constraints on resources,” Fauci wrote. “Enormous challenges remain and must be met by the next generation of scientists, public health officials and politicians throughout the world. History will judge us as a global society by how well we address the challenges in the next few decades of HIV/AIDS.”

NIH, PEPFAR and Others Strengthening Medical Education in Africa

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

A couple weeks ago the National Institutes of Health announced a partnership with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to strengthen medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative is a joint effort of the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense and 19 components of NIH.

This program supports PEPFAR’s goal of increasing the number of health care workers by 140,000 and will strengthen host-country medical education systems and enhance clinical and research capacity in Africa.

From the press release:

“As new scientific discoveries are made about both infectious and non-communicable diseases, it is vital that we develop research capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa so that advances can be quickly adapted for local use,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD. “This program will not only strengthen medical education to produce much needed caregivers but will also generate well trained researchers who are able to apply a multidisciplinary and implementation focused approach to locally relevant scientific questions.”

The application deadline is May 12, 2010, and awards are expected to be issued by the end of September. Complete info for applying on the NIH Web site.

Global Health Technologies Coalition

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Applauds Renewed Support for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria

Research!America has signed onto the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s letter praising the passing of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008.

This important legislation to reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a significant step in addressing the global health challenges of HIV, TB and malaria. The new law not only expands access to existing lifesaving prevention, treatment and care services helping those most at need, it also expands support for the research and development of health technologies such as new drugs, vaccines and microbicides.

Read more.