Posted by: blog4globalhealth | 07/11/2009

President Obama Talks Global Health Policy in Ghana

I just watched President Obama’s Speech to Ghana’s Parliament. A solid and pointed speech. The President reiterated his call for a comprehensive global health strategy as part of this Global Health Initiative.

Politico has a recount and video clips of the speech:

Here is the Global Health Council’s release on the day:



July 11, 2009

The Global Health Council welcomes President Obama’s call during remarks today to the Ghanaian Parliament in Accra, Ghana, for an integrated and comprehensive American response to the health issues facing Africa.

The president’s remarks came after a visit earlier in the day with First Lady Michelle Obama to see the maternal health services provided at the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded La General Hospital in Accra. According to press reports, the President told reporters at the hospital, “Part of reason this is so important is that throughout Africa, the rate of both infant mortality but also maternal mortality is still far too high.” During his speech to Parliament, the President said that the U.S. “will not confront diseases in isolation” and invest in health systems to provide better care to women and children.

“The President made a strong statement today to the women, children and families in Ghana and throughout Africa that the United States is committed to working in partnership to reduce maternal and child deaths on the continent,” said Jeffrey L. Sturchio, President and CEO of the Global Health Council. “The Global Health Council commends the Obama Administration’s pledge to institute a comprehensive U.S. global health strategy that includes heightened commitment to maternal and child health and family planning. The Council and our members look forward to continued collaboration with the Administration, Congress and our developing country partners to ensure that this new approach delivers the results we all want to see.”

In May, President Obama proposed a comprehensive six-year, $63 billion Global Health Initiative beginning with fiscal year 2009. The initiative calls for $51 billion to be invested in programs to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and $12 billion for other major global health priorities, including cost-effective interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality. The Global Health Council’s top recommendation to President Obama’s transition team was to create a comprehensive global health strategy, and the Council has been working with the global health community to call for robust investments to carry out the strategy.

Twenty-seven organizations in the maternal health, child health and reproductive health communities have come together under the Family Health Roundtable, convened by the Council, to call on the Obama Administration to implement a Global Family Health Action Plan as a critical component of the Global Health Initiative. The Global Family Health Action Plan would give the United States the opportunity to achieve dramatic success in improving global health by radically reducing the 9 million deaths among young children and the half-million deaths among women from pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the approximately 76 million unintended pregnancies that occur every year.

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