Gates Foundation Gives $10M Grant to Global Health Council To Build U.S. Support for International Health Programs
The Global Health Council on Monday announced that it has been awarded a five-year, $10 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help build U.S. support for international public health programs to battle HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases and to promote reproductive health, the Vermont Valley News reports. Nils Daulaire, president and CEO of the Global Health Council, which is a not-for-profit advocacy and educational alliance that serves and represents health professionals in 103 countries, said that the grant will enable the council to hire six new employees. The group currently employs 35 people in its Vermont office and 25 policy analysts and advocates in its Washington, D.C., office (Gregg, Vermont Valley News, 10/6). Daulaire said that "much remains to be done to reach global health equity and the stakes are extraordinarily high," according to a GHC release. Daulaire said that an "additional five million children, women and men will be infected with HIV around the world this year, joining the more than 60 million already infected or dead as a result of AIDS" (GHC release, 10/6).
Reproductive Health Care
In addition to focusing on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, the council will be promoting reproductive health, according to the Valley News. Daulaire said, "With the largest generation in the history of the world coming into adolescence right now, over a billion people entering adolescence in this next decade, their sexual and reproductive health and well-being will play out not only in terms of the spread of AIDS, but also in terms of their own ability to make sound decisions on family size, the number and timing of their children." Dr. William Foege, a former CDC director and chair of the Global Health Council, said that the group is a "key voice" on global health issues, adding, "I would like to see them play an increasing role in making sure the American public and the representatives in Washington understand what the needs are in global health." Bill Gates Sr., who co-chairs the Gates Foundation, said, "We are delighted to be continuing our support for the Global Health Council." He added, "This grant will help the council to build awareness of the urgent health needs in the developing world, and to help increase the effectiveness of health programs in the field" (Vermont Valley News, 10/6).