Next PEPFAR Administrator Should Always Consider ‘Necessity of Placing Public Health Practice Ahead of Partisanship,’ Letter to Editor Says
The next administrator of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief "must always" weigh "in on the necessity of placing public health practice ahead of partisanship," Jirair Ratevosian, a national field organizer for Physicians for Human Rights, writes in a Boston Globe letter to the editor in response to a recent Globe editorial. "We can't afford to let U.S. global health policy play politics with people's lives," Ratevosian writes, adding, "While millions of lives have been saved by the generosity of the American people, ideology-driven policies have hindered the effectiveness of prevention programs, such as the integration of family planning and other sexual reproductive health services with U.S.-funded HIV programs. As a result, maternal and infant mortality and morbidity remain shockingly high in countries that receive U.S. foreign assistance."
Despite the current economic crisis, the U.S. "must not shy away from its commitments to address global health crises," according to Ratevosian. He adds, "By embracing evidence-based global health policies, our foreign assistance will save many more lives, restore health to millions and reinvigorate U.S. leadership worldwide" (Ratevosian, Boston Globe, 2/14).