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FP: Stop Fighting Viruses, Start Treating People

The Obama administration's broad vision of global health.

Author: Eduardo J. Gomez
January 27, 2010


In this Foreign Policy op-ed, Eduardo Gomez looks at President Barack Obama's new vision for tackling global health challenges, examining how Obama's new initiative differs from the previous administration's approach by focusing on broad-category initiatives. 

With the debate over health-care reform in the United States stretching into its second year, Americans are focusing intently on domestic rather than global health issues. But, since taking office, President Barack Obama has introduced a new vision of how to help other countries combat disease and health-care inequality.

On May 5, 2009, Obama unveiled a new global health initiative, dramatically broadening the scope, mission, and size of U.S. health-care initiatives abroad. The president asked Congress to increase global health funding nearly $500 million, to $8.6 billion per year. He also requested a six-year supplemental for the deadliest diseases and special programs, increased funds for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs, and the expansion of PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

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