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International Activities of the U.S. National Academies

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Advising the U.S. Government

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Home - Advising the U.S. Government -Health


U.S. Commitment to Global Health
The United States has made a major commitment to global health, yet there remains a wide gap between existing knowledge and tools that could improve health if applied universally, and the utilization of these known tools across the globe. The study The U.S. Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the Public and Private Sectors (2009, PDF 2.6 MB) concludes that the U.S. government and U.S.-based foundations, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and commercial entities have an opportunity to further improve global health and provides recommendations on how to do so.

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases

H1N1 ("swine flu"), SARS, mad cow disease, and HIV/AIDS are a few examples of zoonotic diseases—diseases transmitted between humans and animals. Their ability to emerge anywhere and spread rapidly around the globe, and the major economic toll they can take on many disparate industries, make zoonoses a growing concern. Infectious disease surveillance systems are intended to combat this threat. Unfortunately, current disease surveillance systems can be ineffective or untimely in alerting officials to newly emerging zoonotic diseases. The report Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases (2009) assesses disease surveillance systems around the world, and recommends ways to improve early detection and response. The report presents solutions for coordination between different surveillance systems, different governments, and different international organizations.

PEPFAR Implementation: Progress and Promise
In 2003, Congress authorized legislation that included the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a comprehensive five-year initiative to help countries combat the global spread of HIV and AIDS. Based on the Institute of Medicine’s 2007 evaluation of the plan’s efficacy, the U.S. government decided to continue the initiative and pursue IOM’s recommendation that PEPFAR’s focus be shifted from emergency relief to an emphasis on the long-term strategic planning and capacity building necessary for a sustained effort to counter the spread of AIDS.

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