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World Health Day: Meeting the Challenges That Affect Us All

World Health DayAs we recognize World Health Day Exit Disclaimer today, we are reminded that disease knows no borders and that we share a common interest in global health concerns including seeing a generation without AIDS, ending preventable child deaths, and building and strengthening sustainable health systems to meet the health challenges that affect us all. The U.S. government has been and will continue to be a leading contributor to achieve these goals, and the investment of the American people is having enormous impact.

We also know, that as the world reduces the burden of infectious disease and child deaths, new problems arise, such as the complications of chronic disease Exit Disclaimer, like high blood pressure, that this World Health Day highlights Exit Disclaimer. In the current economic climate, how do we ensure our partner countries are able to sustain progress and improve health systems that can respond to the challenge of emerging health issues?

Through promoting shared responsibility for global health, the U.S. government is leveraging its investments with country partners. For example, U.S. government health funding has been used to train doctors and nurses and build clinics. These investments not only help to target diseases like HIV and malaria, but can be used as the foundation for a response to broader health issues, including non-communicable diseases. With this foundation in place, country partners and other donors are able to provide services for other common health ailments that are integrated with U.S.-funded services.

At the Office of Global Health Diplomacy (S/GHD), we are imbuing health into our diplomatic agenda. Through cooperation with our interagency colleagues, we are working to align our multilateral efforts to leverage U.S. investments better and bring more donors to the table. We are partnering with the World Bank and others to foster discussion between Ministers of Finance and Ministers of Health on sustainable health financing. And through increasing training for our diplomats, our Foreign Service Officers at posts can be better equipped to elevate health in diplomatic discourse with partner countries, as they work to strengthen their health care systems and achieve country ownership.

On this World Health Day, and every day, we at GHD will continue to work towards our mandate of harnessing the diplomatic efforts of the United States to advance our health mission of improving and saving lives.

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