Private sector roundtableFormally started in 2014, The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) has been an important facilitator of international discussion about global health issues, communicable disease threats and their solutions.

Now, the GHSA has launched a new initiative: the Private Sector Roundtable (PSRT). PSRT aims to bring privatized industries into the fight for a better standard of global health.

Headed by Johnson & Johnson, as well as the GE Foundation, the Private Sector Roundtable strives to organize the previously scattered efforts of the private sector in global health issues. Although private partners have participated in previous coordinated worldwide efforts, the PSRT will streamline those efforts to achieve maximum effect.

As was clear with the global response to Ebola, and as is now clear with the uptick in instances of Zika virus, timely responses are of the utmost importance in combatting global outbreaks. The GHSA hopes that the Private Sector Roundtable, and by extension the private sector, will adopt a “unique role” in developing a greater standard of global health.

They hope to accomplish this by investing in and developing new ways to combat the spread of outbreaks such as Zika and Ebola. As stated by the Global Health Security Initiative, “the mission of the PSRT is to mobilize industry to help countries prepare for and respond to health-related crises, and strengthen systems for health security.”

Two years ago, when Ebola outbreaks were at their highest, the rapid and efficient distribution of personal protection equipment proved vital in halting the spread of Ebola. Hopefully, the private sector will help in future fights by facilitating the development and distribution of the equipment and services that the world needs.

Although the Private Sector Roundtable is young and relatively small — 20 companies have pledged as members of the fledgling organization — the future Roundtable could be a powerful international cohort of private companies, aiming to accomplish public good.

Sage Smiley

Photo: Flickr

Often, the same terms arise while discussing global poverty and conflict—hunger, disease, clean water, shelter and others. This is to be expected, as poverty everywhere entails a lack of accessibility to the same basic resources necessary for survival. However, survival and health also require many other physical and mental needs that are frequently overlooked, ranging from the rudimentary, such as affection, to the complex, such as medical care and vaccination distribution. The fact that you are able to read these words means you possess a physical trait that thousands unfortunately lack: eyesight.

With the lack of latrines, sufficient nourishment and even clean water, it is understandable that people overlook blindness and vision problems in the fight against international poverty; they are seemingly less exigent problems than a lack of food and protection. However, Combat Blindness International works to restore eyesight and optical health to those in need across four continents.

One man’s “vision” has and continues to permanently touch lives worldwide through various means and methods.

Combat Blindness International was founded in 1984 by Dr. Suresh Chandra, a Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Chandra is also a council member of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, a collaborative global effort by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. He was also the recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award in 1996. Needless to say, Dr. Chandra is a learned expert in humanitarian ophthalmology efforts.

The initiative began with eye camps at King George’s Medical College in Uttar Pradesh, India. Medical personnel, on a volunteer basis, provided eye care and cataract surgery to about 1,600 patients, and from that point on the group surged in number and influence.

From its inception in 1984, Combat Blindness International has assisted in care at the Sitapur Eye Hospital in Uttar Pradesh and Aravind Eye Hospital in Tamil Nadu, India. It also helped to create Aurolab at the same hospital, where workers produced quality lenses which were sold to nonprofit groups that dispersed them throughout 120 developing countries. Thus, CBI’s breadth of influence multiplied.

Since then, CBI has established the Gujarat Project with the Blind Relief and Health Association and begun World Sight Day, a day of awareness for those living in poverty and suffering from vision impairment worldwide. CBI also began three local eye care projects in Africa, which were followed by similar efforts in India and Paraguay.

For thirty years, CBI has provided eye care and sight restoration free of charge to over 11,000 people in need. The organization has been changing the world’s vision, one set of eyes at a time.

Arielle Swett

Sources: InterAction, Combat Blindness International
Photo: Wired

Global Health Accomplishments WHO
Global health has a huge impact with poverty. In many poverty-stricken areas, a lack of proper health equipment and the spread of diseases is a major function in the poverty trap. These countries rarely have the bare minimum to handle widespread disease and other health complications, making it hard truly to combat a global health issue. Despite these bleak conditions, there have been impressive global health accomplishments. The work and time put in by programs such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made these ten necessary improvements for impoverished areas.

Global health has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Many different factors have caused this great revolution of health, but ten specific reasons can be credited with carrying the weight. Without improvement in these specific areas by programs like USAID and the CDC, many of the great advancements seen today in global health would have never had the funds to be reached.


Factors Contributing to Global Health Accomplishments


In many areas with great health risks; immunizations and vaccines are not made readily available. Without these treatments, many people are often infected by disease that could otherwise be avoided or contained with the assistance of vaccination and immunization. First, USAID immunization programs have provided the funds to treat up to three million impoverished people per year.

Many nations struggle with health issues because of water deprivation. Second, USAID introduced oral hydration therapy to these areas, in hopes it would counteract dehydration problems. As of today, the oral hydration therapy has been successful in areas all around the globe, with tens of millions of people being properly nourished through the low-cost program yearly.

Thirdly,  not only is the oral hydration therapy combatting worldwide dehydration, USAID has partnered with The United Nations Drinking Water Supply to help some 1.3 billion people receive proper water nourishment sources.

Sanitary water is a vital piece to figuring out the poverty puzzle, but the eradication of poverty begins with the young people. Fourth, the average number of children per family in impoverished nations has dropped from 6.1 in the mid-1960s to 4.2 today. In addition, infant and child deaths have decreased by 50 percent in these impoverished areas.

Fifth, USAID child survival programs have made a 10 percent child mortality rate reduction in just the past eight years. Not only has the number of children’s lives saved risen, but life expectancy has improved by 33 percent in these nations.

The decrease of major diseases worldwide is a major improvement made possible by USAID, CDC, and similar programs worldwide. Sixth, Smallpox has been eradicated, and now only exists in laboratories. Seventh, USAID has accounted for thirty-two HIV/AIDS prevention programs throughout the world.

Eighth, over 850,000 people have been reached by the HIV program, and (ninth) another 40,000 people have been trained to treat the virus. Lastly, programs like the CDC have been responsible for the diminishing malaria cases, from 2004 (2.1 million cases) to 2009 (1.8 million cases).

By combatting major poverty causing issues such as disease epidemics, unsanitary water, and child mortality rates, programs such as USAID and the CDC have been instrumental in causing the turnaround of world poverty. With the continued support from these programs, the world’s impoverished people can be assured of better conditions outside of these ten beneficial starts.


10 Key Global Health Accomplishments


1. USAID immunizations and vaccines have provided funds to treat up to three million impoverished people per year.

2. Introduction of oral hydration therapy in impoverished areas.

3. Supplied roughly 1.3 billion people proper nourishment sources.

4. Average number of children per impoverished family has dropped from 6.1 to 4.2.

5. 10 percent child mortality rate reduction.

6. Smallpox only exists in laboratories.

7. USAID has 32 HIV/AIDS programs throughout the world.

8. 850,000+ people have been reached by the HIV program.

9. 40,000 have been trained to treat HIV.

10. Diminishing malaria cases, from 2.1 million to 1.8 million over a five year period.

– Zachary Wright

Sources:  USAIDCDC

Photo: USAID