The Global Health Council Advances International Health Programs
On August 2018, The Global Health Council welcomed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Extension Act of 2018 by the House of Representatives. This legislation reauthorizes PEPFAR for 5 years and is an example of bipartisan support for ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic and was sponsored by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Eliot Engel (D-NY).
Since 2003, PEPFAR has increased the likelihood of an AIDS-free world by providing more than 13.3 million people around the world with HIV treatments. This is but one example of The Global Health Council’s efforts to work with policymakers and community stakeholders to improve health worldwide.
What Is The Global Health Council?
Global Health Council is a nonprofit membership organization in The U.S. that identifies priority global health problems and reports them to an international and domestic audience. Formed in 1972 and originally called The National Council for International Health, The GHC’s primary intention is to ensure that all who strive to improve global health have the resources they need to do so. The initiatives and programs for which The Global Health Council advocates are funded primarily through membership dues, grants, and sponsorship funding.
Danielle Heiberg, Senior Manager, Policy & Advocacy of Global Health Council told The Borgen Project that The Global Health Council contributes to the implementation of health programs worldwide by supporting its members, who, in turn, work to implement the necessary programs. “Specifically, GHC provides its members with key resources, advocates on their behalf and amplifies their work through its varied communications channels,” Heiberg told The Borgen Project.
GHC is a membership-oriented organization that offers key stakeholders a platform for coordinated global health advocacy. Membership is offered to global health organizations and to individual global health professionals. Members receive important benefits, such as “high-level delegations and networking opportunities,” according to Heiberg. By creating a platform for the unification of global health issues and using the power of collaboration and collective action, The GHC uses advocacy to advance international health programs and policies, such as PEPFAR.
What Does The Global Health Council Do?
Since its inception, The GHC has worked towards advocating for strong global health policies, organizing and mobilizing stakeholders across geographic regions and improving health worldwide by building support. Although The GHC represents a range of global health issues, according to Heiberg, it makes global health security, global health financing, and health systems strengthening” a priority.
In addition to its current initiatives, The GHC’s efforts to advance global healthcare programs are noted in its organized calendar of events. The Global Health Council promotes awareness of global health issues by sharing news via social media, a bi-weekly newsletter, its website and by hosting events. “GHC also meets with U.S. Congressional staff and other government offices to advocate for sound policy and investments,” Heiberg said.
Most recently, The GHC has worked with the global health community to ensure there are U.S. investments going toward global health initiatives to have the maximum impact. The organization intends to implement and maintain a successful global health program by publishing join global health recommendations, promoting member or partner grassroots campaigns and consolidating global health funding.
“With the current administration placing less of an emphasis on foreign assistance, demonstrating how these investments and policies not only save lives around the world but also benefit Americans is crucial,” stated Heiberg. If organizations such as the Global Health Council continue to advocate for international health programs and policies, like PEPFAR, there is hope for improved health worldwide.
– Kara Roberts