THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2014
FACT SHEET: U.S. – African Cooperation on Global Health
The United States has for decades invested in the health of Africa’s people, helped train its health and science professionals, and partnered with Africa to meet shared challenges. As the world’s largest donor to global health, we are committed to working with African governments to improve the health of their citizens, and to reaching our goals of achieving an AIDS-free generation, ending preventable child and maternal deaths, enhancing global health security by preventing, detecting and responding to infectious disease threats, and supporting countries as they invest in the health of their own citizens.
The United States welcomes the incredible gains in health that Africa has achieved over the past 20 years: HIV occurrence has been cut in half; tuberculosis (TB) and malaria deaths have been reduced by 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively; 50 percent fewer women die giving birth; and 50 million children’s lives have been saved due to better access to primary health care, better drug supply chains and access to skilled health care workers. In particular, we welcome the fact that African governments continue to increase their own domestic investments in public health, and to work with us and other partners to build the sustainable and effective public health systems that can serve the interests of their people and lay the foundation for strong and inclusive economic growth.
However, there is still more to be done. In 2013, 1.9 million people were newly infected with HIV, 207 million were diagnosed with malaria, and one-in-ten children did not reach their fifth birthday. Between two to three million children die annually from vaccine preventable diseases. Women suffer disproportionally from inadequate health system capacity; 25 percent of women of reproductive age who are married or in a union have an unmet need for family planning and 287,000 women die during childbirth. Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are also on the rise, and heart disease is the single largest killer in Africa.
The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa underscores the need to build Africa’s capacity to prevent the emergence of global health threats, to detect threats early, and to respond rapidly and effectively. With our partners in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the World Health Organization and countries all over the world, the United States is responding rapidly and effectively. We are sending additional experts from our Centers for Disease Control to augment the team that has been on the ground since March, and will work with partners to control the outbreak even as we increase assistance to those in need now. As the crisis subsides, the United States will host our international global health and regional partners to consider how we can together “build back” and speed up the recovery of these countries’ public health sectors.
For full fact sheet see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/04/fact-sheet-us-african-cooperation-global-health