A Year in Review: 2013 Highlights in Global Health

Global Health News

December 2013

Join us in celebrating some of the accomplishments the global health community has seen in the past year. We look forward to 2014 and many more successes to come!

*This list is not comprehensive and is in approximate chronological order.

Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea

WHO and UNICEF launch the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPP-D), the first-ever integrated global strategy to simultaneously protect children from pneumonia and diarrhea, which are the two leading killers of children under 5 and responsible for 2 million children’s deaths per year.

Global Newborn Conference

The first-ever Global Newborn Conference was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, launching the first in a series of consultations to inform an Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) and highlighting the fact that 44 percent of all under-5 deaths happen within the first month of life. As a result, consultations have been happening around the world, and the ENAP will be released in 2014.

Global Nutrition for Growth

World leaders came together at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in June to sign a Global Nutrition for Growth Compact. The Compact outlines bold targets to achieve by 2020, including improving the nutrition of 500 million pregnant women and young children; reducing the number of children under 5 who are stunted by an additional 20 million; and saving the lives of at least 1.7 million children by preventing stunting, increasing breastfeeding and improving treatment of severe and acute malnutrition

10 Years of PEPFAR

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In 2003, the U.S. Congress passed into law the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003, creating PEPFAR and laying the groundwork for a global response that would save millions of lives and deliver hope to communities most affected and desperately in need.

Today, PEPFAR – through the work of its implementing agencies, including USAID and its partners – has supported lifesaving antiretroviral drug (ARV) treatment for 6.7 million men, women and children worldwide, as well as HIV testing and counseling for more than 12.8 million pregnant women.

1 Million Babies Born without HIV and AIDS

This past June, Secretary Kerry announced that PEPFAR programs have saved 1 million babies from being born with HIV, thanks in large part to political commitment and leadership and advances in science behind the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and ARV treatment. For the past 10 years, the world has known that ARVs can help protect the unborn babies of HIV-positive women. With further advancements in science over the years, we have been able to initiate treatment early and deliver more effective services.

Ethiopia Reaches MDG 4 Early

Ethiopia reached MDG 4 early by reducing under-5 mortality by two-thirds. In a country of over 80 million, Ethiopia suffers from a severe shortage of doctors and health professionals; there is 1 doctor for every 36,000 people. Using innovative programs, such as frontline health extension workers in communities, Ethiopia has achieved an incredible milestone.

Roadmap for Childhood TB

On October 1, 2013, USAID supported the launch of the first-ever targeted roadmap for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood TB. The roadmap outlines measures that could save the lives of over 70,000 children each year.

Innovations in Contraceptive Technologies

This past year, USAID celebrated progress in developing new contraceptive technologies that have the potential to revolutionize women’s options by diversifying delivery forms, varying product duration and targeting multiple health risks simultaneously. The SILCS Diaphragm received regulatory approval to launch in Europe this past June. In November, USAID awarded the Expanding Effective Contraceptive Options project, which will produce roadmaps to advance the introduction of five new woman-initiated vaginal contraceptive products. We also announced the Family of Contraceptive Rings project to expand availability of the progesterone vaginal ring and complete development of the new 1-year contraceptive vaginal ring. These efforts will help expand method choice and improve women’s right to a comprehensive array of contraceptive methods, a priority of USAID.

Passage of PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013

In November, the U.S. Congress reaffirmed its strong commitment to PEPFAR by passing the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013. The Act extends critical authorities and strengthens oversight of the landmark legislation passed into law in 2003. It also demonstrates the U.S. Government’s sustained commitment to fighting HIV and AIDS.

Global Fund Replenishment

Earlier this month, world leaders gathered in Washington, DC, to demonstrate their strong support for the funding commitments from countries around the world in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria for the next 3 years. An initial amount of $12 billion was pledged, representing the largest amount ever committed – 30 percent more than the pledges secured in 2010 – to fighting the three diseases. Twenty-five countries as well as private foundations, corporations and faith-based organizations committed funds. The mood was optimistic and the message that was heard over and over again during the Replenishment meetings was that we are at a historic moment in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.

Child Deaths from Malaria Halved

Malaria control has saved 3.3 million lives since 2000 – 3 million of them children under 5, according to the 2013 World Malaria Report, which was published by WHO. Nearly 70 percent of these lives saved were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden. This progress against malaria is responsible for fully 20 percent of the reduction in child mortality since 2000 and stands out as one of the great success stories in global health.

USAID Partnerships Advance Family Planning

2013 has been a year of significant advances for USAID’s family planning partnerships.

  • USAID has played an active role in furthering the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative with representation on the Reference Group and all four working groups of the partnership. In November, USAID joined our partners in releasing the first annual FP2020 progress report at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Through the Ouagadougou Partnership [PDF, 2.8MB], USAID worked with the French Government, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation, and in close collaboration with ministries of health and civil society partners, to develop seven national family planning costed implementation plans [PDF, 910KB] aligned to the Ouagadougou Partnership commitments and FP2020 pledges.
  • Through the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, USAID worked with other partners to achieve 50 percent price reductions on two contraceptive implants, increasing access and expanding options for millions of women across the globe.

Public-Private Partnerships – Leveraging Drug Donation Programs

The USAID Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Program continued its critical partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry in 2013 to further leverage the expanding NTD drug donation program. In FY2013, $2.5 billion in drugs for NTD control were donated by the pharmaceutical industry to the countries where USAID supports mass drug administration campaigns. Since USAID’s NTD Program began in FY 2006, the NTD drugs donated to the countries where we support program implementation have been valued at over $6.7 billion, representing one of the largest public-private partnerships in the Agency. The donations increased significantly in FY2013 due to USAID expansion into several countries, including Nigeria, Ethiopia and DR Congo.

MDR-TB Treatment

USAID collaborated with manufacturers to increase the availability of WHO prequalified second-line drugs to treat individuals diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). In addition, USAID has supported the Global Drug Facility to reduce the price of MDR-TB drug regimens by over 25 percent.

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Photo sources for top banner left to right:James Pursey/EGPAF, Marcy Erskine/IFRC, Jameel Ahmad/JSI/PAIMAN.