Why Global Public Health Funding Is in Crisis

US Air National Guardsman staff perform dental care on a young child

Public health funding in is slowly on the decline and we are seeing the terrible results in every sector of public health. From STDs on the rise to a bloom of infectious diseases, it is of the paramount importance that we collectively address our health, not as individual nations, but as a global community. Not only for the dignity of humans on our planet but to prevent diseases that know no borders. Here are some of the risks we are facing as a global community today.

STDs

Sexually-transmitted diseases are on the rise. STDs are highly preventable through use of contraceptives, educational programs about using contraceptives and the risks of not using them.

What is especially concerning is that countries with resources to reduce their impact on this portion of global health, do not always do their part. From a study on young US women that shows a lack of risk recognition in getting an STD, to a rise of teen pregnancy and STDs related to abstinence only education. Leading the way with a boom of sexually transmitted diseases at home, the US also has a larger impact on the global epidemic with large scale budget cuts and selective spending. The “gag rule” which takes US funding from any organization that offers complete women’s health which has a major impact on international health organizations that provide contraception, education, and STD testing to the international community.

The United State’s active dis-involvement with global health has a big impact on all of us. When America sneezes, the world catches a cold.

STDs are preventable through education, available medical care and testing, and access to contraception. We can prevent the spread of one of the most common forms of preventable disease ravenging the globe today.

Climate Change and Disease

Climate change has a huge impact on the explosion of disease around the globe. Preventing climate change is a vital part of an active global health initiative.

According to WHO “Changes in climate are likely to lengthen the transmission seasons of important vector-borne diseases and to alter their geographic range”. This means that disease spreading animals like mosquitoes can spread malaria for a longer period of time each year. Compound this with the US’s cuts to Presidential Malaria Initiative which could mean millions of more malaria cases across the globe.

This has a huge impact on poorer countries who can’t respond as rapidly to the changing health needs of their population and can impact richer nations as people move through different areas, like the spread of Zika into America. This means that not only will countries have to help out with global health initiatives to treat disease, but being conscious of preventative measure to stop these outbreaks in the first place will be vital. One great preventative measure is addressing climate change.

Exposure to Unknown

The world does not recognize the boundaries we have placed on nations. Pesticides can float along rivers from one nation to another. Or poison farmers who aren’t able to read the labels and instructions. Asbestos can be sold around the globe, even though we know it is not good for humans. Accidental exposure and poisoning can cause big issues for human beings around the world. These are preventable injuries and deaths that don’t need to happen, that can spread from country to country, like the Vietnam War’s lasting impact of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese people which effects the surrounding countries, like Cambodia and Laos.

  • There are poisons on the earth that can spread beyond borders.
  • That have be inflicted on one country by another.
  • That have lasting impacts on human health.

Preserving basic human dignity and rights to live include taking an active role in global health initiatives. Whether you want to recognize human life around the globe, or prevent diseases from winding up inside your country, global health is important.

Mary Grace, an independent liberal from the United States, lives in the beautiful Boise, Idaho, and adores her mountains. She loves skiing, hiking, and repairing vintage bicycles. If you want to chat, or have any questions, feel free to tweet her @marmygrace, or send her an email marmgrace@gmail.com

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