Preserve Aid for Global Health
More than 90 organizations, including the Open Society Policy Center, sent a letter to Senator Leahy calling for full funding of global health programs. The bill being considered in the House of Representatives would cut nine percent from the current global health funding levels. Cutting the international affairs account will hurt efforts to prevent HIV, treat tuberculosis and malaria, and prevent maternal deaths.

August 25, 2011

Recently, various organizations, including the Open Society Policy Center, sent a letter to Senator Leahy expressing concern over Congress’s proposed international affairs budget cuts. The bill being considered in the House of Representatives would cut nine percent from the current global health funding levels. Cutting the international affairs account will depress the availability of a variety of health programs, such as HIV infection prevention and immunization accessibility for children, tuberculosis and malaria treatments, and maternal deaths prevention.

As the letter states, these potential cuts would mean:

    • 24,074 more infants will be infected with HIV
    • 345,559 orphans and vulnerable children will potentially lose their food, education, and livelihood assistance
    • AIDS treatment will be eliminated for 332,216 people;
    • 3.8 million fewer people will be treated for malaria
    • 37,292 fewer people with tuberculosis (TB) and 375 fewer people with multidrug-resistant TB would receive lifesaving treatment, seriously endangering their lives as well as others’ due to the highly contagious nature of this illness.
    • Over 1 million (1,028,330) fewer children could receive low-cost antibiotics to treat pneumonia – the leading killer of kids under five
    • 1.6 (1,623,165) million fewer children could receive oral rehydration salts that can help save many of the 1.2 million who die needlessly from diarrhea.
    • More than 900,000 (910,158) children could not be immunized against measles, tetanus, and pertussis and limit access for pneumonia and rotavirus vaccines
    • Over 15 million people would not be treated for neglected tropical diseases
    • Almost 3 million more unintended pregnancies will occur
    • 9.4 million fewer women and couples would have access to receiving contraceptive services
    • 7,700 more maternal deaths
    • Thousands of health workers could not receive the midwifery training needed to help ensure that mothers deliver with a skilled health worker present – seriously endangering the life of the mother and newborn.

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