New Antipoverty Drugs, Vaccines, and Diagnostics: A Research Agenda for the US President’s Global Health Initiative (GHI)

On May 5, 2009, the Obama Administration announced its intention to launch an ambitious United States governmental strategy for global health. The US Global Health Initiative (GHI) proposes US$63 billion over 6 years (FY 2009–FY 2014), US$10.5 billion annually on average, approximately 70% of which would be spent on the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). If appropriated each year by Congress, the GHI would represent a significant response to calls by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies for the US government (USG) to invest US$15 billion annually on development assistance for global health by 2012.

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The Global Atlas of Helminth Infection: Mapping the Way Forward in Neglected Tropical Disease Control

The recent commitment of the Obama administration to establish the Global Health Initiative, which is expected to increase to over US$100 million annually for neglected tropical disease (NTD) control, provides the most significant investment and opportunity for the global control of NTDs to date. These investments, together with commitments by the British Department for International Development, the World Bank, and several key private philanthropies, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, must be guided by a strong evidence-based approach. First, the problem, and the resources required to tackle it, need to be clearly quantified. Second, mass drug administration (MDA) should be optimally targeted to communities with the highest prevalence of infection and presumed greatest morbidity.

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