In May 2009, President Barack Obama announced the Global Health Initiative, a six-year, comprehensive effort to reduce the burden of disease and promote healthy communities and families around the world. Through the Global Health Initiative, the United States will invest $63 billion over six years to help partner countries improve health outcomes, with a particular focus on improving the health of women, newborns, and children. This initiative integrates U.S. health services across agencies for a more high-impact response to health crises. The Global Health Initiative treats people, not diseases.
To improve health worldwide, the Global Health Initiative will collaborate between U.S. agencies and with other donors and host governments for greater impact, do more of what works and stop efforts that don’t work, build on existing host country health systems, and innovate for results. The Global Health Initiative strategy will help the U.S. achieve its goals to reduce child undernutrition by 30 percent across assisted food insecure countries, support the prevention of more than 12 million new HIV infections worldwide, and prevent 54 million unintended pregnancies.
U.S. government agencies in Zambia, the Zambian Ministry of Health, and other stakeholders met together to tailor Global Health Initiative priorities just for Zambia. Under the primary goal of improving the health status of all Zambians, the Global Health Initiative priorities for Zambia are: furthering integrated, quality health services with a focus on maternal, neonatal and child health, improving health care workers’ skills, and advancing governance in the health care sector. The Global Health Initiative priorities are aligned with targets the Zambian government has set in its national plans. For example, Global Health Initiative activities will provide more skilled birth attendance in support of Millenium Development Goal 4.
As part of the Global Health Initiative, the United States launched the Saving Mothers Giving Life Endeavor in Zambia. Saving Mothers Giving Life will work to reduce maternal mortality by 50 percent in four pilot districts: Nyimba, Luapula, Kalomo, and Lundazi, within one year. The Saving Mothers Giving Life Endeavor is a coordinated effort between the Zambian Ministry of Health and United States’ health agencies, including USAID, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Peace Corps, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. The U.S. government will contribute $24 million to support Saving Mothers Giving Life in its first year in Zambia. Other donors will provide nearly $4 million to further support maternal health in Zambia.
The Global Health Initiative encompasses other U.S. global initiatives operating in Zambia including the Feed the Future Initiative, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.