TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Global Health Technologies Coalition warns of U.S. budget cuts' damage to disease fight

The Global Health Technologies Coalition, which is made up of 40 health-related groups, has warned that if the U.S. makes deep cuts in its federal budget, the progress made on many diseases could be reversed.

The coalition released a report outlining its concerns and plans to present the report to members of congress and the Obama administration. The two sides are currently battling over spending cuts during an election year, Voice of America reports.

"When it comes to global public health we're really in an era of unprecedented scientific breakthroughs," Kaitlin Christianson, the director of the coalition, said, according to Voice of America. "We've seen some incredible progress that's been made over the past few years...that has the potential to really transform the way that we approach some of the greatest global health challenges. And part of that has been leadership by the U.S. government."

Christianson lauded the proposed Obama budget for continuing to support the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

"However, there are some cuts that have been made to other programs, including programming for neglected tropical diseases...malaria and AIDS that are concerning," Christianson said, according to Voice of America. "So our hope is that congress will restore funding for those programs."

Christianson said that global health spending not only helps those in need, but also benefits taxpayers because of the American companies and universities that are involved.