The mandate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to protect the health of the American people. Events in recent years, however, have made it clear that our efforts to protect Americans’ health cannot end at our borders.
Pathogens and other threats to human health are as mobile as we are, and have become more and more dangerous through growing drug resistance and natural mutations. As the world’s population becomes increasingly mobile, and as diseases change, our own health becomes more and more intertwined with the world’s health.
The health of other nations is also closely tied to economic productivity, social stability, and good governance. Such economic, social, and political realities clearly intersect with our national interest, and further compel us to address a variety of global health concerns.
Health-related programming can also hold a special place as a foreign-policy tool for the U.S. Government. Our work to improve global health demonstrates the generosity of the American people. Given the universal value populations place on good health, evidence-based, public-health interventions can help to transcend political boundaries.
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