As one of the frontier institutes of public health, the WHO is involved in its member countries’ activities towards improving and sustaining the health of its population; this serves to provide practical scenarios of how public health is implemented intra and inter-nationally.
On May 16-17, 2017, Hope Through Healing Hands took a team of Christian artists and pastors to Washington, DC, to meet with members of Congress and communicate their concerns about the devastating effects that would result from the severe budget cuts to foreign assistance funding proposed by President Trump. “More than 50% of Americans still believe that our foreign assistance amounts to 25% of the U.S. budget. In actuality, it is less than one percent,” said Jenny Dyer, Ph.D., Executive Director of HTHH. “If Congress accepts President Trump’s 28% cut to foreign assistance, the historic progress we have led over the past twenty-five years to prevent the deaths of mothers and children around the world will halt.”
While U.S. foreign assistance comprises less than 1 percent of the federal budget, programs such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Feed the Future, and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) have saved and improved the lives of tens of millions. For example, U.S. leadership has helped to cut in half global under-five child deaths over the last twenty-five years, and in the last ten years alone the U.S. has led efforts to provide AIDS treatment to more than 15 million patients and to reduce malaria deaths by 75 percent in many of the hardest hit countries.
During the last two presidential administrations, we have taken a stand to champion the historic funding to fight the HIV/AIDS global pandemic. When we began in 2002, less than 50,000 people who were victims of HIV in Sub Saharan Africa had access to anti-retro viral medications. Today, because of the legislation of PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, over 17 million people have access to the medicines which have saved their lives. We are proud that the United States has been the international cornerstone leader of this funding as a moral response, a charitable response, and a response based on smart power— national security, foreign policy, and economic reasons.
Today, more than 783 million people around the world lack access to clean water, and nearly 2.5 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation. Because dirty water contributes to diarrheal diseases, a leading cause of death among children under the age of five, this translates to more than 700,000 preventable, treatable deaths among children every year. Without clean water to drink, cook and clean, disease and death abound.
Our 2017 annual letter is addressed to our dear friend Warren Buffett, who in 2006 donated the bulk of his fortune to our foundation to fight disease and reduce inequity. A few months ago, Warren asked us to reflect on what impact his gift has had on the world.

This past week executive directors Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD and William Moore co-hosted a breakout session at Lakewood Church in Houston on the importance of nutrition during the 1000 day window – from conception to 2 years old – of a child’s life for proper cognitive and physical development. We live in a time where 1 out of 3 people suffer from malnutrition in some form. The most devastating consequences include stunting and wasting of children who are victims of undernutrition.

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